China has said that it has sold $4bn masks to the world amid coronavirus pandemic that has left thousands dead. China has exported 3.86 billion masks, 37.5 million pieces of protective clothing, 16,000 ventilators and 2.84 million COVID-19 testing kits since March 1, to more than 50 countries, according to reports.
However, some of the gears that China has sent to countries have been rejected as they do not meet international standards.
Spain, the Netherlands are two such countries which have returned faulty consignments back to China.
China now stands to gain from the fallout, exporting equipment and supplies needed to fight the pandemic, according to a US leader.
“It is the cruelest irony that this nation (US) is now dependent on China for production of many of these products,” said New York’s Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo recently as he scrambled to get vital medical equipment and supplies to his state where the 102,987 coronavirus cases exceed China’s overall 82,518.
The COVID-19 crisis has brought home to the US how the global shift of manufacturing to China can make it beholden to Beijing in a crisis.
The US is not alone. India has also found itself –like most countries – dependent on China for medical supplies for fighting coronavirus that originated in the Asian giant.
When the pandemic ends, there could be a sharp rethinking in the US about globalisation and possibly boost President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy, with a chain reaction around the world.
The US also has problems with major medical exporter India, but the spotlight has stayed away from it. After New Delhi, which sends pharmaceuticals worth $5.35 billion annually to the US, banned some exports due to the COVID-19 crisis, Washington pressured it to ease the restrictions.
The shortages of supplies needed for the pandemic have led to sharp increases in prices leading to greater profits for China.