China offers COVID-19 supplies to Myanmar
China on Friday donated COVID-19 vaccines and anti-pandemic supplies to Myanmar to help the country fight local outbreaks, officials said.
The donated COVID-19 vaccines are made by domestic drugmaker Sinopharm, and other supplies include respirators, oxygenators, testing kits, protective masks and clothing.
An online handover ceremony was held on Friday, attended by Chinese officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China International Development Cooperation Agency, Yunnan provincial and local governments, health officials and diplomats from Myanmar, as well as officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Chen Hai, Chinese ambassador to Myanmar, said during the event that the donation reflects that China puts great emphasis on the bilateral cooperation with Myanmar in virus control efforts, as well as the role of ASEAN.
The donations have been sent to Myanmar's border areas from several regions in Yunnan that share a long border.
Thet Khaing Win, Myanmar's minister for health and sports, thanked the Chinese government and Yunnan province for assisting the country in combating the pandemic and expressed a conviction it could win the battle with help from China.
China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a daily news conference on Friday that the donation is a concrete measure to implement President Xi Jinping's commitment of making Chinese vaccines a global public good and demonstrates the solidarity between the two countries.
Chen added that since the third wave of COVID-19 outbreaks hit Myanmar, China has provided 8.6 million vaccine doses to the country, including 3.9 million given as donations.
He added that China will continue to assist Myanmar in purchasing Chinese vaccines and realizing the goal of vaccinating 50 percent of its population by the end of this year.
In a separate development, the Red Cross Society of China said on Thursday that it has donated 1.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to 12 neighboring or African countries.
The society has also gifted $1 million in cash and anti-epidemic materials worth 4.13 million yuan ($640,000) to India via the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Another batch of anti-virus materials worth 3.99 million yuan was also donated by the society to Nepal.
The society said that it has been expanding international cooperation aimed at fighting the virus.