Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi concludes his Africa tour this weekend without making a single concrete vaccine commitment to a continent in the hope that a benevolent Beijing will help inoculate its population with the global coronavirus pandemic.
Last year, as Covid-19 tore the world apart and rich countries began to pre-order stocks of vaccines for their citizens, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged African vaccinations were a “priority” for Beijing.
His commitment followed mass donations of masks, test kits and medical supplies to the mainland by Beijing and individuals, such as billionaire entrepreneur Jack Ma.
Now, with negative sentiment towards China hardening in Western democracies due to trade wars and human rights concerns, African allies – who have crucial voting rights in major international bodies – are without doubts have become an even more vital block for China to remain on its side. his so-called vaccine diplomacy.
While a cold chain vaccine airlift between Shenzhen, southern China, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has been established and manufacturing capacity is being built. place to perform Chinese injections in Cairo, Wang’s trip did not specify when Africans can expect to do so. get a Chinese vaccine – or under what conditions.
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