|Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu attends a news conference in Taipei. (Photo from Yahoo News Malaysia)|
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] Taiwan's foreign minister revealed that the country worked with other democracies to help its diplomatically Paraguay get COVID-19 vaccines following China put pressure on the South American country to ditch Taipei in exchange for shots, and India also helped.
Chinese-claimed Taiwan formal ties with only 15 countries, and Beijing, which asserts that the island doesn’t have the right to diplomatic recognition, doubled efforts to coax them away. Taiwan said last month it’s helping Paraguay, its sole diplomatic ally in South America, buy COVID-19 vaccines after protests there over the government's handling of the health crisis. Speaking on Wednesday (Apr 7), Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said China, which has been distributing in various places the vaccines it has developed, was "flexing its muscles" with its vaccine diplomacy, in particular in South and Central America, where Taiwan has five allies.
In Paraguay, the Chinese government was "very active" in saying to the public that if Paraguay severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan they would get millions of doses of China's vaccines, which put pressure on Taiwan to help, Wu added. India has already shipped 100,000 doses to Paraguay and there will be another 100,000, Wu added. China denied trying to entice Paraguay with vaccines. Wu also noted the United States' commitment to help provide vaccines worldwide.