China Suspends Cargo Flights to COVID-19 Stricken India, Disrupting Shipment of Medical Supplies, While Promising to ‘Help’

April 28, 2021 Updated: April 28, 2021

Update: On the night of April 27, Sichuan Airlines said it was working on a plan to resume the cargo flights to India, although they are currently still on halt. 

India is experiencing a massive COVID-19 surge with more than 300,000 confirmed cases daily in the past week. Following democratic countries, the Chinese communist regime promised to help India, however, Indian media reported that a major Chinese state-run airline has suspended all cargo flights to India that are needed to bring in medical supplies, and Chinese manufacturers of medical supplies have raised prices.

In recent days, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union have reached out to India to provide urgent assistance. The Biden administration promised to immediately provide India with the raw materials needed to produce vaccines, medical supplies, and protective equipment.

The Chinese government also promised to provide India with assistance and support. On April 26, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying tweeted, “We’re concerned about the grave situation in India. We’re ready to be of help if India tells us its specific needs.”

However, according to a Times of India report on April 26, Chinese state-run Sichuan Airlines had suspended all cargo flights to India for 15 days. It seriously affected the ability of locals to obtain oxygen concentrators and other urgently needed medical equipment from China.

In addition, traders also complained that Chinese manufacturers have increased the price of medical supplies by 35–40 percent, and the freight charges have also increased by more than 20 percent, according to the report.

Epoch Times Photo
A Sichuan Airlines A320 jet inside a hangar at the Airbus Tianjin factory in Tianjin City, northern China on April 21, 2009. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

At the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s routine press conference on April 26, a reporter from the Indian Broadcasting Corporation asked the ministry’s spokesperson Wang Wenbin about the suspension: “You said last week that China and India are communicating on China’s provision of medical supplies to India. At the same time, Indian companies are also purchasing medical supplies from China to meet India’s needs in response to the epidemic. But today, China’s Sichuan Airlines suspended its cargo operations to India, which prevented India from purchasing urgently needed items at this critical moment.”

Wang replied by repeating that China would provide assistance and said that the Indian companies’ urgent purchase of medical supplies from China “is a normal purchasing behavior among companies.” And he suggested the Indian reporter check with relevant airlines about the operation of specific flights.

At present, more than a dozen countries have suspended flights to India, but the ban does not include cargo flights or planes carrying medical personnel. On the contrary, countries such as the United Kingdom are actively dispatching flights loaded with medical supplies to India. A flight from the UK carrying ventilators and oxygen concentrators landed in Delhi on April 27.

Regarding China’s promise to help India, U.S. columnist and China expert Gordon Chang replied on Twitter by asking China to reveal how the COVID-19 started.

The COVID-19 pandemic that started in China’s Wuhan city last November has claimed 3.13 million lives worldwide, but so far the Chinese communist regime has not provided the original data on the virus, which has been criticized by many people around the world.

On April 22, a group of U.S. senators proposed a bill that would require President Joe Biden to declassify intelligence on the P4 lab, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is suspected of leaking the virus.