Chinese Mask Diplomacy

0
1745

As fast as coronavirus did not spread more than that China is engaged in providing masks and health facilities to the whole world. Now countries around the world are worried about punishing China by accusing them of spreading the infection and seeking compensation, or praising it for its readiness and cooperation in protecting people after the outbreak has spread. On the one hand, US attorney Larry Klayman has filed a $20 trillion compensation lawsuit in China in the Federal Court of Texas and Italian citizens are also seeking war compensation from China. On the other hand, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has spoken about filing a complaint with the UN and the WHO regarding the closure of China’s weight market, as well as the International Council of Jurists recently filed a lawsuit in the UNHRC accusing China of violating international rules and laws, punishing it and compensating countries around the world. In spite of all these troubles, China has put forward its ambitions to become a superpower and bets on such diplomacy, which will save its credibility and countries around the world will start to show sympathy to it instead of punishment. This diplomacy is being called mask diplomacy. Although China had been making 116 million, masks a day since February, thus it had billions of stock by the end of March, which now China has provided this mask and medical equipment to more than 100 coronavirus infected countries of Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia, so that no country can object to its soft power.

China has so far provided millions of masks, testing kits and ventilators to Italy, Spain, Iran, Philippines, Iraq, Ethiopia, Serbia, etc. Recently China has provided $ 20 million in aid to the WHO to fight Covid-19 and has also sent 1,000 ventilators in 22 planes specifically for New York City, which is currently the epicentre of infection. However, in boosting China’s soft power, its billionaires are also supporting including Jack Ma and his company Alibaba at the forefront. Jack Ma has provided 1.1 million test kits, 06 million masks, 60 thousands medical protection suits to Africa continent while 20 million masks, 104 ventilators to 24 Latin American countries. He has also sent medical supplies to India in 2 planes, which has been received by the Indian Red Cross Society. But the support of Jack Ma is being taken here so that even if a country refuses to seek Chinese government assistance, it will not turn down the help of philanthropist Jack Ma and the world-famous company Alibaba, which will ultimately benefits China. This diplomatic assistance will allow China to save its BRI project as well as spread 5G technologies.

The EU’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and chief diplomat Josep Borrell has recently called this Chinese aid a Politics of Generosity. So that the Chinese government can convey the message to various countries that now it is not America, but China will help the world in every situation. The impact of this help is so strong that even on such an occasion China has proposed to build a Health Silk Road so that it can provide assistance under this route to the countries affected by the pandemic. This would allow China to hide its intentions on the charge of spreading coronavirus. It is also to be noted here that China has extended most of the help to the countries which are connected with its BRI project, most of which are related to Africa and Europe. Africa is because it is a poor continent, which alone is not able to fight the virus. Whereas Europe is at the height of mutual confrontation in the European Union, and now a developed country like Italy has joined the BRI. As Italy suffers from the largest Covid-19 infection in Europe, apart from the refugee crisis and the decaying economy, China seeks to create a space in the European Union by helping it immensely in order to bring other European countries under its influence. Understand this level of influence in such a way that when the Chinese plane reached Serbia with health equipment, the President Alexander Vocic kissed the Chinese flag at the airport itself. The Czech Republic showed similar respect as China helped in this corona pandemic more than the EU and WHO.

Although it is not like China alone is helping, there are many countries that are coming forward to help. The only difference is that they are not spreading propaganda in the media like all of China. Even in such a situation, when the US has become the world’s most corona-infected country, it has announced $100 million in aid. Russia has sent a team of doctors and medical supplies along with specialist troops at its 14 military aircraft in Italy and has also asked to send aid to the America. Similarly, South Korea has donated 15,000 test kits to the Philippines, and Taiwan is sending 100 thousand masks to the US every week. India is also involved in this help which has provided health facilities and food items to countries like America, Brazil, Israel, SAARC Nations, Mauritius, Seychelles, Malaysia, Lebanon, etc, But now this mask diplomacy has put China’s strategy in the dock because of the help on which China was blossoming so much has started to backfire. China was shocked when the Netherlands returned 600 thousand masks out of the 1.2 million it purchased as defected. Similarly, 60 thousand kits purchased from Spain are not working; whose accuracy is only 30%. The 1.2 million, antibodies that Slovakia bought for $16 million also turned outs to be bad. The Czech Republic had purchased 300 thousand test kits, out of which a third turned out to be defective. Similarly, Turkey and other countries are also facing problems regarding the quality of Chinese medical supplies. Such taunts are neither being blown out of China nor swallowed because all this has happened due to its delay in the epidemic, from which it cannot even stop it’s another supply.

Recently, news has come out that China is putting pressure on Italy to buy back the equipment that Italy had donated in Wuhan in January. This shallow style of China has angered Italy. But the diplomacy that is being played as an expert needs to be concluding that how much this help will benefit China. Is China really able to gain the sympathy that it is going to punish for spreading this pandemic by providing little help? Since no country easily forgets the treatment done in times of trouble, so many countries will definitely give China an unexpected boost for 1-2 years or short term, as the Prime Minister of Ethiopia and Nobel Peace laureate Abiy Ahmed Ali has given special thanks to Jack Ma. But I think that in the long run this help will not save China. Because China is not a country where everything is normal, their ambitions are very complex. Freedom of Expression and Human Rights violation, Debt traps, violation of the sovereignty of other countries by the BRI project, Aggressive expansionist policy, technology-invading privacy by stealing data and recent mask diplomacy will keep China entangled for decades.