A Chinese mainland spokesperson on Wednesday said that the mainland will continue to assist with the pandemic response efforts in Taiwan and earnestly safeguard the health and well-being of people across the Taiwan Strait.
Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, made the remarks in response to a media inquiry regarding the mainland's efforts to aid Taiwan compatriots in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
After the first outbreak of COVID-19 on the island, the mainland promptly activated a health-emergency reporting mechanism across the Strait, and has since shared a substantial amount of pandemic-related information with Taiwan's disease control agency, Ma said.
Based on preliminary statistics, 177,000 Taiwan compatriots on the mainland have received COVID-19 vaccines, with a total of 350,000 jabs administered as of Dec. 15, Ma said.
Since the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Taiwan in May, the mainland has expressed willingness multiple times to help Taiwan compatriots tackle the pandemic and advanced the initiative to offer vaccines to people on the island. However, Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party authority have viciously stigmatized the mainland-made vaccines and arbitrarily blocked the effort, Ma said.
In the darkest hour of the pandemic on the island, the first shipment of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines developed by Fosun Pharma and BioNTech was dispatched to Taiwan in September. So far, around 12.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines provided by Shanghai-based Fosun Pharma have been delivered to Taiwan in 14 shipments, and the 15th shipment of 930,000 doses of the vaccine is expected to arrive in Taiwan by the end of December, Ma said.