Chinese vaccines arrive in Myanmar

China has donated 500,000 doses of its coronavirus vaccines to Myanmar.

Myanmar's state-run television says the vaccine shipment arrived on Sunday, at the international airport in the largest city of Yangon. The shipment was larger than the 300,000 doses pledged by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi when he visited Myanmar in January. The Chinese Embassy in Myanmar said the vaccines demonstrate the friendship between the two countries. China has opposed moves within the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Myanmar's military over its coup in February. Anti-Chinese sentiment is spreading among citizens who are protesting the power grab.

The larger-than-promised shipment is apparently aimed at easing such sentiment. It could also help the military leaders demonstrate their efforts to fight the pandemic.

However, some observers believe the Chinese vaccines could aggravate moves to boycott vaccinations among citizens who reject military rule.