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As poor nations struggle to get their hands on COVID-19 vaccines, a thinly populated South American country finds its chances linked to its unexpected role in growing tensions between the U.S. and China.

Paraguay’s 63-year-old alliance with Taiwan — forged when both were run by right-wing authoritarians — means the government can’t directly buy from China’s vaccine-makers that have supplied other Latin American nations. Officials say they’ve been approached to switch allegiances to Beijing to get the doses.

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