03/10/2021, 13.20
TAIWAN – CHINA
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About 76 per cent of Taiwanese do not want Chinese ant-COVID vaccines

For 61.6 per cent, the island should not even import Chinese-made anti-coronavirus drugs. Taiwan is open to renewed talks with China, but on an equal footing. The Quad is moving against Chinese vaccine diplomacy. EU Council president slams propaganda from Xi Jinping's regime.

 

Taipei (AsiaNews) – About 76.1 per cent of Taiwanese do not want COVID-19 vaccines made in China, this according to a recent survey by the Association of Chinese Elite Leadership.

The survey also shows that 61.6 per cent of respondents do not want Chinese anti-coronavirus drugs to be imported into the island.

The government of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has made it clear several times that it will not buy Chinese vaccines.

Reacting to former President Ma Ying-jeou, from the nationalist and pro-China Kuomintang party, who asked the government to accept Chinese vaccines, Taiwanese Health Minister Shih-chung said that there is not enough data on their effectiveness and safety.

The international scientific community has also expressed doubts about the final testing of Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines, now on the market.

These concerns have resurfaced in recent days. Two Hong Kong citizens have died after receiving the first dose of Sinovac.

For one of the deceased, local health authorities have ruled out any connection to the vaccine, blaming the death on pre-existing conditions. For the other, considered healthy at the time of the jab, an answer will come once autopsy results are released.

Survey results indicate that most Taiwanese back Tsai. About 76.1 per cent of the people contacted by the Association of Chinese Elite Leadership support the president when she says that Taipei is willing to reopen talks with Beijing, but only on an “equal footing”.

Communist China has boycotted Taiwan since Tsai took office in 2016. The Taiwanese leader has never said she wants Taiwan to obtain formal independence, but has always refused to recognise the “one China principle.”

Because of this position, she is seen by Chinese leaders as a dangerous pro-independence leader. Beijing views the island is a “rebel province” to be forcibly conquered if necessary.

Analysts say China might use “vaccine diplomacy” to further reduce Taiwan's international presence. At present, the island has “full and formal” diplomatic relations with only 14 states.

To contain the growth of Chinese influence in the world, the four Quad countries (Quadrilateral Security Alliance) have confirmed that they want to cooperate to provide anti-COVID vaccines to developing nations.

The leaders of the United States, Japan, India and Australia will sign the agreement next Friday during an online summit.

The European Union is also critical of Chinese vaccines and their exploitation for geopolitical purposes by Beijing.

In a tough speech, European Council President Charles Michel yesterday said: “We should not let ourselves be misled by China and Russia, both regimes with less desirable values than ours, as they organise highly limited but widely publicised operations to supply vaccines to others.”

Michel points out that available data indicate that China and Russia have so far administered half as many doses as the European Union per 100 inhabitants. “Europe,” he said, “will not use vaccines for propaganda purposes. We promote our values.”

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