Taiwanese people don't have a lot in common with Texans. But while they're separated by culture, language, and 8,000 miles of ocean, they do know what it's like to shelter under punishing tropical storms.
As the city of Houston focuses on rescue efforts after Hurricane Harvey, Taiwan is looking toward reconstruction. "The government of Republic of China (Taiwan)," its Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Wednesday, "has decided to donate $800,000 for local governments and community disaster relief efforts."
According to a translated excerpt of the statement provided to the Washington Examiner, the decision stems from a shared sense of "solidarity with the victims of Harvey because Taiwan experiences typhoons every summer and fall."
It's a significant and generous gift from a country about the size of the state of New Jersey. The tiny Asian island knows about the difficulty of recovering after tropical storms. They're battered by typhoons every June through October.
The gift is an empathetic one. Houston won't forget the generosity anytime soon. And the gift is also a strategic one. Since President Trump took office, Taiwan has increased efforts to align itself with the United States in the region.
No doubt, their charity toward Texas will aid that effort.
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.