TAIPEI: Taiwan teamed up with other diplomats to allow its diplomatic allies Paraguay to receive COVID-19 vaccines, after which China pressured the South American country to suppress Taipei in exchange for shots, and India stepped forward to help, Taiwan’s foreign minister said.
Chinese-claimed Taiwan has formal relations with only 15 countries, and Beijing, which claims that the island does not have the right to diplomatic recognition, has stepped up efforts to overcome them.
Taiwan said last month it was helping its only diplomatic ally, Paraguay, in South America buy COVID-19 vaccines after protests there to deal with the government’s health crisis.
Speaking on Wednesday, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said that China, which has been distributing the developed vaccines in various locations, especially in South and Central America, where it “flexes” its muscles with vaccine diplomacy Doing ”, which has five Taiwanese subsidiaries.
“If you look at the countries that are getting Chinese vaccines, whether it is Brazil or Chile or El Salvador, I think it is having a great impact on our diplomatic allies,” he said.
In Paraguay, the Chinese government was “very active” in telling the public that if Paraguay breaks diplomatic relations with Taiwan they would receive millions of doses of China’s vaccines, pressuring Taiwan to help, Wu said.
“In the last few weeks, we’ve been talking to fortunate countries like Japan, the United States, India, etc., and India has been able to fortunately provide some COVAXIN vaccines to Paraguay,” he said, referring to developing a shot. Said while doing. Of India Biotech of India and by a State Research Institute.
India has already shipped 100,000 doses to Paraguay and another 100,000, Wu will be added.
China has denied trying to lure Paraguay with vaccines. Wu also noted the US commitment to help provide vaccines worldwide.
“The most important trend is the Government of India that is ready to help, and the United States has decided that they want to help, and I think it’s going to relieve a lot of pressure for a lot of countries. “
India says it sent a dose of 100,000 COVAXIN to Paraguay on 26 March as a gift from the Indian government.
The United States, India, Japan, and Australia are working to counter China with a billion-dose vaccine treaty.