JAKARTADAILY.ID - Chinese President Xi Jinping has promised to give aid and to provide COVID-19 vaccines to Central Asia countries, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. These five countries share a border with China and are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which also includes India.
In the online summit of leaders from this group of five countries to commemorate their 3oth diplomatic ties, President Xi pledged $500 million to the countries of Central Asia to strengthen their economies and security over the next three years. He is also providing 50 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to the countries, RFE/RL reported on Tuesday (January 25, 2022).
However, Beijing has been accused of using so-called "vaccine diplomacy" to strengthen ties around the world and increase its geopolitical presence.
Furthermore, the Chinese government has denied using COVID-19 vaccinations, Sinovac, and Sinopharm to achieve a diplomatic advantage even though the vaccines have been exporting millions of doses to developing countries.
To refute the accusation, Xi clarified his purpose to give the aid. He said “Not long ago, Kazakhstan experienced some dramatic developments, which led to heavy casualties and property damage. As a friend and neighbor, China has firmly supported Kazakhstan in its effort to maintain stability and stop violence and will continue to support and help Kazakhstan to the best of our ability,” as Verve Times reported Tuesday (January 25, 2022).
Further, he explained that China wanted to deepen the tie with Central Asia to combat terrorists, extremists, and separatists. The cooperation also covers border management among the countries.
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