Daily US Times: When India asked the US this month to lift a ban on exporting Covid19 vaccine raw materials to help with the India’s Covid crisis, Washington appeared to drag its feet, citing the need to “vaccinate the American people” first.
This tepid response angered and disappointed many people in India, which is grappling with the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak: daily coronavirus infection numbers in the country are hitting new records in the country, hospitals and cremation sites are overflowing and patients are dying due to shortage in life-saving oxygen and medical supplies.
As widespread international criticism as well as a backlash at the home country quickly, the US quickly reverse its course, promising to provide aid to India.
Outside of India itself, the harshest and loudest critic was China. Over the past week, Chinese state media has published a flurry of articles lashing out at the United States, 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 Covid-19 outbreak, China has positioned itself as a world leader in fighting the notorious pandemic, often contrasting its eagerness to help other countries with the “America first” approach of the former US President Donald Trump’s administration.
And as the Covid crisis has rapidly spiraled out of control in India, leaders in China have repeatedly expressed a desire to help, pledging to “offer support and assistance to the best of our capability if the Indian side informs us of its specific needs.”
However, New Delhi, has so far not taken China up on this offer, symptomatic perhaps of what has become a deep and oftentimes mutual distrust between the two Asian nations.