Beijing has reiterated its call to Taiwan to remove “artificial obstacles” and allow “safe and effective” vaccines from the mainland onto the island, and invited the Taiwanese to come and get inoculated.
China has repeatedly offered to send coronavirus vaccines to the island, which is claimed by Beijing as an integral part of the country. Chinese-made jabs have not been approved in Taiwan, however, and it has opted to use Western-manufacured vaccines instead.
The call was repeated on Friday by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, which urged the Taiwanese authorities to authorize the use of Chinese-produced shots as soon as possible.
“[We] urge the authorities to earnestly listen to the voices of the people on the island and remove the man-made obstacles for mainland vaccines to enter Taiwan as soon as possible, so that Taiwan compatriots can get safe and effective mainland vaccines,” a spokesman, Ma Xiaoguang, said in a statement shared by Chinese state-run media.
The official also urged the Taiwanese to come to the mainland to be vaccinated. To qualify to be inoculated, Taiwan’s residents need to meet vaccination requirements and follow Covid-19 outbreak control measures. As of May 31, some 62,000 had been vaccinated on the mainland, the spokesman added.
The Chinese call comes as the island reports 287 new daily infections – one imported case and the rest locally transmitted – as well as 24 new deaths. Taiwan had fared extremely well in the pandemic, detecting only some 1,000 cases in over a year, but the situation has changed in recent weeks, with the island nation now facing a rapid spread of the disease. Its tally has now passed the 12,000 cases mark, with more than 360 people succumbing to the disease since mid-April.
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