China has reacted harshly to Japan's proposal to offer coronavirus vaccines to Taiwan, saying vaccine assistance should not be a political tool.
Japan's Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu said last Friday that the government is considering providing its extra supply of coronavirus vaccines to other countries and regions, including Taiwan.
China's foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a news conference on Monday that Japan cannot even guarantee its own people enough vaccines at the moment. He said the media and many people, including those in Taiwan, had doubts about the offer.
Wang said vaccine assistance should return to its original purpose of saving lives, and not be reduced to a tool for political self-interest.
In response to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen's accusation that China had blocked Taiwan's deal with a foreign vaccine maker, Wang said Beijing has made utmost efforts to help Taiwan. He went on to say that Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party was discouraging the distribution of vaccines made in China.