Taiwan said on April 7 that countries are helping by supplying COVID-19 a vaccine for its diplomatic allies that helped prevent the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from attacking the island nation; Taiwan says Beijing is trying to use the pandemic to force the island nation’s allies to break away in exchange for a vaccine.
Paraguay, Taiwan’s only diplomatic ally in South America, said on March 22 that a Chinese vaccine-producing broker told the country they needed to break away from Taiwan if it were to get a COVID-19 vaccine from China.
Joseph Wu, Taiwan’s foreign minister, the word on Wednesday that India has delivered 100,000 doses of COVAXIN vaccine to Paraguay, and will send another 100,000 doses in the future. Paraguay has a population of 7.2 million people.
“The most important trend is that the Indian government is willing to help, and the United States deciding to help,” said Wu. “I think it will take a lot of pressure off a lot of countries.”
Vaccine diplomacy is not the only method Beijing authorities try to use to isolate Taiwan.
Surangel Whipps, president of Palau’s in the western Pacific, told AFP by video call this week that Beijing asked him to stop recognizing Taiwan, by frequently calling his cell phone when he ran in the 2020 elections. [The phone] going to ring like 16 times, “said Whipps.
Taiwan is a de facto independent country, whereas the CCP claims ownership of the island and applies pressure from all directions.
Since December 2016, Beijing has rejected seven countries from allying with Taiwan: São Tomé and Príncipe, Panama, Dominican Republic, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Solomon Islands and Kiribati.
Against the CCP Vaccine Diplomacy
The Chinese regime has used the COVID-19 vaccine as a means of diplomatic coercion.
On March 19, China’s Agency for International Development Cooperation – a sub-ministerial-level organ under the State Council – announced that China was providing vaccines to 80 countries and three international organizations.
“If you look at the countries that receive the Chinese vaccine, whether it is Brazil or Chile or El Salvador, I think it has a big impact on our diplomatic allies,” Wu said.
However, the vaccine for the Chinese is not enough. Bloomberg reported on April 8 that the CCP wants to vaccinate 560 million people by the end of June, about 40 percent of the population, however, they face a shortage of supply.
Faced with challenges from Beijing, the United States, India, Japan and Australia decided in their first Quad meeting in March that they would cooperate and deliver up to one billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine across Asia by the end of 2022.
Experts say that larger agenda of informal strategic forums– To forge a democratic union against authoritarian rule – is making itself visible in a partnership for vaccines, and that India has emerged as an alternative to China’s vaccine supply chain.
“They pledge to expand and accelerate the production of a safe, accessible and effective vaccine in India and partner at every stage to ensure that vaccines are delivered across the Indo-Pacific region by 2022,” Joe Chalil, a health care executive and author of the book “Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic: Envisioning a Better World by Changing the Future of Health Care,” told The Epoch Times.
The partnership includes Australia supporting delivery of vaccines to hard-to-reach communities in Southeast Asia, contributing $ 77 million. Australia has committed $ 407 million to supply vaccines and to ensure the safety of ensuring full vaccine coverage to nine Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste.
“Japan will assist developing country vaccination programs such as vaccine purchases and cold chain support, including through the provision of $ 41 million in grant aid and new soft yen loans, ensuring alignment with and support for COVAX,” the White House said. .
Taiwan has 15 allies currently. They is Marshall Islands, Republic of Nauru, Palau, and Tuvalu in Asia and the Pacific; The Holy See in Europe; Eswatini in Africa; Belize, Republic of Guatemala, Haiti, Republic of Honduras, Nicaragua, Republic of Paraguay, St. Petersburg Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St. Lucia Vincent & Grenadines in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Venus Upadhayaya contributed to this report.