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US: Xi Jinping refuses vaccines despite protests

US: Xi Jinping refuses vaccines despite protests

Despite the difficulties China is having with COVID-19, Chinese leader Xi Jinping is unwilling to accept Western vaccines, and while recent demonstrations there are not a threat to Communist Party rule, they could harm his standing, according to U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines on Saturday.

Although China’s daily COVID cases are close to all-time highs, several localities are moving to relax testing and quarantine requirements in response to Xi’s zero-COVID policy, which precipitated a severe economic slowdown and widespread dissent.

Even though the virus has a negative social and economic impact, Xi “is unwilling to take a better vaccine from the West and is instead relying on a vaccine in China that’s just not nearly as effective against omicron,” according to Haines, speaking at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum in California.

China has chosen to use COVID vaccinations made domestically, which some studies have revealed may not be as effective as some imported COVID vaccines. Therefore, researchers warn that loosening virus preventive methods could have significant consequences.

China has not requested immunizations from the United States, the White House claimed earlier in the week.

There is “no expectation at this time,” a U.S. official told Reuters, that China will accept western vaccines.

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

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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 U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, stated on a subsequent panel that China had no incentive to constrain any nation, including North Korea, that was causing issues for the United States.

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

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