India receives COVID-19 aid from Taiwan, places commercial orders with China

Working hard to send more: Taipei. Ramping up production of oxygen generators: Beijing

May 02, 2021 06:29 pm | Updated May 03, 2021 12:41 am IST

A Boeing 747 of China Airlines, the official carrier of Taiwan, delivers supplies in New Delhi on May 2, 2021. Photo: Special Arrangement

A Boeing 747 of China Airlines, the official carrier of Taiwan, delivers supplies in New Delhi on May 2, 2021. Photo: Special Arrangement

India on Sunday received assistance from Taiwan including oxygen concentrators and cylinders, with more batches of medical equipment set to follow from Taipei.

A first batch, consisting of 50 oxygen concentrators and 500 oxygen cylinders, landed in New Delhi on Sunday on a Boeing 747 of China Airlines, the government-owned airline of Taiwan.

“Taiwan’s deployment of medical supplies is testament to the close collaboration and partnership across multiple agencies on both sides,” said a statement from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre (TECC), Taiwan’s representative office in India. India and Taiwan do not maintain formal diplomatic relations or embassies.

“We’re working hard to send more,” said Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu on Twitter. “We’re closely monitoring developments and holding in-depth discussions aimed at providing requisite support to our Indian friends at a time of great need.”

India, meanwhile, has not yet accepted Beijing’s offers of aid and assistance that were conveyed again on Friday both in a message from President Xi Jinping to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and in a phone call between Foreign Minister Wang Yi and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.

India has preferred to source medical supplies from China on a commercial basis. A large number of such orders have been placed by Indian companies with Chinese firms, with the production “of at least 40,000 oxygen generators” currently under way, China’s Ambassador to India Sun Weidong told the Communist Party-run Global Times .

“As far as I know, Chinese companies have been accelerating production of at least 40,000 oxygen generators — orders placed by the Indian side, and they are working around the clock to deliver them as soon as possible. Many Chinese firms and private organisations are also using their own channels to provide various forms of help to India,” he said.

Mr. Sun said on Twitter the past two weeks “witnessed 61 freight flights from China to India in operation” and China had, since April, supplied “more than 5,000 ventilators, 21,569 oxygen generators, over 21 million masks and around 3,800 tons of medicine to India”.

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