Instead, he drew a storm of criticism against Duterte – for choosing a vaccine not yet approved by the country’s regulators.
Amid the backlash, Duterte on Wednesday called on China to take back the 1,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine it had given to the Philippines and apologized to the public for receiving the unapproved vaccine.
Duterte said he told the Chinese ambassador to stop sending Sinopharm. “Just give us Sinovac, which is used by everyone,” he said, according to local media, referring to another Chinese vaccine that was cleared for emergency use in the Philippines in February.
div> Duterte’s about-face on Sinopharm’s shootings highlights the regulatory obstacle facing Chinese vaccines in the absence of an emergency use authorization from the World Health Organization (WHO ), even though the vaccines have been approved for use in dozens of countries.
When Sinopharm requested emergency use from the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in early March, the agency director said that, as in the case of Sinovac, it would take longer to rule on the Sinopharm’s request because it had not been approved by a “strict regulatory authority”, such as the WHO.
But that may soon change. WHO said in a press briefing Monday that it plans to finalize decisions on emergency use approval for both submissive Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines “by the end of this week”.
A WHO approval could finally boost confidence in Chinese vaccines, which have long faced concerns about efficacy rates and a lack of transparency about clinical trial data.
Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines are both inactivated vaccines, which are less effective than mRNA vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. And unlike their Western counterparts, the two Chinese companies have not released full data on their latest clinical trials conducted around the world, drawing criticism from scientists and health experts.
According to Sinopharm and Sinovac, their vaccines have received different efficacy results in trials conducted in different countries, but they have all exceeded the WHO 50% efficacy threshold for approval for use. emergency.
Their approval may be timely for COVAX, the WHO-backed global initiative to ensure equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines. In recent weeks, it has faced a severe supply shortage from India, which halted the export of the AstraZeneca vaccine amid the Covid-19 crisis.
Because COVAX can only distribute vaccines approved by the WHO, Chinese vaccines are not currently included in its portfolio. Rather, it has to rely on Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Covishield from the Serum Institute of India, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna, all of which are in high demand.
Instead, China has made its own vaccine donations through bilateral deals with individual countries, including the Philippines – an effort experts say is guided more by China’s strategic interests than by the needs of the lesser countries. more vulnerable.
The WHO approval will undoubtedly boost Beijing’s vaccine diplomacy. But more importantly, it should help provide better protection against Covid-19 to the countries that need it most.
- Teams of volunteers are responding to Covid SOS calls from sick and dying Indians to provide oxygen supplies, ventilators and hospital beds.
- China is unhappy with Australia, but it cannot break its dependence on the country’s iron ore.
- Covid fears spread to Mount Everest, as climbers risk infection to reach the top of the world.
- Meanwhile in Hong Kong, jailed activist Joshua Wong was sentenced to 10 months for his involvement in an unauthorized rally to commemorate the Tiananmen Square massacre last year.
China’s Business: Cinemas Show Old Propaganda Movies. Will Hollywood be the loser?
Beijing has ordered Chinese cinemas to use the box office this year to broadcast propaganda celebrating the Communist Party. Film buffs across the country don’t have it – and fear the new tenure will squeeze out some of the Hollywood films they are clamoring for.
Chinese moviegoers revolted last month after major ticketing sites across the country quietly stopped promoting screenings for re-releases of the three “Lord of the Rings” films. At the same time, films are disappearing, decades-old films that promote the Party and are favored by regulators flood theater schedules.
The China Film Administration has ordered cinemas to show at least two old films a week until the end of the year, to honor the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party.
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The China Film Administration did not issue a public statement calling for the removal of Hollywood films from movie theaters, but industry analysts and moviegoers were quick to blame regulators, whom they believed to be the obvious culprits. Many fans criticized the decision on social media and even pledged not to go to the movies.
And while the “Lord of the Rings” films have finally returned to theaters, analysts point out that the dust illustrates some of the major challenges Beijing faces as it tries to instill party loyalty among young people and strengthen the ranks. domestic industries, such as film production.
– Par Laura He
Quoted and noted
“We have always understood the one system, two country arrangement and we will continue to follow our policies there… One country, two systems, I should say. “
– Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is corrected but always wrong, when speaking of the country’s policy towards Taiwan. “One country, two systems” is the principle that China took control of Hong Kong, and was seen as a potential model for future unification with Taiwan, but does not apply – and has been widely rejected by – the directed self-island.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to make his country carbon neutral by 2060, and climate policy is seen as a major area of cooperation – and even competition – between the United States and China.
But a new report shows how difficult it could be to reduce China’s climate impact: The country’s emissions exceeded those of all developed countries combined in 2019, according to researchers at the Rhodium Group.
According to the report, global emissions reached 52 gigatons of CO2 equivalent in 2019, an increase of 11.4% over the past decade. Of that total, China contributed 27% of total global emissions, more than double that of the United States – the second highest emitter – with 11%. India comes third, with 6.6% of global emissions, ahead of the European Union.
While per capita emissions in China remained lower in 2019 than in the United States – 10.1 tonnes versus 17.6 tonnes per person – the report predicts that when full 2020 data becomes available, the per capita production of the country will have exceeded the OECD average of 10.5 tonnes. , even though emissions “from almost all other countries have fallen sharply as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic”.
However, China still has some way to go before it can catch up with the total amount of carbon that has been released into the atmosphere by developed countries. The report notes that “since 1750, members of the OECD bloc have emitted four times more CO2 on a cumulative basis than China.”
Picture of the day
Happy to see you again: A couple cuddle outside the Beijing train station on the last day of Labor Day, May 5, 2021. China fully returns to work on Friday.