US and Asian allies are planning a Covid vaccine strategy to counter China

The United States is working with Japan, India and Australia to develop plans to distribute the Covid-19 vaccine to Asian countries as part of a broader strategy to counter China’s influence.

The White House has held talks with other members of the quad, an international diplomatic and security initiative, in recent weeks, according to six people familiar with the talks.

Efforts to counteract using vaccine distribution China’s efforts According to two people familiar with the situation, this is one of a series of steps that countries hope to announce shortly.

President Joe Biden emphasized working more closely with his allies, and his efforts have been helped by growing regional concerns about China’s military and economic aggression.

“The Biden administration has made the quad a core driving force in Asian policy,” said a person familiar with the strategy.

Kurt Campbell, White House Indo-Pacific Policy Coordinator, who is leading the effort, has met several times with the group’s ambassador, which was first launched in 2004 to respond to the tsunami that devastated parts of Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Open. ..

One controversial person said that the strategy under development is more ambitious than vaccines and will have lasting impact. “The United States is in the final stages of preparing for what it wants to be a major and bold initiative in the Indo-Pacific,” he said.

He added that there was “deep awareness” of the need to address pandemics, climate change, regional security issues and other pan-national issues. Quads are discussing ways to promote maritime cooperation and do more in areas such as cybersecurity.

China criticized the grouping, describing it as Asia’s “NATO” and saying it was causing higher tensions in the region.

China distributes its vaccine to many countries in the region, including the Philippines © Rolex Dela Pena / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

Quad countries are willing to undertake positive initiatives rather than pure countermeasures against China. But personally, officials said the impetus for doing more was based on the growing invasion of China.

The Brookings Institution think tank Indian expert Tanvi Madan said the focus on vaccines would ease concerns in other Asian countries that the quad is just trying to contain China.

“If we can show value to the region as it was after the tsunami, this is a visible way to convey that it is the value added to the region, not just the four countries,” she said.

Former US President Donald Trump, Revived the quad After expiring in Australia, Japan and India for political reasons. Biden wants to take advantage of the greater goodwill of its allies to the United States to significantly boost its initiative.

“The United States is making great strides in strengthening its efforts in the quad and raising it to a level where it plays a decisive role in the region,” said a person familiar with the negotiations.

Biden has revealed that China is the biggest foreign policy issue in the United States. In a recent speech, he accused Beijing of “economic abuse and coercion,” and his administration criticized its military aggression.

China is growing more aggressively around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and is controlled by Japan, but the Senkaku Islands claimed by Beijing call them Diaoyu Dao. After Canberra demanded an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus, he also engaged in economic coercion with Australia.

Relations between India and China last year Border clash Twenty-one Indian soldiers and at least four Chinese soldiers were killed. Since then, India has been trying to reduce its economic dependence on China.

The White House did not comment on the plan. High-ranking Indian officials confirmed that discussions are underway on initiatives that wealthy states are expected to pay to ship state-made vaccines abroad.

India has a large export-oriented pharmaceutical industry, with several local companies partnering with foreign organizations to manufacture vaccines. The country exports approximately 41 million doses of vaccine not only to emerging markets, but also to the United Nations and the Covax program, an initiative to supply jabs to low- and middle-income countries supported by the World Health Organization.

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US and Asian allies are planning a Covid vaccine strategy to counter China

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