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China denies blocking Taiwan's coronavirus vaccine deal with BioNTech

February 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 20.7%. 1 min read.

MOLINETTE HOSPITAL, TURIN, ITALY - 2020/12/27: A Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose is seen during the Vaccine Day. The European Medicines Agency approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, paving the way for a European Vaccine Day on December 27 among all EU countries. (Photo by Nicol?? Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Chinese government has denied it obstructed Taiwan's coronavirus vaccine purchase from BioNTech, after the island's health minister revealed that its deal with the German drugmaker fell through at the last minute due to possible "political pressure."

Hong Kong (CNN)The Chinese government has denied it obstructed Taiwan's coronavirus vaccine purchase from BioNTech, after the island's health minister revealed that its deal with the German drugmaker fell through at the last minute due to possible "political pressure. "

Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, said Thursday it was "purely fabrication" that Beijing had intervened in BioNTech's vaccine sale to Taiwan, state news agency Xinhua reported.

A day earlier, Taiwanese health minister Chen Shih-chung said in a radio interview that Taiwan and BioNTech were about to sign a deal for 5 million vaccine doses in December, when the company suddenly backed out.

"BioNTech is committed to help bringing an end to the pandemic for people across the world and we intend to supply Taiwan with our vaccine as part of this global commitment," the statement said.

In December, when Taiwan and BioNTech were close to signing the deal, Chen announced in a news conference that the self-ruled island had secured nearly 20 million doses of coronavirus vaccines, including 4. 76 million through the COVAX initiative, 10 million from AstraZeneca, and another 5 million from a company "which is completing the final confirmation. "

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