Worsening Epidemic Makes India a New Battleground for U.S.-China Diplomacy U.S. Has a Slight Advantage

As the epidemic in India worsens rapidly, President Joe Biden spoke for an hour with Prime Minister Moody on April 26, promising that the United States would provide the help India needs. At the same time, the Global Times, a major foreign propaganda machine charged with the responsibility of “telling the Chinese story,” issued a series of articles criticizing the U.S. for being “selfish,” but neglecting to mention that Chinese airlines have suspended shipments with India, which has prevented India from purchasing medical supplies. Indian netizens have repeatedly criticized China, using the suffering of others as a tool to satirize another country, which is “shameless.

“The health care system in New Delhi has completely collapsed.” That’s how Aditya Bahadur, a lead researcher at the Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in New Delhi, who was connected to a seminar hosted by the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), described the tragic state of the epidemic in India right now.

Those who can’t get into hospitals in line are grabbing oxygen cylinders from hospital warehouses to take home, and there is open burning of corpses in crematoriums that are overloaded, all of which are reported by foreign wires. India, which is deeply under the ravages of the British variant of the new coronavirus, also has a staggering number of confirmed cases.

Reuters reported that as of 27th local time, India has added more than 300,000 new diagnoses in a single day for the sixth consecutive day.

India’s closest neighbor, China, is not thinking in the spirit of traditional Chinese culture, asking its neighbors what they need or taking the initiative to lend a helping hand, but rather taking the opportunity to sarcasm and mock the United States for geopolitical reasons.

As the U.S. extends a helping hand, Chinese official media stand and talk

“Selfish America”, “Crocodile Tears” …… China’s official Global Times English edition not only published several articles in a row, but also drew cartoons mocking the U.S. for banning the export of vaccine manufacturing materials in the midst of the epidemic, mocking the U.S. with great acidity and force for standing by while the epidemic worsened in India, even though that was not the case.

Kurt Campbell, the White House NSC coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs, relayed a nearly hour-long conversation between Biden and Moody at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event on U.S.-India relations in the midst of the epidemic on the 27th.

“President Biden told Prime Minister Moody at the end of the call to let me know what India’s needs are and that we must help. In extraordinary times like this, the United States will certainly do everything possible to support India.” Campbell said.

He also noted that this is the fourth call between the U.S. and Indian heads of state in the nearly 100 days since Biden took office, and that “in the Indo-Pacific century, the United States and India will build a closer and deeper relationship.”

In addition to respirators, White House spokesperson Shaki confirmed on the 26th that there are also virus fast screening test supplies, personal protective equipment, etc., the United States are ready to send to India immediately; at India’s request, the United States will also provide raw materials for the production of AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine to the Indian Serum Institute, and will provide India with 60 million doses of U.S. production directly after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) completes its review AstraZeneca vaccine.

Serum Institute of India (Serum Institute), which can produce 2.4 million doses of vaccine per day, is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of AstraZeneca vaccines. However, epidemic-ridden India is now facing a vaccine shortage.

The epidemic has become a propaganda tool for Chinese official media against the U.S. Indians are outraged

While it is certainly impossible for Chinese officials to admit that they are “eating the buns of human blood” by exploiting the suffering and crises of other countries for their own propaganda needs, it is certain that the mission of “telling the Chinese story” that Chinese President Xi Jinping has entrusted to China’s official media is a failure. The official Twitter account of the Global Times

The official Twitter account of the Global Times retweeted the above-mentioned English-language report, angering many Indian netizens. Some described the Chinese official media as “shameless” and commented that it was “selfish” for China to mock another country when Indians were caught up in an epidemic. Others say it is the crocodile’s tears that have stopped China’s cargo flights to India, causing India’s medical supplies to be sourced and transported, a “shameful practice of using lies for outreach every day.”

Ye Yaoyuan, associate professor and chair of the Department of International Studies and Contemporary Languages at the University of St. Thomas, told the station that this is a strategic mistake in overall Chinese war-wolf diplomacy, and that China is single-handedly pushing its neighbor India into the arms of the United States at a time of pandemic.

“You (China) should have to show a little compassion, empathy, even if there is no substance to lend a helping hand, there is no need to say this; but the problem is that the strategy adopted at this stage in China’s diplomacy is that the official single-handedly promote nationalism ignited high, speaking of the United States as the enemy, India as an accomplice of the United States, he has no way to change his own internal in a short time to the relevant country’s discourse.” Ye Yaoyuan told reporters.

Dysfunctional China-India relations hardly return to spring

At a regular press conference of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, an Indian broadcaster asked about Indian private companies sourcing medical supplies from China, but hindering epidemic prevention because China’s Sichuan Airlines had stopped its cargo operations to India. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin did not deny this, but only responded in a low-key manner to seek confirmation from the airline concerned.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi chaired a video conference on the epidemic on the 27th with the foreign ministers of China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, but without the participation of India, where the epidemic has worsened. Wang said that China is open to the participation of India and other countries in the fight against the epidemic. There are also reports that China is already negotiating with the Indian government for assistance.

Yang Dali, a professor of politics at the University of Chicago, told the station that China’s relationship with India has been plagued by border issues for years, and the bilateral relationship is further complicated by the epidemic and investment disputes between the two sides. And at this time, some Chinese media are taking a very aggressive approach and strongly criticizing other countries. As spring is approaching, can China-India relations return to spring? “It may take some time, it’s unlikely to become very good all of a sudden.” Yang Dali told reporters.

Public health experts predict that the peak of the epidemic in India has not yet arrived, and it is expected in the first half of May, with the fear of 440,000 new cases in a single day. China, which boasts of its role as a great power, seems to be in deep trouble, unable to find the right way to send charcoal in snow to get rid of the downturn in Sino-Indian relations.