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A nation must think before it acts.
The following chapter, “Taiwan and COVID-19: Global Pressure, Domestic Success,” appears in Teaching About Asia in a Time of Pandemic.
Any essay on COVID-19 that attempts to discern policy responses and reflect upon choices, as the worst pandemic in over 100 years still rages, demands of authors genuine humility, and hopefully what follows honors this obligation. Taiwan’s (Republic of China) actions began before the pandemic and since its advent are arguably the world’s most effective to date. Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates effusively praised Taiwan in an April 5, 2020 interview with Fox News host Chris Wallace stating, “I don’t think any country has a perfect record. Taiwan comes close.” Taiwan’s success in managing the pandemic was widely reported in Asian, European, and American media as Taiwan garnered more positive global attention because of COVID-19 policies than has been the case for years.