#79 – China’s Covid-19 Vaccine Diplomacy



HUANG Yanzhong, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations; Director of Global Health Studies, Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations.




During a speech at the World Health Assembly in May 2020, President Xi Jinping promised that China’s vaccine, once developed, would have been made a “global public good”. This was taken to be a sign of China’s contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries, in a united fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Up to now, more than 600 million doses have been sold to more than 45 countries, and a further 14 million doses have been donated by China. Inoculations have begun in more than 25 countries, with the delivery of the first 150 million doses. Indonesia, Brazil, and Mexico are so far the leading recipients of Chinese vaccines.


After a slow start in the domestic vaccination campaign, with 5 approved shots, China is now pushing to vaccinate half a billion of its citizens by the end of June. This is a deeply different goal, compared to just a couple of months ago when the majority of the production was targeted to be shipped abroad. After more than a year of a “zero-infections” policy and stringent international travel restrictions to curb imported cases that have led to months without local infections, China is now rolling out mass vaccination campaigns to avoid falling into the “immunity gap” with Western countries, that are fully committed on reaching herd immunity as soon as possible. But a major question arises, can China’s production capacity cope with both the demands from domestic needs and the countries it has signed contracts with? And with the concerns about the efficacy rate of its vaccines, what should we expect for the upcoming months?


For answers to these pressing questions, join ThinkINchina for a new online event with Professor Huang Yanzhong, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, director of global health studies at Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations, and author of Toxic Politics: China’s Environmental Health Crisis and Its Challenge to the Chinese State.


The event will be organized on Zoom, PLEASE REGISTER HERE ON EVENTBRITE, the day before the event you will receive the link to join the talk. Our speaker is based in New Jersey, USA while we are based in Beijing, China – we decided therefore to schedule the talk at 9 pm Beijing time, 9 am East Coast time.





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