Chinese embassy official claims
BD govt trying to normalize the situation
Special Correspondent: A top official of the Chinese embassy in Dhaka said that no agreement has yet been reached between Bangladesh authority and the Sinopharm regarding purchasing of Covid vaccines. Hualong Yan, deputy chief of mission at the Chinese embassy, made the remarks in a post on his Facebook account yesterday morning.
A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on May 27 approved a proposal to buy 1.5 crore doses of Corona vaccines from Sinopharm company of China. A cabinet official told reporters after the meeting that the government is going to buy the vaccine at $ 10 per dose. Later, a heated discussion started regarding announcing the price. The China authority said that the price has been revealed in violation of the terms and conditions of the vaccination agreement.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen also told a news conference on Friday (June 4), “We expressed our regrets to the Chinese ambassador. However, here, our position has become a bit worse. In the future, Bangladesh government will not be able to buy vaccines at that price.” Hualong Yan said in his post, “If what is being published in the media is true;
I wonder why false information is being given by Bangladesh. First of all, no agreement has been reached with Bangladesh and Sinopharm so far. Secondly, it is a commercial purchase agreement between Bangladesh and Sinopharm, not something with the Chinese government. We sincerely hope that our Bangladeshi brothers and sisters will get the necessary vaccinations on the earlier (scheduled) date.”
However, yesterday (Saturday), Hualong Yan said that China is giving another six lakh vaccines to Bangladesh in the second phase. The vaccines will arrive in Dhaka on June 13.
Earlier on May 12, China gifted five lakh doses of Sinopharm to Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, the government is putting in its best efforts through diplomatic channels to “make things normal”. “The scenario looks different to some extent after the incident. We are doing our best to make things normal,” a senior government official told.
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen had a meeting with the Chinese ambassador to Bangladesh, Li Jiming, and discussed the issue, among other things, explaining the whole scenario.
“Our ambassador in Beijing is trying desperately with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He remains engaged,” another official told, mentioning that the price disclosure has given a lot of “inconvenience” to the Chinese company.
Revealing the contract price of the vaccine doses is against the “confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement” and the price for Bangladesh by Sinopharm is among the lowest in all countries, a diplomatic source said adding that the price also depends on who is procuring when.
Bangladesh has also written to relevant parties in China mentioning that it was an “unintentional” mistake to reveal the price of vaccine per dose.
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