Chinese state media on Sunday slammed the United States as “selfish” and “indifferent” for denying India the raw materials it needs to ramp up vaccine production.
On the same day, the Biden administration announced it would relax export controls, send India the raw materials it needs, and provide funding for expanded vaccine manufacturing.
The Biden administration invoked the Defense Production Act in March to reserve certain U.S.-made materials and supplies for domestic vaccine makers. The Serum Institute of India (SII) and Indian government officials asked the U.S. to lift these export restrictions, promising in return that India would not restrict the export of manufactured vaccines, even as Indian officials acknowledged the political difficulty of allowing exports while India is battling one of the worst coronavirus waves in the world.
China’s state-run Global Times on Sunday claimed, “the whole world is talking about how selfish the U.S. is regarding Covid-19 [Chinese coronavirus] vaccines,” sneering that America’s export restrictions exposed its talk of human rights as hypocrisy.
“The ugly ‘America First’ doctrine on vaccines was fully revealed by the coronavirus outbreak in India,” railed the state newspaper of the Communist government that inflicted the coronavirus upon the world.
The Global Times hammered the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) favorite talking point, that America supposedly disqualified itself from global leadership by making “almost no actual contribution to the global fight against the pandemic” and doing “a poor job in the epidemic fight.”
“The world cannot allow the U.S. to abuse the right to define international justice. Washington has refused to share vaccines with developing countries proportionally. The world should jointly condemn it, making Washington bend its head, like a rat scurrying across the street with everybody chasing it,” the Global Times howled.
The editorial went on to portray India — China’s hated regional rival and a country Beijing has been trying to invade across the Himalayas for several years — as a “victim of U.S. tricks” that was “manipulated by the U.S.” into turning against its Chinese neighbor.
Another Global Times screed on Monday castigated the U.S. as “selfish and indifferent” for refusing to “supply more vaccine to India or lift the embargo on the export of raw materials needed to ramp up vaccine production.”
The Global Times claimed this has “sparked anti-U.S. sentiment in India and triggered global criticism” as the Indian coronavirus wave grew worse. “Many Chinese netizens” were supposedly “shocked” by the U.S. refusing to “help Indian people who are suffering.”
“Many countries, including China and Pakistan, have offered help to India in fighting its surge of COVID-19 infections. However, the U.S. that has worked hard to drag India into its gang to contain China, gave no help,” the Global Times sneered.
The article went on to criticize India for refusing to embrace China’s alleged helping hand, supposedly because the Indian government is too proud to admit it made a mistake in choosing the “unreliable and selfish” U.S. as an ally.
The Biden administration announced on Monday that raw materials for vaccine production will immediately be made available to India, following a call between U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.
“Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, the United States is determined to help India in its time of need,” said National Security Council (NSC) spokeswoman Emily Horne on Sunday.
Horne added that Indian vaccine manufacturer BioE would receive funding from the U.S. Development Finance Corporation for a “substantial expansion of manufacturing capability.” With the extra funding, she said BioE would be able to produce a billion doses of vaccine per month.
“We are in active conversations at high levels and plan to quickly deploy additional support to the Government of India and Indian health care workers as they battle this latest severe outbreak. We will have more to share very soon,” the White House said on Sunday.
The White House said on Monday that the U.S. will export up to 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus to other countries, including India. About ten million doses are reportedly ready to ship, pending a quality review from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.