New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that China is facilitating the donation of 1,000 ventilators to the hard-hit state, with the shipment slated to arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport later today.
China in recent weeks seems to be using the coronavirus pandemic to position itself as a global response leader while the perception has been that the U.S. finds itself trying to catch up to the virus outbreak domestically.
“We finally got some good news today,” Cuomo said during a press briefing this morning. “The Chinese government helped facilitate a donation of 1,000 ventilators that will arrive in JFK today.”
The donations originate with several Chinese foundations facilitated by Ambassador Huang Ping.
“This is a big deal, and it’s going to make a significant difference for us,” Cuomo said.
Jack Ma, Joe Tsai, the Jack Ma Foundation and the Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation reportedly contributed to the effort.
China greatly suffered at the start of the pandemic, including during the period it was actively engaged in a coverup of the virus. Now that the crisis seems to have somewhat stabilized in China, the country is positioning itself as the global leader in helping other nations respond to the Chinese coronavirus outbreak.
And that response offers China a unique opportunity to extend its tentacles by massively expanding its international influence and playing the role of superpower precisely at a time the U.S. has been struggling to contain the virus. Besides sending the ventilators to New York, China has been supplying large quantities of masks to hard-hit countries while the U.S. is fast at work trying to produce enough masks for its own domestic requirements.
“This could be the first major global crisis in decades without meaningful U.S. leadership and with significant Chinese leadership,” noted Rush Doshi, director of the China Strategy Initiative at the Brookings Institution in Washington.
Axios reported that Chinese think tanks are floating the idea of a “Beijing-led global health organization that would rival the [World Health Organization].”
“The Chinese government has been trying to project Chinese state power beyond its borders and establish China as a global leader, not dissimilar to what the U.S. government has been doing for the better part of a century, and the distribution of medical aid is part of this mission,” argued Dr. Yangyang Cheng, a postdoctoral research associate at Cornell University and columnist for SupChina.
Indeed, China has pledged or provided aid far and wide, from Greece to Italy, Japan, Iraq, Serbia, Spain and even Peru, in an attempt, as the New York Times characterized it, “to reposition itself not as the authoritarian incubator of a pandemic but as a responsible global leader at a moment of worldwide crisis.”
“The coronavirus pandemic has become a battleground,” said Bruno Maçães, a former Secretary of State for European Affairs in Portugal. “I see China focused on using the crisis as an opportunity to play up the superiority of its model.”
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow.