Executive Yuan spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) yesterday denied allegations by Taiwan People’s Party Legislator Ann Kao (高虹安) that a comment he made at a news conference while private negotiations for vaccine purchases with Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group were ongoing had nearly ruined the deal.
Speaking at a political show on Tuesday, Kao alleged that Lo’s statement that the phrase “the Taiwan area” used in Fuson’s stock exchange filing was “unacceptable” nearly jeopardized the deal involving Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) and the Hon Hai Precision Industry Co-affiliated Yonglin Foundation.
Kao said that TSMC and Hon Hai representatives were “very upset” after they had spent 90 percent of their negotiation time smoothing over “political issues.”
Speaking at a news conference in Taipei, Lo said that the government and the two entities are in agreement that the vaccines should be manufactured, labeled and packaged by BioNTech, and should be directly shipped to Taiwan from BioNTech’s plant in Germany.
“We must uphold national interests while obtaining the vaccines,” Lo said.
From the government’s perspective, national interests include Taiwan’s dignity and international standing, and therefore all contract documents must use Taiwan’s official name, he said.
The government appreciates the two entities’ pledge to donate the vaccines, and will continue to work with them on the project, Lo said.
It is important that the vaccines arrive and the government hopes that the public continues to support the Centers for Disease Control, TSMC and Hon Hai’s efforts in obtaining them, he said.
In other news, Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲) signed a petition organized by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Tainan City Councilor Hsieh Lung-chieh (謝龍介) asking the central government for NT$5,000 in subsidies per person in the municipality.
KMT Legislator Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) also urged the government to issue personal vouchers of NT$5,000 for all citizens to stimulate the economy.
Lo said that the previous Triple Stimulus Voucher program was issued to encourage spending, which is inadvisable during the current outbreak.
He added that the issue would be discussed after the outbreak has been brought under control.
After the Executive Yuan suspended summer electricity hikes last month, it is assessing whether the measure should be continued this month, Lo said in response to requests by DPP legislators to extend the measure.
Additional reporting by Lee Hsin-fang
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