Rep. Krishnamoorthi seeks to use COVID-19 aid to counter Russian and Chinese influence around the world

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Given a world still going through a pandemic and the shifting diplomatic realities that a war in Ukraine has brought about, US Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) this week called for increased COVID assistance -19 abroad to counter Russian and Chinese influence.

“As Russian tanks roll into Ukraine and Vladimir Putin seeks to rebuild the Soviet empire, the implications for global stability and the international rule of law are grim,” Krishnamoorthi said in a statement. “Tyrants and small strongmen around the world will be encouraged to take what they want, and in doing so they will find support in each other, ushering in a new cold war between democracies and autocracies, Russia and the Republic People’s People of China at the top of their minds At this moment, we must consider the full magnitude of the new cold war in which we now find ourselves engaged.

Weapons, finance, humanitarian aid – nothing has been ruled out, according to Krishnamoorthi, as Putin’s Russia and the Chinese Communist Party take root in the workings of other countries. While the United States has long been the world’s leading provider of medicine, food and economic assistance to developing countries, for a variety of purposes and outcomes, the Congressman pointed in particular to the Belt and Road initiative of the PRC as something upsetting this old vision.

Belt and Road is a global infrastructure development strategy that China has been pursuing since 2013, which calls for investment in nearly 70 countries and international organizations. It is intended to tie China more closely to global affairs in a leadership role based on its spending and power. The initiative has been a great success, shipping nearly 1.5 billion vaccines to countries around the world and promoting health and development assistance in the southern hemisphere in particular.

Krishnamoorthi held nothing back in his critique of the situation, calling it a Faustian bargain that lagging American attention has allowed to grow.

“We must counter the influence of Russia and the People’s Republic of China by fully funding US COVID-19 assistance programs,” Krisnamoorthi said. “We must demonstrate the strength and generosity of the United States and our democratic allies by delivering desperately needed vaccines, treatments and medical supplies to low-income countries and by building the infrastructure to get them off the ground. on it as soon as possible. As we consider legislation to send much-needed safe and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, we must also include the $5 billion requested by the White House and more to fight COVID-19 in developing countries around the world. . Failure to do so would be tantamount to letting the malevolent influence and ambition of Russia and the PRC run wild.

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