China has expressed its displeasure with Nepal over the continuous leak to media of negotiations regarding the proposed vaccine deal between the two countries, reports say
China has expressed its displeasure with Nepal over the continuous leak to media of negotiations regarding the proposed vaccine deal between the two countries, reports say. Sinopharm, the Chinese vaccine maker, has insisted on signing a non-disclosure clause along with the deal.
Significantly, Nepal is the second country to which Beijing has expressed displeasure about the leaks of the vaccine deal. Earlier, it had forced Bangladesh to renegotiate the vaccine deal at a higher price after the vaccine price previously agreed upon was leaked in the media.
This week, several Nepali leaders and officials gave statements to the media on the vaccine procurement deal with China. The Nepali government has been on the backfoot for its failure to procure vaccines in time.
The leak to media has not gone down well with the Chinese embassy officials in Kathmandu, who have communicated their reservation to several agencies in Nepal, according to a report in The Kathmandu Post.
On Friday, Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population issued a statement expressing concern over media reports about the sensitive negotiations.
"There was quite a lot of interest in the media before an agreement could be reached, which worried us. We were worried if we would get the vaccine or not. The way the media quoted the price of the vaccine and other logistical issues were concerning because these are very sensitive issues.” Krishna Prasad Paudel, the ministry’s spokesperson, was quoted as saying by The Kathmandu Post
“Media reports on quantity, price, delivery, and other relevant information about the vaccine procurement are premature, speculative, and misleading. The ministry refutes such unfounded and baseless media reports,” the statement released by the ministry reads.