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Opinion

China cannot win the great vaccine diplomacy game without vaccines

Beijing's early advantages in supply, speed and demand are slipping

| China
A worker unloads a box of Sinovac Biotech's vaccines from a Chinese military aircraft at Villamor Air Base in Pasay, Metro Manila, on Feb. 28: China's greatest advantage in vaccine diplomacy is its speed.   © Reuters

Samantha Kiernan is a research associate on global health, economics and development at the Council on Foreign Relations. Yanzhong Huang is a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations and a professor at Seton Hall University's School of Diplomacy and International Relations.

At a glance, Beijing is winning at early vaccine diplomacy, as far as projecting soft power and expanding international influence is concerned. China has sent 114 million doses overseas and is out-pledging India, Russia and wealthy democracies in bilateral donations.

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