The Telegraph Calcutta has reported that the Indian government is surprised and unhappy with Bangladesh’s decision to allow the Chinese vaccine trial in Bangladesh. Especially after the recent border conflict between India and China in Ladakh region, a cold war is going on between these two nations. Regional countries already fed up with big brother attitude from India have found an alternative to challenge Indian hegemony. Pakistan has been a close ally for China for many years. Iran, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and some other neighboring nations have increased cooperation with China in recent years. Instead of supporting India, many other nations have kept distance.
Historically India has put pressure on its neighboring countries to keep a distance from countries like Pakistan and China. It seems this strategy is not working now. China has superior technology and investment capability to support smaller countries. So these countries are getting closer to China.
In an unscheduled visit to Dhaka Indian foreign secretary has assured that India will supply the Covid-19 vaccine to Bangladesh on priority basis when available. But many experts have questioned how India will provide vaccine when they are looking for vaccines from other countries.
Finally, the Bangladesh government has issued clearance to internationally renowned research organization ICDDRB to conduct phase three trials for the Chinese vaccine on volunteers who are not infected with the coronavirus. That means Bangladesh will get vaccine from China on priority basis when it’s ready.
Indian media has commented India’s vaccine diplomacy has failed. Some online readers have commented, Bangladesh has the right to decide which vaccine will be allowed for trial in Bangladesh.