onsdag 28. april 2021

China offered Covid aid to India while US dragged its feet, but Delhi isn't that keen

When India asked the United States this month to lift a ban on exporting vaccine raw materials to help with the South Asian country's Covid crisis, Washington appeared to drag its feet, citing the need to "vaccinate the American people" first. This tepid response disappointed and angered many in India, which is grappling with the world's worst outbreak: daily infection numbers are hitting new records, hospitals and cremation sites are overflowing and patients are dying due to shortage in medical supplies.

A backlash at home, as well as widespread international criticism, quickly led the US to reverse course, promising to provide aid to India. Outside of India itself, the loudest and harshest critic was China: over the past week, state media has published a flurry of articles lashing out at Washington, claiming the initial response "fully exposed its selfishness" and accusing it of "obstructing global efforts" to distribute vaccines to developing countries in dire need.

Since containing its own domestic coronavirus outbreak, Beijing has positioned itself as a global leader in fighting the pandemic, often contrasting its eagerness to help other countries with the "America first" approach of the US under former President Donald Trump.