The government of Taiwan has sent 300,000 medical masks to New Jersey for use by medical personnel and first responders, 200,000 of which arrived at a Morris County warehouse today, Congressman Chris Smith announced.
“I want to thank the people of democratic Taiwan for standing with us during New Jersey’s hour of need,” said Smith. “As of today, the full shipment has arrived at a NJ warehouse where it can be distributed to our first responders and healthcare professionals on the frontlines throughout the state,” he added. “We in New Jersey—the second hardest-hit state in the union—had previously received 100,000 masks out of one million recently sent to the U.S. by the Taiwanese people, and this additional 200,000 is most welcome and necessary.”
Smith, who has been in contact with the Taiwanese consulates in New York and Washington in seeking personal protection equipment (PPE), has a long history of support working with Taiwan in the face of the longstanding hostility from the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC).
Ambassador Lily Hsu, the Director-General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, said “We thank Congressman Smith for his many years of friendship with the Taiwanese people. On behalf of the government and the people of the Republic of China (Taiwan), I am delighted to help supply New Jersey’s first responders and frontline health workers with medical masks. I hope it is a reminder of the friendship which exists between the Taiwanese and American people.”
Smith also lauded Taiwan’s success at containing COVID-19 despite its close proximity to mainland China, where the virus originated.
He said the World Health Organization (WHO) should have heeded Taiwan’s warnings, rather than China’s misinformation, about the deadly outbreak, noting that the world might not be facing such a severe crisis if WHO did not have a bias towards China. “I and others have been highly critical of the WHO, whose cozy relations with mainland China and failure to ask critical questions abetted the Chinese Communist Party’s disinformation campaign.”
Smith recently authored an op-ed in the Washington Times on the need for accountability and transparency at the WHO. Smith, who currently serves as ranking member of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, and for many years was its chairman, has held more than 60 hearings on the Chinese government’s abuses of the human rights of its own citizens, rights which are protected across the Taiwan Strait. He also is a senior member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
“In contrast to the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan stands as a beacon of freedom and an example of democracy. We are happy to accept this life-saving gift from partners who respect human rights and share our values and aspirations,” Smith concluded.