US official says Chinese President Xi Jinping 'unwilling to accept Covid-19 vaccines' despite protests

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Despite the difficulties China is facing with Covid-19, Chinese President Xi Jinping remains loath to accept Western vaccines, said US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines on Saturday.

She added that while the recent demonstrations in the country do not pose a threat to Communist Party rule, they may have an impact on his personal standing.

While speaking at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum in California, Haines said that despite the social and economic impact of the novel virus, the Chinese leader is “unwilling to take a better vaccine from the West, and is instead relying on a vaccine in China that is just not nearly as effective against Omicron.”

Reuters quoted Haines as saying, “Seeing protests and the response to it is countering the narrative that he likes to put forward, which is that China is so much more effective at government.” She said that the US does not regard it as being a threat to stability at this point, or regime change, or anything like that, however, how it develops will be important to Xi’s standing.

Despite the fact that China’s daily Covid instances are close to all-time highs, several cities are trying to ease testing and quarantine requirements in response to Xi’s zero-Covid policy, which precipitated a severe economic slowdown and widespread dissent.

China has chosen to use domestically produced Covid vaccinations instead of any imported ones, which some studies have suggested may not be as effective. Therefore, researchers warn that loosening virus preventive methods could have significant consequences. China has not requested vaccines from the United States, the White House claimed earlier in the week.

Haines added that North Korea recognized that China was less likely to hold it responsible for what she called the “extraordinary” number of weapons tests conducted by Pyongyang this year.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared this week that his nation aspires to have the most potent nuclear force in the world amid a record year for missile testing.

Admiral John Aquilino, the head of the US Indo-Pacific Command, stated on a subsequent panel that China had no motive to constrain any nation, including North Korea, that was causing issues for the US. Aquilino said of China, “I’d argue quite differently that it’s in their strategy to drive those problems.”

Although he acknowledged that China had significant influence over North Korea regarding its weapons tests, he expressed pessimism about Beijing doing anything constructive to settle the region.

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US official says Chinese President Xi Jinping 'unwilling to accept Covid-19 vaccines' despite protests
US official says Chinese President Xi Jinping 'unwilling to accept Covid-19 vaccines' despite protests
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