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Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-Wen and soldiers wear face masks
Taiwan’s response to the pandemic has been held up as exemplary. Now, it’s looking to leverage that success for geopolitical gains.

One country might emerge from the pandemic stronger than before

Annabelle Timsit
Member exclusive by Annabelle Timsit

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 4 million people, and killed more than 286,000 around the world. It’s erased decades of economic gains. Few governments have escaped unscathed. And criticism of slow or inappropriate responses are growing in countries like the US, China, Brazil, and the UK.

But at least one country may emerge from this pandemic stronger than before.

Taiwan responded quickly to the outbreak and appears to have limited its spread. Its government leveraged technology to trace and quarantine sick people, upped its mask production, and trained communities for lockdowns through large-scale simulations. The island, which is about 100 miles (161 kilometers) from mainland China—the outbreak’s suspected origin—has reported only 440 cases of Covid-19, and just seven deaths. Australia, a country with a similar population size and well-developed healthcare system, has 6,948 cases and 97 deaths.