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Taiwan appreciates Japan considering COVID-19 vaccine donations

by Reuters
Thursday, 3 June 2021 07:45 GMT

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By Ju-min Park and Mari Saito

TOKYO, June 3 (Reuters) - Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told reporters on Thursday he appreciated Japan's consideration of donating COVID-19 vaccines and reiterated that Taiwan's exclusion from the World Health Organisation was unfair to the Taiwanese people.

Wu cited Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi as saying that the Japanese government is considering providing vaccines to Taiwan, but he declined further comment when asked about its negotiations with Japan.

Taiwan has received only the Moderna Inc and AstraZeneca Plc vaccines. It has blamed China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, for blocking a deal for doses of German drugmaker BioNTech SE's vaccine.

Beijing denies the charges.

Germany's top diplomat in Taiwan said Wednesday that his government has been helping in talks between Taiwan and BioNTech SE to supply the vaccines.

Wu said that with the help of the German government negotiations with BioNTech were still underway.

However, he warned of China's clout over coronavirus vaccine supplies, saying vaccine diplomacy "gives the Chinese government an opportunity to exert its influence in the Western hemisphere." (Reporting by Ju-min Park and Mari Saito; Editing by Tom Hogue and Christian Schmollinger)

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