Beijing: – The United Arab Emirates (UAE), in the Gulf, approved the Chinese Coronavirus vaccine by saying that the vaccine is 86% effective. 1.2 million doses of the Chinese vaccine have already reached Indonesia. China has built a facility to manufacture the vaccine in Morocco, in the African continent, and has constructed an enormous warehouse in Ethiopia for storage and distribution of the vaccine. China has assured financial assistance of USD 1 billion to the Latin American and Caribbean countries for using the Chinese vaccine.
China announced its participation in the Covax program, announced by the World Health Organisation, for vaccination. Whereas, Chinese President Xi Jinping recently announced that China is willing to supply the vaccine to various countries because of public interest. It is clear from the developments in the last few months, as to what efforts China is making to increase its influence against the background of the Coronavirus pandemic. Analysts are claiming that this Chinese vaccine diplomacy is for building the Health Silk Road, similar to the Belt and Road Initiative and has ulterior motives behind this.
The Coronavirus pandemic, which started at the beginning of the year, spread to 200 countries of the world and has claimed more than 1.6 million lives. The information is hidden by China regarding the pandemic and the supply of inferior quality medical goods, thereafter, intensified the resentment about China on the global level. China is continuing with the implementation of its expansionist policies even during the Coronavirus crisis, and the new law in Hong Kong and atrocities against Uyghurs are considered a part of the same approach. China has increased military activities to gain monopolistic control over the South China Sea. At the same time, ill effects of the Belt and Road Initiative also are becoming apparent.
All these activities have destroyed the Chinese image, and the Chinese influence is ebbing in all the regions of the world, including Europe and Asia. As per analysts, China is using the Coronavirus vaccine as a tool to change this world opinion. Imogen Page-Jarrett, from the think tank The Economist Intelligence Unit, claimed, ‘China is not a country that will work selflessly. China will certainly benefit by distributing the vaccine to other countries. China wants to expand its trade and military interests. Ending the disputes with the countries blaming China for the Coronavirus crisis and establishing as a soft power can also be an objective.’
Professor Chong Ja Ian, from the Singapore Nations University, pointed out that China can make a demand with the south-east Asian countries to cooperate with China on the issue of code of conduct in the South China Sea. Chong Ja also pointed out that China can pressurise countries to use Chinese products in the technology sector. He also said that China has agreed to supply the vaccine to south-east Asian countries, Malaysia and the Philippines, along with Indonesia. China has named this initiative regarding the vaccines as Health Silk Road. Meanwhile, the western researchers and analysts are also stressing the issue of the question mark on the reliability of the Chinese vaccine. China has not declared complete information regarding its vaccine like other companies. At the same time, the Chinese agencies have approved the vaccine and already injected 1 million people with the vaccine. These developments could severely jolt the aggressive Chinese campaign regarding the Coronavirus vaccine.