The world's largest cargo plane delivered 400 tonnes of medical supplies from China to Poland amid the coronavirus pandemic in Europe. The Antonov An-225 Mriya arrived in Tianjin Binhai International Airport in North China on April 12. It loaded around 250 tonnes of medical supplies including seven million surgical masks, thousands of face shields and decontamination suits. Mriya landed in the Polish capital Warsaw on April 14.
Many countries see this as part of China's "mask diplomacy" to improve its image that has been battered by the coronavirus crises. Mirya, that weights around 285,000 kgs, will make another trip to complete transportation of 400 tonnes of supplies.
The Ministry of State Assets in Poland said in just one trip Mirya can haul as much cargo as 10 carriers. According to the Daily Mail, Chinese state media reported that Germany would also book heavy duty cargo aircraft for transporting medical supplies from China.
The An-225, that belongs to state-owned Antonov Airlines of Ukraine, is expected to fly back to China to carry medical supplies to fight the pandemic in Ukraine.
China's medical aid provision list currently includes Russia, Iraq, Kuwait and Algeria. Beijing is reported to be trying hard to maintain its influence in Eastern Europe as it struggles to refurbish its its image stained by way it handled the pandemic initially. Chinese officials have rejected claims that Beijing is seeking political gains by providing aid to other countries.