The move has come after China's image took a severe hit globally in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic breakout in Wuhan.
Beijing [China], March 5: The impression that China has tried to give since the COVID-19 vaccines became available that the country is extending a helping hand by providing vaccines to several countries is a facade to sell vaccines to affected countries, a report said on Thursday.
China exported nearly 1.3 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021, primarily to low and middle-income countries. However, it turns out that the large majority of these exports were not donations, but instead, commercial sales, Global Strat View reported.
Out of the impressive number of 1.3 billion COVID-19 doses exported, a staggering 1.69 billion vaccines until February 14, 2022, have been in the form of sales, while only a meagre 184 million have been donations.
China's strategic moves with its vaccine diplomacy can be brought into question for its efficacy, and given that donations to provide vaccine doses result in a much more significant enhancement of the reputation of a country than commercial sales, however, China has still stuck to the later.
This has come after China's image took a severe hit globally in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic breakout in Wuhan, with China taking to repairing its global image by engaging in what has come to be known as "COVID vaccine diplomacy," the report said.
The region of the Asia-Pacific has received the greatest number of vaccines from China, with 853.2 million vaccines being delivered across 39 countries in the region. However, out of this, only 73 million have been donations.
The recipient countries with the highest donations from China by February 2022 include Cambodia (11 million), Myanmar (11 million), Laos (8.5 million), and Nepal (8 million), all of which are Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) signatories and have had China's presence and involvement in their country and their respective economies.
The list of China's vaccine donation recipients is quite telling, as China has been one of the largest sources of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in all the aforementioned countries. Chinese businesses, ventures, investment, and aid have been rapidly making their way into these countries in the past decade, while the debt owed to China by them kept increasing, the report highlighted.
This has led to some countries being suspicious of China's intentions in its 'vaccine diplomacy'. Nepal, for instance, feels that China is using its goodwill to draw attention away from its attempts to burrow deeper into the country's political, economic, and internal workings and claim territory in Nepal as China's own. All of this is happening at a time when Nepal is already facing domestic protests against the increasing involvement of China.
With the trend emerging from China's COVID vaccine diplomacy, the question remains how long the country can uphold its facade of benevolence while making the poorest countries pay. China has taken advantage of this opportunity to its full potential by using this strategy as a stepping stone to gain more leverage and influence over other nations, the report concluded. (ANI)