The Chinese embassy in Papua New Guinea has backed accusations in the Global Times – the mouthpiece of the Chinese Community party – that Australia is attempting to manipulate the Chinese-assisted rollout of vaccines in the country.
Mr Sun Jia, the spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in PNG, said vaccines were used to prevent diseases and save lives.
“We hope that China’s normal vaccine cooperation with Pacific island countries will be free from any disturbance or sabotage, and the vaccines donated by China will benefit the PNG people as soon as possible,” Mr Sun said.
The Global Times, known for speaking with the authority of the Chinese Government, has accused Australia of planting consultants in PNG who are manipulating local epidemic prevention policies, obstructing the authorisation of Chinese vaccine for emergency use, and threatening senior officials working with the China-PNG cooperation effort towards fighting the pandemic.
The report stated that, according to sources, Australia has been found “sabotaging and disturbing Pacific Island nations’ cooperation with China on vaccines and anti-virus measures.”
“China makes vaccines a global public good and helps Pacific island countries including Papua New Guinea fight the pandemic by donating vaccines,” Mr Sun said.
“China’s vaccine donations have no geopolitical agenda, and no political strings are attached.
“The current global pandemic situation allows no optimism, and the rapid spread of the Delta variant has posted new challenges.”
He called on all nations to strengthen cooperation in the fight against the pandemic.
Attempts by the Pacific Advocate to obtain comments from the Australian High Commission in PNG have not been successful.