Taiwan denies Tsai remarks intended to slur Thailand

Taiwan denies Tsai remarks intended to slur Thailand

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 Tsai to Taiwanese media last Friday which had then circulated online in Thailand.

President Tsai 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 Tsai 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 Tsai 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 being asked questions about the matter at a recent Government House press briefing.

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