Taiwan firms secured vaccine deals; Tsai Ing-wen can't wait to take credit
Published: Jul 14, 2021 10:35 PM
Tsai Ing-wen Photo:VCG

Tsai Ing-wen Photo:VCG

The Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) self-aggrandizing attitude over the just-concluded vaccine deals for the island of Taiwan has been widely mocked and received severe backlash on the island since Monday. 

In a Facebook post on Monday, separatist leader Tsai Ing-wen credited the "efforts of the Taiwanese governments" for the hard-won vaccine orders between Taiwan-based Foxconn, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) and Shanghai-based Fosun Pharma, without ever mentioning the contributions of the companies until very last words.

Jaw Shaw-kong, Taiwanese media veteran and politician, revealed on Facebook on Monday that Tsai, out of ideological considerations, requested the BioNTech vaccine package be redesigned with no Chinese name "Fu Bi Tai" appearing on it, which would reportedly result in a four-week delay in delivery.

"Based on the agreement between vaccine producer BioNTech and sales agent Fosun, for vaccine deliveries to the whole greater China area, the package is imprinted with the Chinese name, just like all doses sent to the US in packages with its English name Pfizer," a source close to the matter told the Global Times on Wednesday.

"Given the contractual requirements, Tsai's trick on package issue is unlikely to work," the source said.

Kuomingtang spokesperson Chen Wei-chieh criticized the DPP authority for "being slow in getting vaccines while reaping the political gain much faster."

Some netizens on Facebook urged Tsai to specify the so-called "support" of her government in the process, in a bid to expose her lies. "If not for your interference, people could have accessed vaccines much earlier," a post commented.

The DPP authorities have been fabricating lies recently in order to shirk responsibility for their missteps in preventing the epidemic. They have once again exposed their ugly political nature by slandering the mainland over vaccine issues, the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said in response on Wednesday.

The Taiwan Affairs said that even up to now, DPP authorities have refused requests from some regions in Taiwan to negotiate with Fosun for vaccine purchase. No matter how much the DPP authorities try to transfer blame and deny it, the facts cannot be changed.

Moreover, many pro-secessionist Taiwan media outlets cited Reuters as saying that Fosun had used the same contract template with two Taiwan tech firms for vaccines as it did with the Hong Kong government. In the contract template, the media reports claimed, Fosun "sought access to medical records" in both regions. 

This groundless accusation was refuted by the Hong Kong government on Tuesday. In an official statement, the government stressed that there was not any contract rule to grant rights for Fosun or any third party to collect the private information of vaccine recipients in Hong Kong, and it called the report "seriously misguided."

"Accessing the medical records has no value for Fosun as the company has no involvement in the vaccine's phase III clinical trials," said the source. 

It is not surprising that the Tsai authorities tried to take the credit and erase any element related to the mainland in the deal, as they are eager to save the prestige of the DPP on the island, which has been damaged by its own poor performance in the fight against the coronavirus, Yang Lixian, a research fellow at the Beijing-based Research Center of cross-Straits Relations, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

"The Tsai authority is just slapping their face until it's swollen in an effort to look imposing," Yang said.

However, their tricks would probably end up with nothing, even making Taiwan residents more disappointed, if Tsai authority continues such farces, according to Yang.