China Should Create Immense Foreign Aid Plan to Fight Covid-19, Advisor Says
What’s new: Jia Qingguo, a member of the standing committee of China’s top political advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), urged the government Monday to lay out a plan for a massive foreign aid program to battle the Covid-19 pandemic.
The background: Jia’s suggestion came as China’s “mask diplomacy” has been raising concerns in the West that Beijing could be gaining influence abroad by sending medical experts and supplies to countries hit hard by the pandemic.
It also arrived ahead of China’s top annual political gatherings of the CPPCC and the National People’s Congress (NPC), which had been scheduled to take place in early March but were postponed due to the outbreak. Beijing has not yet announced new dates for the meetings.
In the early days of the pandemic, China’s foreign aid efforts were lacking in “scale, strategy and coordination, which could easily be misinterpreted as China “politicizing” its foreign aid, said Jia, a member of the CPPCC’s foreign affairs committee.
Instead, Jia suggested that Beijing should increase the scale, set rules and enhance the coordination of its foreign aid policy in an effort to effectively contain the pandemic.
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