The world should look to China for its coronavirus vaccines and ignore the alternatives, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) warned Thursday, adding that to do otherwise is an explicit example of racism.
Under the headline “Hard to beat COVID-19 without China’s vaccine,” an opinion piece carried in the state-run Global Times set out just why Beijing believes the world should be beating a path to the vaccines developed by its own SinoVac.
It also admonished those in the Western media who focused “on hyping up questions about transparency” rather than just implictly trusting those the CCP has endorsed. After dismissing the “weaknesses” of U.S. developed alternatives, it stated:
SinoVac’s inactivated COVID-19 vaccine is safe and can be stored at a standard refrigerator temperature. It is cheap, which is especially suitable for use in developing countries. But these advantages are often ignored in Western public opinion fields, or played down as merely background information.
SinoVac’s vaccine is to be promoted globally. Therefore, its international reputation is crucial. US and Western media outlets obviously hold an unfriendly stance and attitude toward Chinese vaccines. They question them rather than clarifying their strong points amid the current urgent pandemic situation. Fortunately, there have been no cases of severe accidents in the clinical trials of Chinese vaccines, despite challenges of trials in foreign countries amid the pandemic. Western public opinion will not treat Chinese vaccines in the same way they reported on side effects from Pfizer’s vaccine.
The Global Times piece takes specific aim at the vaccine developed by the Pfizer company, then returns to the theme that China must be trusted, because “U.S. and Western media outlets obviously hold an unfriendly stance and attitude toward Chinese vaccines. They question them rather than clarifying their strong points amid the current urgent pandemic situation.”
The editorial ends with this self-endorsement:
The most important thing for humanity is to get through this immediate crisis. The positive role that Chinese vaccines can play and the contributions they can make are obvious to all. It is believed that the strengths of each vaccine working together will make vigorous efforts to turn the tide, rather than their weaknesses will shape our future.
Despite the proud boasts of China, there is no shortage of critics who say it is simply trying to turn a crisis into an economic opportunity.
Past scandals have damaged its own citizens’ trust in its vaccines, with manufacturing and supply chain problems casting doubt on whether it can really be a savior, as AP reports.
“A question mark remains over how China can ensure the delivery of reliable vaccines,” said Joy Zhang, a professor who studies the ethics of emerging science at the University of Kent in Britain.
She cited China’s “non-transparency over scientific data and a troubled history with vaccine delivery,” even as the CCP authorized the importation of the Pfizer partner BioNTech’s vaccine it dismissed.
Mass importing of a vaccine developed by an American company suggests that the Chinese state is not confident that its options will be of sufficient quality or produced quickly enough to inoculate the entire country.. https://t.co/JsNJbnsZle
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 17, 2020
Bahrain last week became the second country to approve a Chinese coronavirus vaccine, joining the United Arab Emirates.
Morocco plans to use Chinese vaccines in a mass immunization campaign slated to start this month. Chinese vaccines are also awaiting approval in Turkey, Indonesia and Brazil, while testing continues in more than a dozen countries, including Russia, Egypt and Mexico.
In some countries, Chinese vaccines are viewed with suspicion. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly sown doubt about the effectiveness of Chinese company Sinovac’s vaccine candidate and said Brazilians won’t be used as “guinea pigs.”