China to give 3 million vaccine doses to Vietnam

China to give 3 million vaccine doses to Vietnam
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China on Saturday pledged to give Vietnam 3 million vaccine doses following a diplomatic visit to Hanoi.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced the move as Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh declared the two countries needed to work on their relationship, a local outlet reported, according to The Associated Press.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, Vietnam has only 3 percent of its country fully vaccinated from the virus.

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The U.S. has donated 6 million vaccine doses to Vietnam, including 1 million doses pledged last month.

"I know the Vietnamese people are facing a difficult time right now with COVID-19. We also know that early in the pandemic, Vietnam was generous in supporting the United States when we were in a time of need, with over 250,000 PPEs and masks being delivered to our country when we needed them. So we are proud to reciprocate in a time of need, most recently with these 1 million Pfizer vaccines," Vice President Harris said during a visit to the country.

Throughout the pandemic, Vietnam has had almost 590,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 14,000 deaths. At the beginning of August, China said it would give 2 billion coronavirus doses to other countries by the end of 2021. 

The relationship between China and Vietnam has been tense, as Vietnam has accused China of hindering its gas exploration in the South China Sea, the AP noted.

Vietnam on Saturday also separately reached a deal with Japan to obtain defensive equipment.