Vaccines have become the latest borderline in the campaign to win the hearts of Taiwanese people

By Yimou Li

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Beijing is organizing a state program in which the Taiwanese government has been prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine, raising concerns within the Taiwanese government that it would seek to win over the island’s population As the latest Chinese device.

China, which claims to be Taiwan’s own territory, is offering a free-of-charge at a time when the democratic island has yet to be supported by China’s government departments and state media in Taiwan with China’s own support Has to start vaccination. program.

Surname Wang, a Taiwanese teacher, was called in a post this month by China’s United Front Work Department, which is in charge of the co-election of foreign Chinese and non-communists.

Beijing has offered incentives such as tax breaks and subsidies to an estimated 400,000-strong Taiwanese business community in China for decades, but the move makes a big push in Curry’s favor.

Communist Party’s No. 4 leader Wang Yang this week instructed government officials to offer Taiwan’s broad advantage to give “a sense of profit” among Taiwanese in aid of a “reunification with the motherland”.

It is unclear how many Taiwanese have been vaccinated in China, but in Taiwan, officials are unaware of the program and say that vaccines have become the latest borderline in China’s attraction offensive.

A Taiwanese security official told Reuters, “The strategy is to strengthen the loyalty of Taiwanese businessmen to the mainland and increase pressure on the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.”

The officer was not authorized to speak to the media and refused to be identified.

Taiwan’s mainland affairs council said in a statement to Reuters that vaccination is a matter for the medical profession and “it should not be used as political propaganda.”

Taiwanese should do a “careful assessment of the safety and need” of getting the vaccine in China, it said, adding it would continue to monitor the situation.

Taiwanese government officials have repeatedly reminded health-related “risks” to people related to Chinese vaccines, saying those who receive vaccines in China undergo 14 days of quarantine while returning to the island. The importation of vaccines has been banned.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office cited Reuters’ recent comments that the Taiwanese government was spreading “baseless concerns” about Chinese vaccines for “political purposes”, and that China’s vaccines were “very Were safe “.

Although Taiwan has kept the epidemic well under control thanks to early and effective prevention methods, the government has increased pressure amid a rare outbreak of domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases.

Taiwan has ordered approximately 20 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, including 10 million, from AstraZeneca plc, but none will begin until March.

(Reporting by Yimou Li; Additional reporting by Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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