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Expert on US-China Competition in Vaccine Diplomacy


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Workers unload boxes of Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine donated by China at Damascus International Airport on April 24, 2021 in the Syrian capital.

Lua Beshara | AFP | Getty Images

Competition between the United States and China may intensify on another front: Covid-19 vaccine diplomacy.

China has been the main supplier of Covid vaccine to much of the developing world, which some experts believe could strengthen Beijing’s global influence and deepen their ties with other countries.

But a health management and policy expert told CNBC on Thursday that the US is now catching up. the White house laying out plans donate millions of doses of Covid vaccine abroad, and it seems that the president Joe Biden intends to do more.

“We will see China face a bigger competitor,” Yangzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, told CNBC.Squawk Box Asia… “

China has been “almost the only major player” in the past few months sending Covid vaccines to other countries, said Huang, who is also a professor at Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Affairs.

This is especially true when India stopped exporting vaccines to prioritize your internal needs He explained that Russian supplies abroad remain very limited.

Several reports indicate that the US is stepping up its efforts to distribute Covid vaccines around the world.

Biden is reportedly set to announce in his speech at the G-7 summit on Thursday that US will buy 500 million more doses belonging PfizerBioNTech vaccine to exchange with COVAX, a global vaccine exchange initiative.

CNBC also reported on Wednesday that the administration is in talks with Modern to ensure the worldwide supply of additional doses of vaccine.

Origins of Covid-19

Under the Biden administration, relations between the United States and China have gone unstable. The two sides clashed over several issues, including the origin of the coronavirus, which was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Biden said last month that he ordered a more detailed survey of intelligence the origin of the pandemic, including whether the virus escaped the Chinese laboratory. In reply, China blamed the US the political game of the guilty.

Huang said the question of the origin of Covid-19 has become so politicized that it is likely to exacerbate tensions between the US and China if additional evidence emerges to support the possibility that Covid-19 arose from a laboratory incident.

Without cooperation with China, there will be no such evidence of a “smoking gun”, Huang said. However, in the West, the theory that the virus came from a laboratory is becoming an increasingly “credible, if not the main, explanation” for the pandemic’s origins, he said.

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