Beijing embassy scandal delays Chinese vaccine negotiation

In the few photos that arrived from Beijing these days, there are two senior Argentine officials posted there who look much skinnier. They were already lean, but they are hyper lean. It may be the change in diet, or the nerves that consume them. They are the ambassador Luis Maria Kreckler, who will be displaced from office in the next few hours, and the senior trade representative in Beijing, Sabino Vaca Narvaja, chosen now to replace him.

Enemies declared in the few months that they have been partners, they had an immense agenda of pending issues. But the urgency of the Government is to obtain the 30 million vaccines against the coronavirus they wanted from China, and this got in the middle of Kreckler’s dynamited mission.

Alberto Fernandez has at his disposal the decree of departure of diplomat Kreckler, whom he will displace in the coming days, after having asked him last December to take over the diplomatic headquarters for which in reality Cristina Kirchner he loved Navaja Vaca, his granddaughter’s uncle, albeit a Chinese expert politician.

Kreckler had not presented his credentials to the president Xi Jinping, but he had the pleasure of style that now the Government will have to ask for Vaca Narvaja. And since Vaca Narvaja is a politician, unlike Kreckler he must go through the approval process of the Senate, where the opposition that has this diplomatic scandal served on a platter will surely be heard.

Sabino has no diplomatic experience but his academic resume is flawless. The embassy in Beijing cannot continue in these conditions.

But it was all a great unintelligible role for foreign eyes. And the truth is that the question of the Chinese vaccine is in talks and without being resolved as of this Sunday, December 27.

Although the Government wanted to blame Kreckler for not achieving an agreement for the Covid vaccine – an accusation that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not support – it is the Ministry of Health that had the responsibility of such a company together with the Executive.

Kreckler discussed with China the acquisition of 30 million of the state company Sinopharm for this year, with different deliveries in the following months. For his part, the Chancellor Felipe Solá -who also had a bad relationship with Kreckler from the beginning but for reasons different from those of Sabino- is in talks with the Butantan Institute, in Brazil, for the acquisition of the Chinese vaccine Sinovac, from a private company.

Clarion knows from high sources that the early Chinese They have to certify their vaccines and then move on to the stage of provision of the same. First they will provide to their population, they want to provide to their neighbors in Asia, and only later to the rest of the countries. As I pointed out this weekend The Wall Street Journal, China plans to vaccinate during its lunar year (February) about 50 million and that just for april in 2021 it would make Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines available to the market

China was the first country to launch a reserved vaccination campaign. It was for a million people who were most at risk: employees and students going abroad, among others. It was something experimental, it transcended.

The truth is that the president Alberto Fernandez chose the message of the Pope Francisco to ask for a world of solidarity in the vaccine issue, with global and free access. But the course of events showed that in addition to having a strong rivalry between the powers for who manufactured it first, now it is who buys first, the best, and more quantity. In the end it was a race for the best business deal.

However, a shipment of 300,000 vaccines against covid-19 arrived on Thursday from Russia on a flight chartered by Argentina. The epic arrival of Sputnik V. This will soon allow an inoculation campaign, while the incident is repaired in the negotiation with Pfizer, the one with AstraZeneca is awaited and we continue to talk with others, including the Chinese.

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