China on Monday expressed grave concern over and firm opposition to Australia blocking China’s COVID-19 vaccine aid to Papua New Guinea (PNG), calling it a breach of the basic humanitarian spirit.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin made the remarks at a press briefing in response to a relevant query.
According to media reports, Australia has planted several “consultants” in the national epidemic prevention center in PNG and proactively tried to set up hurdles to delay and thwart the authorization of and access to China-assisted vaccines, even blocking PNG leaders who want to welcome the Chinese vaccines.
Wang said it was a disregard for the lives and health of the people of PNG that some people in Australia used the vaccine issue to engage in political manipulation and bullying coercion, which has gravely undermined global anti-epidemic cooperation.
China insists on treating vaccines as a global public good and helping developing countries save as many lives as possible, Wang said, adding that no geopolitical agenda is behind the assistance and no political conditions are attached.
“We urge Australia to stop disrupting China’s vaccine cooperation with Pacific island nations, and work with China to ensure the health and well-being of people in island countries and promote international cooperation in the fight against the epidemic,” he said.