FT Editorial Discusses China’s Vaccine Diplomacy Efforts

Financial Times: China’s vaccine diplomacy has broader aims
Editorial Board

“As the U.S. under President Donald Trump retreats from multilateral efforts on climate change and health, so China is rushing to fill the void. First came Xi Jinping’s commitment last month to make his country carbon neutral by 2060. Then late last week Beijing signaled it would join a World Health Organization initiative aimed at ensuring fair distribution of Covid-19 vaccines around the world. Both moves appear part of a wider public relations effort by Beijing to present itself as a good global citizen, and counter souring international perceptions of China. … Along with the emissions target, and a sign of willingness to co-operate on multilateral debt forgiveness, the vaccines step appears part of a broader attempt by China to portray itself as a more constructive partner. That cannot obscure the deep concerns over its behavior, including its treatment of Uighurs, its Hong Kong clampdown, and threatening stance towards Taiwan. After the increase in tensions with the west in recent years, however, any indication of a shift in Beijing’s approach should be seen, with due caution, as positive” (10/12).

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