China’s ‘mask diplomacy‘ wins over US blame game

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MANILA – Following high-profile deployments of medics and medical equipment to virus-hit nations in Europe and the Middle East, China is now ramping up its “face mask diplomacy” closer to home in neighboring Southeast Asia.

As US politicians call for China to be held accountable for spawning the Covid-19 pandemic, including payment of “reparations” for economic damage, Beijing is diplomatically leveraging its “Health Silk Road” to pre-empt similar calls in Asia.

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In late March, Beijing delivered 40 tons of medical equipment to Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest and among the region’s worst Covid-19 impacted nations.

Media reports characterized China’s delivery of masks, swabs and test kits with boxes emblazoned with China’s flag, more as a public relations exercise than an emergency aid intervention.

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