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China and Russia adopt 'one team' mindset on COVID vaccines vs US

Neighbors deepen cooperation as Washington vows to 'distrust but verify'

A nurse prepares Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 in a post-registration trial in Moscow on Sept. 17.   © Reuters

MOSCOW -- China and Russia, two countries whose efforts to develop coronavirus vaccines have drawn sharp critiques from the U.S., are stepping up cooperation in the inoculation race.

The neighbors have emerged as two leading contenders to supply COVID-19 shots. Of nine vaccine candidates that have reached Phase 3 trials worldwide, four are Chinese, according to the World Health Organization. And Russia in mid-August made headlines for being the first to register a vaccine, named Sputnik V after the legendary Soviet satellite.

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