A Chinese mainland company has signed agreements with Taiwan enterprises and a foundation on COVID-19 vaccine sales to the island province, according to an announcement the company released Sunday.
A subsidiary of Shanghai-based Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co. Ltd. will sell 10 million doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd. and Yonglin Charity Foundation, according to the announcement.
In March 2020, Fosun inked an agreement with German company BioNTech for the research and development of mRNA vaccines and the exclusive commercial rights and interests on the Chinese mainland and in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.
Since Taiwan’s new round of epidemic outbreak in May, Fosun has made it clear that it is willing to provide the vaccines to Taiwan compatriots, but the Democratic Progressive Party authority did not approve negotiations for purchase until late June.
Zhu Fenglian, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, has said cities, counties, nongovernmental institutions and enterprises on the island which are willing to buy the vaccines can negotiate purchase in accordance with business rules.
The office said in May that the mainland is willing to arrange the prompt purchase of vaccines and send epidemic prevention and control experts to Taiwan.
However, the island’s Democratic Progressive Party administration rejected the mainland’s offer of help and claimed that it was made in order to mislead the public into blaming the island’s authorities for the recent outbreak.
Taiwan has reported more than 15,000 newly confirmed cases since May 11, including 718 deaths.
The outbreak has raised concerns about the availability of vaccines in Taiwan, as the island has been struggling with a shortage, with just 1 percent of its 23 million people being vaccinated so far.
Many city and county officials in Taiwan and nongovernmental organizations have called for the island’s authorities to purchase vaccines from the mainland to cope with the outbreak.
About half of Taiwan’s residents said they are willing to receive globally certified COVID-19 vaccines regardless of their origin, according to a survey by the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation.
“Taiwan residents have confidence in the mainland’s vaccines. It now depends on whether the island’s authorities will accept them. It is imperative to remove the man-made political barriers,” Zhu said at a press conference in May.
The island’s authorities have been using different excuses to prevent Taiwan residents from getting vaccines from the mainland, which is the biggest political obstacle for the export of vaccines from the mainland to Taiwan, and also for Taiwan residents to get rid of the epidemic, she said.