Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Paraguay's purchase of Sinopharm cancelled under Chinese pressure

Beijing using vaccine diplomacy to pressure Paraguay to cut ties with Taiwan

  5261
Boy gets a shot of a COVID-19 vaccine from a nurse in Asuncion, Paraguay, on July 23, 2021.

Boy gets a shot of a COVID-19 vaccine from a nurse in Asuncion, Paraguay, on July 23, 2021. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Paraguay’s Ministry of Health announced on Saturday (July 31) that drug manufacturers in the United Arab Emirates cancelled a deal to supply the country with China’s Sinopharm vaccine.

Paraguay is Taiwan’s only South American ally, and it’s likely the purchase was cancelled due to diplomatic pressure from Beijing, according to a report from UDN. Paraguay negotiated the purchase of 1 million doses of the vaccine in April this year, with 250,000 doses arriving by the end of May, per Yomiuri Shimbun.

However, the manufacturers suddenly pulled out of the deal and refunded the US$5.6 million Paraguay had paid for the vaccines.

Paraguay’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in March that breaking ties with Taiwan was becoming a precondition for the purchase of Sinopharm vaccines, wrote UDN.