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In Session: COVID-19: Inequality and States of Exception in Global Asia
3: Crafting the Taiwan Model for COVID-19: An Exceptional State in Pandemic Territory
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
3:00pm – 4:30pm EDT
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Abstract: Taiwan was the first country to anticipate the threat of COVID-19, to send a medical team to investigate the initial outbreak in China, and to implement a comprehensive and successful public health response that avoided repeated infections or catastrophic lockdowns. Counter-intuitively, Taiwan’s success was achieved in part due to its exclusion from international bodies such as the World Health Organization, which led it to adopt a highly vigilant approach to health threats, especially those that emerge in China, whose irredentist claims impinge on Taiwan’s participation in the international community and constitute an existential military threat. Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 was recast by its diplomatic representatives into “The Taiwan Model”, a formulation used to pursue increased international recognition and participation.