Daily US Times: Taiwan has accused China of offering Chinese-made Covid-19 vaccines to pressure Paraguay to sever ties with the island.
Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu claimed Beijing had promised millions of doses for Paraguay which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
China considers Taiwan to be a part of mainland China and says it should unite with the Chinese mainland.
China has denied using Covid-19 vaccines to try and persuade Paraguay to change allegiance.
Paraguay is only one of a handful of countries that recognise Taiwan, the self-governing territory, as a sovereign nation.
Mr Wu accused China of “vaccine diplomacy” on Wednesday.
He said: “The Chinese government was very active in saying if the Paraguay government is willing to sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan, they will be able to get quite a few million vaccine doses from China.”
Mr Wu said President Mario Abdo Benítez of Paraguayan had been put under pressure and Taiwan had asked other countries to help procure vaccines for Paraguay. Indian government says it has sent 100,000 doses.
The country has also received 36,000 Covid-19 doses from AstraZeneca, 20,000 of the Chinese Sinovac and 4,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.
Paraguay said last week that unofficial brokers who claimed to have access to China’s vaccines had offered a deal.
However, the country’s foreign ministry said their links with China and its government had not been proven. The country has reported 224,736 cases of Covid-19 infections and 4,522 Covid-related deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.