Dictator Lee Hsien Loong, a former army general, lighting up fireworks in China

China has just employed a new diplomatic tool, by choosing strategic allies and foreign countries where their overseas investments are centred at, for their medical supplies export. The global pandemic has seen most countries refusing to sell medical supplies, and China is selectively choosing who to sell these precious resources to.

A cargo plane carrying 90 tonnes of medical supplies arrived in Australia Sydney this morning. Malaysia and Brazil also received the medical supplies from China.

Jin Hai, a Chinese customs official, said on Sunday (April 5th) that nearly four billion masks, 16,000 ventilators, 37.5 million pieces of protective clothing, and 2.84 million coronavirus testing kits had been exported to more than 50 countries since March 1, AFP news agency reported.

Unfortunately, Singapore is not in China’s list despite having sent 2 tonnes of medical supplies to China in February. Earlier boastings by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on “close relations” with China turned out to be untrue today.

Singapore ran out of face masks back in January, and the government today can only afford the ineffective cloth masks for the 5.7 million Singapore population. Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is also running low after the number of cases shot past 1,000 in April. Today the figure jumped a further 60% to 1,623 cases, with a makeshift hospital now built at Singapore Expo.