Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) members are “following the same playbook” and “singing the same tune” as the Chinese government as the party pushes for Taiwan to procure Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccines, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.
“In the past few days, KMT politicians and auxiliary groups have used terms and descriptions found in leaked instructions to refer to vaccines from China as German-made Pfizer products and downplay the fact that they were produced in China,” DPP spokeswoman Hsieh Pei-fen (謝佩芬) said in a news release.
It is clear that the KMT is instructing its cyberarmy and supporters to conceal the real issues, and instructing them how to counter the advice and information of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), Hsieh said.
Photo: Lin Liang-sheng, Taipei Times
“At this crucial time, KMT politicians are focused on misleading people, creating instability and dissent in society, and turning people against the CECC,” she said, calling on KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) to make a public apology on the matter.
Minister Without Portfolio Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成), the Executive Yuan’s spokesman, said that KMT politicians deserve criticism for demanding that COVID-19 vaccines be procured from China.
“China has not been transparent about its domestic situation amid the COVID-19 pandemic or about its vaccines,” Lo told a news conference. “If Taiwan were to obtain vaccines from China, there would be safety and efficacy concerns, and even risk factors.”
“KMT politicians are clamoring for Chinese-made vaccines, but such a move would benefit Beijing’s ‘united front’ propaganda, which is focused on fomenting political dissent and division in Taiwan,” he said.
“Instead of trying to source vaccines from China, it would be better for China to stop its obstruction of Taiwan’s efforts to secure COVID-19 vaccines from the international community,” Lo said.
Vaccines that enter Taiwan must go through strict inspection and evaluation processes to ensure safety and efficacy, he said.
Even emergency use authorization requires compliance with the commercial legal framework, while handling and inspections would require a lot of human resources and funds, meaning that the CECC and other central government authorities would be involved, he said.
Separately yesterday, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) praised the teams distributing a new batch of AstraZeneca vaccines across the nation, with frontline healthcare workers, police officers and firefighters prioritized to receive jabs.
Tsai thanked officials who helped check the quality of the vaccines.
“We will conduct strict checks to ensure their quality,” she said.
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