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China’s ‘Health Silk Road’—Vaccine Logistics into Africa

Feb. 22 , 2021 (EIRNS)—The Sunday Wall Street Journal (WSJ) ran an article on China’s mobilization to build a new supply chain for the deployments of COVID-19 vaccines to the world. It opens: “A cavernous new airport cargo terminal in Ethiopia’s capital is the center of a vast supply network China is assembling to speed delivery of its coronavirus vaccines—and deepen its influence across the developing world. At one end is a soccer-field-sized freezer to store vials....” They expect over 1 million doses to go through the facility this week.

China’s phrase, a “Health Silk Road,” is employed by the Journal to describe a physical infrastructure mobilization, similar to China’s “Silk Road” approach to building infrastructure in developing nations prior to the pandemic. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi made it clear on his five-nation Africa tour in January that vaccines were a major priority. They are presently planning for vaccines for a total of over 60 countries total, and have already started in over 20 countries. Presently they have contracts for over 500 million doses, with Indonesia getting a full quarter of those. Each of the vaccines from Sinopharm, Sinovac Biotech Ltd and CanSino Biologics Ltd can be stored in regular refrigerators. Finally, in December, ground was broken in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the base of the African Union, on the brand new Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), built and financed by China.

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