US and Chinese COVID-19 health outreach to Africa and Latin America: A comparison

Group of surgeons performing a medical procedure in an operating room. Image: Getty, PeopleImages
Group of surgeons performing a medical procedure in an operating room. Image: Getty, PeopleImages

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has arguably been worsened by the lack of a coordinated global response, driven in part by the tensions between the US and China.

Summary:

  • COVID-19 has exacerbated pre-existing trends in global trade and geopolitics, including China–US rivalry.
  • The pandemic has impacted global supply chains and global political cooperation. It has also weakened regional and multilateral cooperation in favour of nationalism.
  • China and the US compete in regions like Africa and Latin America. In Africa the US has built on existing health initiatives, especially the Presidential Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
  • In both Africa and Latin America, China has drawn on multiple state and non-state actors to promote its health diplomacy outreach.
17 Dec 2020
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Research by
Series
SAIIA Policy Insights No 98, November 2020
Region
Global
SAIIA Programme
Foreign Policy
Tags
COVID-19, coronavirus
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