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Xi Pitches Vaccine to Eastern Europe in Bid to Revive Ties

  • China’s ‘17+1’ forum drive had waned with investment lagging
  • Chinese leader also pledges to buy $170b of goods from region
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President Xi Jinping said China stands ready to provide eastern Europe with coronavirus vaccines, part of efforts to reboot relations harmed by the failure of the government in Beijing to deliver on investment promises.

The comments come amid tensions within the European Union over the bloc’s procurement of shots to combat Covid-19, with member states unable to match the pace of other Western nations in inoculating their citizens. Chinese companies have already provided 1 million vaccine doses to Serbia, an EU aspirant that’s also using Russia’s Sputnik injection.