A day before the arrival of US Vice President Kamala Harris in Vietnam, the Chinese government sent a new shipment of Covid-19 vaccines to the country, which is suffering from the advance of the delta variant, in order to strengthen your presence on the neighbor.
The American Democrat travels through Southeast Asia and arrives this Tuesday (24) in Hanoi. The original purpose of the mission, which had previously passed through Singapore and scheduled since July, was to rally allies against China’s claim to control the South China Sea, a strategic sea route that runs through the coasts of the Philippines, Vietnam , Malaysia and Indonesia.
But the visit to Vietnam took on another meaning after the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, deemed disastrous after the rapid rise of the Taliban.
First, because the images of Westerners evacuating the country immediately recalled scenes of despair in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh), when the United States lost the war against Vietnam in 1975 and the Americans were evacuated by military helicopters through the roof of the embassy. Kamala’s trip around this time was even criticized by opposition politicians in the United States, for recalling the memory of yet another military defeat.
Second, because American geopolitical rivals like China have used the example of Afghanistan to put pressure on satellite countries and warn of the dangers of relying too much on the Americans.
And it is in this context that the sending of several doses of vaccine against the Covid-19 to Vietnam, sent on Monday (23) by the People’s Liberation Army, the Chinese armed forces, directly to the Vietnamese army. , in a diplomatic offensive. also stop the military claims of the Americans in the region.
“It is a living portrait of the solidarity, cooperation and friendly relations between the two parties, the two countries and the two armies [da China e do Vietnã]”The Chinese Embassy in Vietnam said in a statement.
The shipment of new doses of the Covid-19 vaccine is particularly important for Vietnam because less than 2% of its population has been fully immunized and 14% received only a single dose.
The country, considered until the first half of this year as an example in the containment of the disease, with very few deaths despite its 100 million inhabitants, has seen the health system collapse with the advance of the delta variant and now records more than 350 deaths per year. daytime.
Thus, although he has prepared the whole structure to receive the US Vice President, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh insisted on telling Chinese Ambassador Xiong Bo that the country will not take any sides in the conflict. Vietnam “adheres to an independent, autonomous, multilateral and diverse foreign policy and is a responsible member of the international community,” he said, according to a government statement.
This is because their meeting took place on the same day, Kamala said in Singapore that the Chinese government continues to “coerce, intimidate and claim” control of the South China Sea, with actions that “undermine it. ‘order and threaten the sovereignty of nations’.
Kamala should have arrived in Hanoi on Tuesday morning, Brazilian time, but the flight was delayed by an “abnormal health incident”, according to the American embassy in the country, which did not give details of what happened. pass.
This phrase has been used in other contexts to refer to what has come to be known as “Havana Syndrome”, when American diplomats in Cuba began to report nausea, dizziness and memory loss, which has been attributed to a “sonic attack” by the government.