Taipei: Germany’s top diplomat in Taipei said his government is helping negotiate the supply of COVID-19 vaccines between Taiwan and drugmaker BioNTech, Taiwan said earlier this year due to Chinese “intervention”. A deal broke.
China denied that allegation. But a war of words escalated after the Chinese-claimed island of Taiwan rejected Beijing’s offer to supply it with shots made by Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group, which holds a contract to sell them in Greater China.
In a Facebook post in Chinese on Wednesday, Germany’s de facto ambassador to Taiwan, Thomas Prinz, said he had “looked at the recent controversy regarding vaccine acquisition”.
“Please believe that the German government, especially the Federal Economy Minister Altmaier, has put a lot of effort into the constant communication and coordination between Taiwan and BioNTech,” he said, adding that whether or not the contract is signed, Depends on both sides.
“If the parties to the contract can reach a consensus, the federal government is naturally happy to see that happen.”
Germany’s BioNTech asked Taiwan to remove the word “country” from its planned joint announcement on a COVID-19 vaccine sale to the island, its health minister said last week.
Prinz noted Germany’s donation to the COVAX Global Vaccine Sharing Plan for Low-Income Countries, through which Taiwan has already received astraZeneca shots.
“I expect enough vaccines from various brands, including BioNtech, to be imported into Taiwan as soon as possible.”
Taiwan’s Health Minister Chen Shih-chung, speaking at his daily news conference, expressed his thanks to Germany for “giving us great assistance” in efforts to purchase the BioNTech vaccine.
BioNTech declined to comment. Fosun did not respond to a request for comment.
Germany, like most countries, has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan and only recognizes the government in Beijing.
Altmaier wrote in January on its opposite number in Taiwan that it was calling on manufacturers in Taiwan to ease a global shortage of chips at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s largest contract chipmaker and one of Germany’s main suppliers. Help persuade.
Taiwan responded by saying it was seeking Germany’s help in obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine.
While the government of Taiwan says that it has didn’t give up completely Upon receiving the BioNTech shots, Foxconn and its billionaire founder Terry Gou on Tuesday sought permission from Taiwan’s government to buy vaccines from the firm.
Taiwan has vaccinated only 3 percent of its 23.5 million people, but it has millions of shots on order.
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