China’s Vaccine Diplomacy in Southeast Asia
Amruta Karambelkar, Research Associate, VIF

The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed power play amongst nations. The first year of the COVID-19 pandemic saw a race of sorts to provide essential medical supplies and in the second year, a competition for vaccines is underway. Vaccine diplomacy, as it is called, is believed to yield diplomatic dividends immediately as well as in the long term. Vaccines were also seen as a powerful tool to reward friendly countries (or otherwise). Southeast Asian states have always attached a great value to economic development. The coronavirus pandemic has brought the growth wheel to a standstill, and according to experts, the only way out is through rapid mass vaccination programmes. Thus, economic recovery is contingent on immunisation.

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