Row in West gives Chinese, Russian vaccines a chance: Global Times editorial
Published: Feb 03, 2021 10:34 PM

A health worker (L) receives a dose of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine from China during a mass vaccination program with health workers as a main priority group in Surabaya, Indonesia, Jan. 31, 2021. (Photo by Aditya Hendra/Xinhua)

European leaders have continuously sent friendly signals to China-made and Russia-made vaccines. European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said Tuesday that coronavirus vaccines from Russia and China could be approved for use in the bloc if they "show all the data." German Chancellor Angela Merkel, German Health Minister Jens Spahn and French officials have also expressed such open attitudes.

These new attitudes from European officials are against the backdrop that the UK and US pharmaceutical corporations cannot delivery vaccines to EU according to contracts, and a feud has taken place in the West. This presents Chinese and Russian vaccines an opportunity.

The Chinese people should see it this way. First, this is a positive trend. It's possible for Chinese vaccines to enter the European market. If this becomes true, it will help boost the image of Chinese vaccines as well as the image of the Chinese pharmaceutical industry. If China and Europe can cooperate on vaccines, it will help de-politicize issues around vaccines and the anti-virus fight and turn public health back to science.

However, there is no hurry. China's vaccine research and development institutions need to mind their own job of improving the vaccine while keeping up with the highest standards of data integrity. Entering the European market still needs to proceed with excellent performance. The fight against the epidemic is destined to be a protracted struggle. As long as Chinese manufacturers put enough efforts, they can grasp the opportunity.

Global vaccines are in short supply. China's huge population needs to be vaccinated, and a large number of developing countries are waiting for the arrival of Chinese vaccines. Not to fail these expectations is the first responsibility of the relevant pharmaceutical companies in China. It would be a huge success if domestic vaccine supplies can support the demand of Chinese vaccinations this year, and produce an international output no lower than that of the US and the UK. That means Chinese vaccines promote global fairness by helping developing countries. 

On this basis, entering the European market is a good thing. Standards for using vaccines differ from country to country, and the EU's standard is typical in the West. Passing such a standard is equivalent to passing a door to the wider world for Chinese pharmaceutical companies

All this shows that the ongoing "vaccine war" poses a comprehensive challenge to the overall planning capacity of Chinese pharmaceutical companies and our society. This is a hasty test, and we need to increase our capabilities in an explosive manner, with multiple objectives, and not flinching in either direction.

Although it may be against Europe's will, its new attitude seems to have overcome the barrier and distance created by political bias and technological superiority toward Russia and China. It shows that the prevailing ideology in the West is difficult to sustain in the long run, and chances are countless for it to come apart. As long as China works hard and keeps an open mind, our concept of cooperation will continue to find possible new opportunities.

What we talk about now is only the possibility of Russian and Chinese vaccines entering the European market, but that talk has already generated some warmth in public opinion. Whether it will work or not, it tells people that there are multiple layers of logic to relationships in the world. Those who try to promote confrontation as the dominant logic are paranoid, and humanity should at least understand and try other logics.
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