China's has repeated its offer of Covid-19 vaccines to Taiwan on Friday (June 11), offering to vaccinate people from Taiwan.
China says Taiwanese people can get vaccinated on the mainland if they fly over
The spokesperson for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, Ma Xiaoguang, said that "Taiwan compatriots" can get vaccinated if they fly to mainland China voluntarily, as long as they meet vaccination requirements and abide by epidemic control rules for inbound travel, reported Chinese state-run media Xinhua.
He urged Taiwanese authorities to "earnestly listen to the voices of the people on the island" to remove "man-made obstacles" for vaccines from mainland China to be delivered to Taiwan as soon as possible, reported the South China Morning Post (SCMP).
As of May 31, around 62,000 Taiwanese people have been vaccinated in mainland China, Ma said.
Around 158,000 Taiwanese are living in mainland China, according to the latest census published by China in May 2021.
More than 200,000 foreign nationals have been vaccinated in China, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Thursday (June 10).
Taiwan previously rejected China's offer of vaccines
Taiwan has rejected China's offer of vaccines, saying that it does not believe that China is sincere in offering its vaccines, and is launching a "political warfare" to "split and weaken Taiwan".Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen also accused China of interfering with the Taiwan administration's procurement of Covid-19 vaccines, according to The Guardian.
"We had almost completed the contract signing with the German manufacturer (BioNTech) at one point, but it has been delayed till now because China has interfered,” Tsai said during a party meeting on May 26 (Wed).
Taiwan continues to struggle with the outbreak across the island, as the Central Epidemic Command Centre (CECC) reported 287 new Covid-19 cases and 24 Covid-related deaths on June 11 (Fri), Focus Taiwan reported.
Taiwan accepts vaccines from western allies
The Taiwan administration has secured deals to purchase 10 million doses of vaccine from AstraZeneca, five million doses from Moderna, and 4.7 million doses via the World Health Organisation (WHO)-backed Covax Facility, according to SCMP.
Taiwan also accepted offers of Covid-19 vaccine shots from its allies, including Japan and the United States.
Japan recently donated 1.24 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to the self-ruled island on June 3, and Taiwan is expecting the arrival of 750,000 doses of vaccine from the U.S. as well.
China angered by U.S. visit to Taiwan last weekend
During a visit to Taiwan by three U.S. Senators last weekend, Tsai thanked the U.S. for its help "at such a critical time", and spoke highly of the "rock-solid friendship" between Taiwan and the U.S.
In an unusual move, the Senators travelled to the island on a U.S. military aircraft, instead of an unmarked private jet, which is generally used by senior U.S. visitors, according to Reuters.
An angered Chinese Defence Ministry denounced the visit, and called the use of the military aircraft a "vile political provocation".
The ministry added that the trip damaged the basis of China-U.S. ties and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, and was "extremely irresponsible and very dangerous".
The U.S. must "immediately" stop any kind of official exchanges or military relations with Taiwan, the ministry said.
It added: "If anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese People's Liberation Army will resolutely fight head-on at all costs and resolutely defend the country's unity and territorial integrity."
Top image collage via Getty images