Wednesday, June 23, 2021

international

China pledges US$3b in aid for global COVID-19 response


BEIJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday pledged US$3 billion in aid over the next three years to help developing countries recover from the coronavirus pandemic, and proposed setting up an international forum on vaccine cooperation.

The forum would be "for vaccine-developing and producing countries and other stakeholders to explore ways of promoting fair and equitable distribution of vaccines around the world," Xi said at the G20 Global Health Summit via video link from Beijing, urging major countries to make more vaccines available to developing nations. The summit was organized by Italy, the holder of the G20 presidency, in partnership with the European Commission.

Xi said the COVID-19 pandemic is an extensive test of the global health governance system, calling for improving the global disease prevention and control system.

Xi urged efforts to enhance the capacity in five aspects: monitoring, early-warning and emergency response; treatment of major pandemics; contingency reserve and logistics; fighting disinformation; and providing support to developing countries.

No political manipulation

The president also said the battle with COVID-19 is one for the people and by the people, and called for efforts to truly respect the value and dignity of every human life. 

"We must put people's lives and health front and center, demonstrate a great sense of political responsibility and courage, and make extraordinary responses to an extraordinary challenge," Xi said.

Political manipulation would not serve COVID-19 response, and it would only disrupt international cooperation against the virus and bring greater harm to people around the world, President Xi said.

"The pandemic is yet another reminder that we humanity rise and fall together with a shared future," Xi said.

Xi called for championing the vision of building a global community of health for all, tiding over the trying time through solidarity and cooperation, and firmly rejecting any attempt to politicize, label or stigmatize the virus. 

Commitment honored

In spite of the limited production capacity and enormous demand at home, China has honored its commitment by providing free vaccines to more than 80 developing countries in urgent need and exporting vaccines to 43 countries, Xi said.

"We have provided US$2 billion in assistance for the COVID-19 response and economic and social recovery in developing countries hit by the pandemic," Xi said.

China has sent medical supplies to more than 150 countries and 13 international organizations, and provided more than 280 billion masks, 3.4 billion protective suits and 4 billion testing kits to the world, Xi said.

China has supplied 300 million doses of vaccines to the world and will continue to provide more to the best of its ability, he said.

Xi called on countries to adopt a science-based approach in the fight against COVID-19, adding that China supports its vaccine companies in transferring technologies to other developing countries and carrying out joint production with them.

China, who has announced support for waiving intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines, also supports the World Trade Organization and other international institutions in making an early decision on this matter, Xi said.

Published : May 22, 2021

By : China Daily/ANN