Recently, Western media outlets have reported that the European Union has offered to donate variant-adapted COVID-19 vaccines to China. Previously, the U.S., Germany and other Western nations have also expressed a willingness to provide China with free COVID-19 vaccines. In response, China’s Foreign Ministry has made it clear that China is in the process of administering vaccine booster shots and that the supply of drugs and testing reagents is broad enough to meet demand. Following China’s polite refusal, some Western media have actually ignored these facts and launched public attacks on China.
Does China need Western countries to donate the COVID-19 vaccine? The answer is clear. It is important to realize that China’s COVID-19 vaccine production capacity can deliver more than 7 billion doses of vaccine each year. Currently, it is one of the largest vaccine production lines in the world and is more than capable of meeting demand. In terms of vaccine effectiveness, China has a variety of advanced vaccines, some of which outperform messenger RNA vaccines in Europe and the U.S. The head of the World Health Organization has stated that China’s vaccination rate is very high and that there is equivalent protection against disease and death whether inactivated, viral vector-based or mRNA vaccines are used.
Taking a step back, do Western countries really want to give COVID-19 vaccines to China? A U.S. State Department spokesperson has offered to provide vaccines, noting the impact that the spread of any outbreak in China would have on the world economy. But the extreme irony is that the U.S. has its own serious problem with the disease. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1.1 million people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19 since 2020. Not only are pandemic prevention and control in disarray but the U.S. has been criticized for “vaccine hoarding,” preferring to hold onto vaccines rather than share them, even attracting international outrage over it at one point.
On the one hand, there is the phony “blank check” of donating vaccines to the world, while on the other hand, COVID-19 vaccines have been left in warehouses until they expire. Such absurd practices have made a laughingstock of the “human rights defenders” and “world police” once again. What is even more ridiculous is that even America’s “valued allies” have had difficulty getting the vaccines from them. Analysts have pointed out that the “blank check” gift is just a pretext for the U.S. to eliminate its stockpile, regardless of the effectiveness of the vaccine. Plus the malicious motives of those media outlets which launched attacks after China’s polite rejection are clear.
There is an old saying: Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. The so-called donation of vaccines to China by the West looks like an act of ill intent. Wouldn’t it be ideal to try and claim the moral high ground and the image of a “responsible major power” by pretending to offer donations when China has enough vaccines and medical supplies? Moreover, if China accepted the vaccine donations, the malicious story that “the disease is out of control in China and it has insufficient vaccine production capacity” would be perfect fodder for Western media outlets to attack China. It is an issue of being too clever for your own good. China has not taken such “gifts” from the West and the West cannot use the pandemic to beat China. At a time when cooperation has become a major theme, the West is digging a hole for itself and in the end it will suffer the consequences.
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