When Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is unloaded in countries around the world, hundreds of millions of doses will come with the label “Made in China.”
ロシアのスプートニクVワクチンが世界中の国々で売られると、何億もの薬に「Made in China」というラベルが付けられます。
Chinese companies have made agreements over the past month to manufacture more than 260 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, which has been approved for use in more than 60 countries, including a large number of developing nations such as Mexico, India and Argentina.
The deals are symbolic of how China and Russia’s international vaccine goals are increasingly aligned, as they assist developing countries neglected by their traditional Western partners who have been accused of hoarding shots.
Duke University research shows that while some countries, such as Canada, the UK and New Zealand, have bought enough vaccines to cover their population more than three times over, the vast majority of countries have barely got doses for their citizens, including some of the nations worst hit by Covid-19.
Bobo Lo, an expert on China-Russia relations and former deputy head of mission at Australia’s embassy in Moscow, said both Moscow and Beijing saw an opportunity for geopolitical gains in the pandemic, winning favor and influence for their autocratic systems.
”It’s useful to them to point out that the West is being selfish in limiting the distribution of vaccine to developing countries,” he said. “This is a really convenient narrative for both Beijing and Moscow.”
There is also a darker side to Moscow and Beijing’s vaccine cooperation. In recent months, Russian disinformation efforts have tried to undermine confidence in US and UK vaccines, such as those made by Pfizer and AstraZeneca, according to Judyth Twigg, professor of political science at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Former diplomat Lo said both Russia and China had an interest in discrediting the US-led world order, particularly Beijing, which is keen for a chance to burnish its own reputation and promote itself as the leader of the global south.
Now, hundreds of millions of doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, along with China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm shots, are making their way around the world, despite only Sinopharm being accepted into the World Health Organization’s COVAX initiative. Neither Sputnik nor Sinovac has been approved by the WHO.
According to Duke University’s records of vaccine procurements, Argentina has placed orders for 30 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik vaccine and 4 million doses of Sinopharm. To date, Argentina has not been able to strike a deal for the US Pfizer vaccine, although it has ordered 23million doses of AstraZeneca’s shot.
Indonesia, a longtime US ally in southeast Asia, turned to China to order more shipments of Sinovac after its AstraZeneca order was delayed by a year due to the outbreak in India, according state-run Antara News Agency. To date, Indonesia has brought more Sinovac vaccines than any other country, at least 125 million doses, according to Duke University.
Russia’s RDIF sovereign wealth fund said in February there had been requests for more than 2.5 billion doses of the Sputnik V vaccine. At the same time, Sinopharm said it had received orders for 500 million doses, according to the state-run tabloid Global Times.
Most of Russia and China’s vaccine deliveries have been sold rather than donated, but an analysis by Think Global Health found that 63 out of 65 countries Beijing had donated vaccines to so far were part of Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative.
ロシアと中国のワクチン供給のほとんどは、寄付ではなく販売されていますが、Think Global Healthの分析によると、北京がこれまでにワクチンを寄付した65か国のうち63か国が習近平の一路一帯構想の一部でした。
China isn’t just producing its own vaccines – it is also helping to produce Russia’s. By April 19, three privately-owned Chinese companies had struck major deals with Russia’s RDIF to produce 260 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine – 60 million by Shenzhen Yuanxing Gene-tech Co, 100 million by TopRidge Pharma and 100 million by Hualan Biological Bacterin Inc, according to the Global Times.
China’s ability to manufacture vaccines for other countries, including Russia, is partially due to having the Covid-19 outbreak almost completely controlled within its borders and rapid upgrades to the country’s manufacturing capacity.
In March, Sinopharm announced plans to create up to 3 billion doses, per year, making it the biggest coronavirus vaccine producer in the world, according to state-run media. Sinovac said it was aiming to ramp up its annual capacity to 2 billion.
Meanwhile, Russia has been forced to cut deals with international suppliers to reach its delivery goals for Sputnik – in April, the RDIF announced 20 manufactures in 10 countries would be making the shots.