Beijing may balk at ‘vaccine diplomacy’ term but beating Covid-19 is key to China’s outreach plan

China’s combative diplomats and state media are resistant about the label “vaccine diplomacy”.The term touches a raw nerve in Beijing. A Xinhua commentary said it was “malign” to suggest Beijing was attaching strings and seeking to increase geopolitical influence while selling vaccines abroad.But vaccines undeniably took a prominent place in China’s diplomacy in 2020, and that is likely to continue in 2021.In a long interview last weekend, State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said …

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