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  • Writer's pictureXiaodong Fang

China's vaccine diplomacy has a malicious intent

China seeks to gain unfair political advantage from its Covid-19 vaccines. According to the Chinese state news agency Xinhua, China's vaccine developers are producing "global public good" in relation to “Chinese friendship and global leadership.”


Apparently, China is politicizing the vaccines. The authoritarian regime's vaccine development involves an intent to support Beijing’s malicious commercial and political interests.


Photo by Daniel Schludi from Unsplash

China is targeting countries that couldn't afford expensive options


As of December 9, 2020, China has four vaccines in advanced stages of development. One of the candidates showed to be 86% effective in protecting people against Covid-19 in late-stage trials, which had been approved for use by several developing countries.


Laking affordability of alternatives, those countries may fall into Beijing’s trap to expand its soft power and influence in the strategic regions. Malaysia, the Philippines and countries in Africa have been promised priority access to China’s coronavirus vaccines. In the future, China can leverage the vaccines to coerce those countries to serve China's strategic interests in Southeast Asia and Africa.


Mandatory shots against WHO rule


The process and administration of vaccine development reflect the inhumanity of China's authoritarian regimes. Though WHO against mandatory coronavirus vaccines, China has administrated mandatory shots of the “incomplete” immunization on over 1 million people, which put people's health at risk for the gains of its malicious intent.


The authorities claimed that the mandatory vaccines were under emergency use guidelines and released no information about the negative effects.


Safety concerns based on China's opaque political system


Without granting final approval to any vaccine domestically, China has started sending those vaccines abroad and partnered with foreign countries to conduct their trials. In Brazil, one person died under the vaccine trial and President Jair Bolsonaro has declared the suspension of a Brazilian trial for a Chinese covid vaccine.


Note that death happened among the 10,000 volunteers in Brazil, it is entirely possible that the Chinese authorities covered up some serious incidents of the mandatory shots of over one million people in China.


What international society should do


China's mishandling of Covid-19 in the early stage has already caused the global pandemic. And now the authoritarian regime keeps endangering people's health by the mandatory shots of unsafe vaccines, pushing other countries to accept its unsafe vaccine, and gain unfair diplomatic interests.


Apart from the investigation of the origin, the outbreak, and the handling of Covid-19 in China, the international society should make some collaborative efforts to prevent the Chinese government from imposing unsafe vaccines on the Chinese people and exporting them to developing and underdeveloped countries.


Also, China's vaccine diplomacy is an malicious approach to expand the authoritarian regime's influence and soft power. Democracies in the world should take action to defeat authoritarianism.





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