Despite its close links to China, Taiwan has only recorded 45 cases and one death due to the coronavirus [File: Chiang Ying-ying/AP]

Taipei, Taiwan – With some 850,000 Taiwanese living and working in China, Taiwan could have been one of the hardest hit when the coronavirus outbreak emerged in late December in Wuhan, a central Chinese city of 11 million people and the epicentre of the outbreak.

The timing would prove devastating for China and the rest of the world, as the outbreak began to accelerate around Lunar New Year, a time when hundreds of millions of Chinese travel abroad or return home to see their families.

But Taiwan, an island democracy with a population roughly the size of Australia, has kept cases

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