Workers unload boxes of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine donated by China at Damascus International Airport in the Syrian capital on April 24, 2021.
Loua Beshara | AFP | Getty Images
US-China competition could worsen on another front: Covid-19 vaccine diplomacy.
China has been a major supplier of Covid vaccines to much of the developing world, an effort that some experts said were strengthen Beijing’s global influence and deepen his ties to other nations.
But a health policy and policy expert told CNBC on Thursday that the US is now using the White House Work out plans Donate millions of Covid vaccine doses Overseas and it seems president Joe Biden want to do more.
“We will see China face a more formidable competitor,” Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow on global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, told CNBC.Squawk Box Asia. “
In recent months, China has been “almost the only major player” sending Covid vaccines to other countries, said Huang, who is also a professor at Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations.
This is especially true as India’s vaccine exports follow Priorities for domestic needs and Russia’s overseas supply remains very limited, he said.
Several reports have indicated that the US is stepping up its efforts to exchange Covid vaccines around the world.
Biden will reportedly announce in a speech at the G-7 summit on Thursday that the USA is buying 500 million more cans of Pfizer–BioNTech Share vaccine with COVAX, a global vaccine exchange initiative.
Relations between the US and China got off to a bumpy start under the Biden administration. The two sides have clashed on several issues, including the origins of the coronavirus, which was first discovered in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Biden said he was last month ordered a more detailed intelligence review on the origins of the pandemic, including whether the virus escaped from a Chinese laboratory. In response, China blames the US a political “blame game”.
Huang said the issue of the origins of Covid-19 is so politicized that it is likely to fuel further tension between the US and China if additional evidence emerges to support the possibility that Covid-19 stems from a laboratory incident.
Without China’s cooperation, such evidence of “smoking weapons” may not be found, Huang said. In the West, however, the theory that the virus came from a laboratory has become an increasingly “credible, if not mainstream,” explanation for the origin of the pandemic, he said.