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Vaccine diplomacy will earn China friends and money

Monday, May 17, 2021

Significance

Beijing has promised to donate millions of doses to other countries and committed to selling hundreds of millions.

Impacts

  • China’s attempts to develop its pharmaceutical sector will benefit from overseas publicity, experience and new business relationships.
  • Vaccine deals and donations will not necessarily involve direct political quid pro quos; Beijing stands to gain in other ways too.
  • China’s ability to offer vaccines confers a huge advantage in its campaign to make Taiwan’s few remaining diplomatic partners abandon it.
  • India’s halting of vaccine exports will increase demand for supplies from China.
  • In the medium and long term, the West could still outclass China in the quality, scale and generosity of its donations.

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