Iran and the vaccination scandal

Podcast

While Western countries prepare for tougher sanctions at the UN against Iran regarding its nuclear development, China is reluctant to impose any further sanctions, intensifying the tension between Beijing and Washington. However, increasing signs, including Hu Jintao’s upcoming visit to Washington to attend the nuclear summit, have shown that China may be preparing for an about-turn on Iranian sanctions. Indeed, China is in a tough spot in this situation as Iran has always been its important strategic partner and oil provider. Through delicate maneuvering in the Middle East, China is undoubtedly maximizing concessions from both Iran and the West.

Scandal broke out last month involving a number of deaths in Shanxi and Jiangsu among infants and toddlers that appear to be related to bad vaccinations. The crisis was eventually attributed to the private companies that take over the vaccines through local health administrations. How the government will manage this situation, coming after the melamine crisis, is still waiting to be seen.

In this week’s installment, host Kaiser Kuo discusses these two issues with Bill Bishop, a tech entrepreneur and blogger at DigiCha.com and Sinocism.com, and William Moss, who writes the blog imagethief.com. How should we interpret China’s signs of willingness to support sanctions on Iran over nuclear weapons development? Will the vaccination scandal become another melamine crisis, or does evidence point to this blowing over quickly?

References:

The Iran Nuclear Issue: The View from Beijing, by Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt

The Race for Iran blog

The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower, by Robert Baer

山西疫苗乱象调查:近百名儿童注射后或死或残, by王克勤