TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) on Friday (June 18) reiterated that the Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group (Fosun) has exclusive commercial rights for the BioNTech vaccine in "Greater China."
Taiwan’s Cabinet authorized the Yong Ling Foundation and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company to purchase vaccines directly from BioNTech on behalf of the government on Friday, prompting China to voice its discontent.
TAO Spokesperson Ma Xiaoguang said that Fosun participated in the research and development of the BioNTech vaccine and has the right to sell it in China, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan, Liberty Times reported. He added the Chinese pharmaceutical company has always been willing to provide vaccine doses to “Taiwanese compatriots,” and has been actively pushing to ship jabs to Taiwan.
Ma also said the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) claim that China is preventing Taiwan from acquiring COVID vaccines "deliberately avoids the facts." The DPP is ignoring Taiwan’s urgent need for vaccination and not only refuses to introduce Chinese vaccines, but it is also creating obstacles for itself, the spokesperson added.
Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said that vaccine procurement is a commercial activity and does not require signing any cross-strait agreements. Private enterprises can purchase vaccines as long as they are compliant with relevant regulations, the council said, adding the government is thankful for everyone who is helping the nation obtain inoculations.