Chinese Diplomacy and Geopolitics through Covid-19 Vaccine Exports

Since China managed to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic in a short time, managing to return to economic and social normality without having to make mass use of domestically produced Covid-19 vaccines, it has the potential to organize vaccine diplomacy.

Vaccination rates in China are lower than those in the EU, but China fully controls the pandemic as opposed to the EU.

by Thanos S. Chonthrogiannis

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Vaccine Diplomacy: China and SinoPharm in Africa | Council on Foreign  Relations
Vaccine Diplomacy: China and Sino Pharm in Africa
Photo by the website www.cfr.org

Chinese vaccine diplomacy now comes as a continuation of mask diplomacy and, more generally, the medical/nursing protection material against the pandemic that China successfully developed in the spring of 2020.

Buyer countries of Chinese vaccines come from all over the world and particularly from Latin America, the Middle East, the Balkans, and the EU. Pakistan and Mexico are participating in clinical trials for the CanSino vaccine.

China uses the disposal of its vaccines with such a strategy that strengthens its economic and diplomatic influence in the buyer countries by facilitating future alliances and defending its interests.

India, having seen Chinese Diplomacy, and how it is acting, has made its own vaccine diplomacy a major competitor of Chinese vaccine diplomacy and to achieve this it has chosen to supply free vaccines to neighboring countries with the Astra-Zeneca vaccine also manufactured in India with a view to the complete cancellation of Chinese Vaccine Diplomacy in the wider region.

In addition, both the EU and the US have not entered the process of having their mandated bodies evaluate Chinese vaccines.

On the other hand, Russia for the Sputnik V vaccine has received orders in a total of 1.2bn doses. But the same with China has been achieved by Russia. Vaccination rates in Russia are lower than those in the EU, while Russia uses its vaccines to export to increase its diplomatic and geopolitical influence just like China.  

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