Taiwan Denies Accusing Thailand Of Blocking Exports Of AstraZeneca Vaccines

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand yesterday denied reports that Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen had accused Thailand of “blocking” the export of AstraZeneca vaccines.

The statement released by the office was referring to an interview given by Ms Ing-wen to Taiwanese media last Friday which had then circulated online in Thailand.

President Ing-wen had been addressing the knock-on impact that fluctuating global vaccine supply chains would have on the people of Taiwan and urging them to be patient for the arrival of their own stocks in the coming months, it said.

During the interview, President Ing-wen had made reference to the fact that most governments are prioritising access to vaccines for their own nationals, while pharmaceutical companies try to strike a balance between profit and equitable distribution, the statement said.

To conclude, and in very clear terms, the statement by the Taiwan, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand “stressed again” that President Ing-wen has never referred to Thailand “blocking” the export of AstraZeneca vaccines.

The office was referring to news coverage by Thai media which it felt misrepresented the remarks and had led deputy government spokesperson Traisuree Taisaranakul to be asked questions about the matter at a recent Government House press briefing.