Published development or research report or study (D4)

Vaccines as contentious connectivity in the Indo-Pacific: The case of US-China competition during the Covid-19 pandemic

List of AuthorsSinkkonen Ville, Ruokamo Anu

PublisherUlkopoliittinen instituutti


Publication year2022

Title of seriesFIIA Working Paper

Number in series129/Oct. 2022





This FIIA Working Paper explores the implications of contentious vaccine connectivity between the great powers for the future of regional connectivity and order maintenance in the Indo-Pacifc. Utilising a connectivity-based analytical framework, it explores the Covid-19 vaccine forays of China, on the one hand, and the United States and its Quad partners, on the other, as well as the reactions of vaccine receiving countries.

Te paper illustrates how the US and its partners, relying on a multilaterally-informed donationsbased approach coupled with vaccines produced by Western manufacturers, have eventually managed to erode China’s first-mover advantage in using vaccines as a means of enhancing regional infuence. Moreover, the great-power contest has allowed vaccine receiving countries to practise hedging, and ultimately created the possibility of switching to Western vaccine providers amidst fears over the lower efectiveness of Chinese vaccines and China’s bilateral sales-based approach to vaccine provision. More generally, the vaccine case illustrates the tragic consequences of worsening great-power relations for the provision of global public goods, as well as sustainable regional and international order.

Last updated on 2023-24-01 at 16:04