Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has condemned the Chinese communist regime for blocking the island nation’s deal to obtain COVID-19 vaccines from German company BioNTech. At the same time, the regime has been pushing Chinese-made vaccines onto the island, a move described by one analyst as “vaccine warfare.”
The president, speaking at a meeting of Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party on May 26, said that while orders for AstraZeneca’s and Moderna’s vaccines have been “smoothly” booked, the nation hasn’t been able to obtain BioNTech’s vaccine, which was co-developed with Pfizer.
“As for the German BioNTech company’s vaccine, we are close to completing the contract with the German factory, but due to the interference of China, we have not been able to complete it,” Tsai said. This is the first time that Taiwanese officials have publicly confirmed that the CCP has blocked Taiwan from obtaining the vaccine.
BioNTech declined to comment on Tsai’s remarks, but asserted that the company is “supportive of global vaccine supply,” according to Reuters.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) denied that it was preventing foreign companies from selling vaccines to Taiwan, and offered to provide Chinese-made vaccines to the island.
Chinese state-owned Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Co. said on May 22 that it’s willing to provide Taiwan with its version of the BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Fosun and BioNTech signed an agreement to exclusively develop and sell COVID-19 vaccines using BioNTech’s mRNA technology for mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.
In response, Tsai said that Taiwan will only buy directly from the original manufacturer of the vaccine, or negotiate purchases with the manufacturer through the COVAX global vaccine sharing scheme.
“Only by negotiating with the original manufacturer we can obtain the original manufacturer’s direct guarantee and responsibility for quality and safety, thereby avoiding legal and political risks,” she said.
The Chinese communist regime’s Taiwan Affairs Office said that if there were no “political obstacles,” it wouldn’t be a problem for China to donate vaccines to Taiwan. In response, Chen Shih-chung, Taiwan’s health minister, said at a press conference on May 26, “What they are injecting to people there [in China], we don’t dare to use them.”
However, several pro-China politicians have pushed for the government to bring the Fosun-made vaccines in, saying the need for vaccines is now urgent in Taiwan.
Chen said that Taiwan had seen no supporting documentation about Fosun’s version of the vaccine. If the company provides official documents, then they can discuss it, he said.
Strategy analyst Su Ziyun told the Chinese-language Epoch Times that the vaccines are temporarily in short supply in Taiwan due to a sudden surge of COVID-19 this month, and that the CCP is using this opportunity to launch “vaccine warfare” against the island.
Su said the CCP hopes to provoke dissatisfaction within Taiwan to divide Taiwanese society regarding vaccines and to try to interfere with Taiwan’s epidemic prevention. “This kind of public opinion warfare will fail as soon as Taiwan solves the vaccine shortage,” Su said.
Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China, is a sovereign country and an ally of the United States. However, the Chinese communist regime sees it as part of China’s territory and has recently increased its threats toward the island nation’s independence and security.
Chang Yuan-chang contributed to the report.