Taipei base think tank believed that China’s “vaccine diplomacy, which has become central to its foreign policy in 2021.
“China, as one of the few countries other than the United Kingdom and the United States to have produced a COVID-19 vaccine, will certainly use that as a diplomatic tool,” said Kung Shan-son (龔祥生), an assistant research fellow at the government-funded Institute for National Defense and Security Research (INDSR).
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Beijing’s major goals in its “vaccine diplomacy” are to promote its national image via humanitarian aid and to solidify its relations with countries that are included in its “Belt and Road” initiative, Kung wrote in an article published March 5 in the INDSR bi-weekly Defense Security magazine.
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Beijing’s “vaccine diplomacy,” aimed mainly at developing countries, may negatively impact Taiwan’s “New Southbound Policy,” which was introduced in 2016 by the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to reduce Taiwan’s dependence on China, Kung said.
“The Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos are some of the countries included in the New Southbound Policy that are also being targeted by Beijing in its vaccine diplomacy,” Kung wrote.
Countries that receive vaccine supplies from China will feel pressured in their engagements with Taiwan, which is considered by China as one of its provinces, Kung implied in the piece titled “Outlook of the CCP’s Foreign-related Work in 2021.”
Source: focus Taiwan