An opinion piece in Global Times, a Chinese daily, said India became the victim of United States "selfishness" during the former's fight against COVID-19.
Global Times is considered the mouthpiece of the Chinese government.
The opinion piece said the US might not have offered "any substantial assistance" to India during the current second wave of COVID-19 without pressure from China and other countries.
The US has agreed to send ventilators, therapeutics, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and raw material for COVID-19 vaccines to India to help the country battle the second wave of the pandemic.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
The US also eventually agreed to share its entire stock of 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine with India and other countries, after completing a safety review.
"The US agreed to help only because it feels that if it does not lend a helping hand, it would lose an important chess piece to contain China, and its self-claimed international credibility and the hegemonic status would be in jeopardy."
"In the face of US indifference and insincerity, India has unfortunately become the victim of US selfishness. Some Indians are calling for India to leave the US-led Quad, whose central objective is to counter China," the opinion piece said.
US media has blamed China for stoking tensions, the opinion piece said, referring to a Bloomberg article titled "China Stokes U.S.-India Tensions Over Biden's Slow Virus Aid""But what do US media outlets such as Bloomberg expect from the world when Washington shows startling indifference and inaction when asked for help? The selfishness of the US in the face of a COVID-19 crisis in India is tantamount to a stab in the back of its partner," the Global Times article said.