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China’s proposals point direction for anti-pandemic efforts

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Workers transport Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine at the Phnom Penh International Airport in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, (Photo by Phearum/Xinhua)

Chinese President Xi Jinping has been pledging for concerted global efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and calling for a better global governance in the public health domain.
China has been promoting global cooperation to tackle the common challenge since the begining of the worldwide health crisis, in the meantime sharing experience, offering medical aids and vaccines to other parts of the world.

Earlier this month, Xi held a phone conversation with United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Xi stressed that the most important task for the international community remains fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that the world should strengthen cooperation and reject political manipulation.

Noting that major countries should set an example by providing more public goods, Xi said that China has provided vaccine assistance for more than 80 developing countries and exported vaccines to more than 50 countries.

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A citizen receives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac in Bangkok, Thailand, May 12, 2021. (Xinhua/Rachen Sageamsak)
China has decided to offer vaccines to the UN peacekeeping operations and the International Olympic Committee, and will continue to actively support COVAX and make continuous efforts to eliminate the “vaccine divide,” Xi added.

When addressing the opening of the 73rd session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) via video link in May 2020, Xi announced concrete measures to boost the global fight against COVID-19.

In his speech, Xi said, “China will provide 2 billion U.S. dollars over two years to help with COVID-19 response and with economic and social development in affected countries, especially developing countries.”

China will work with the UN to set up a global humanitarian response depot and hub in China, ensure the operation of anti-epidemic supply chains and foster “green corridors” for fast-track transportation and customs clearance, he said.
“COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, will be made a global public good,” said the president.

Xi also proposed to strengthen global governance in the area of public health in his WHA speech, saying that “in view of the weaknesses and deficiencies exposed by COVID-19, we need to improve the governance system for public health security.”

In a phone conversation with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in March 2020, Xi said China stands ready to work with France to encourage all relevant parties to step up coordination and cooperation within such frameworks as the UN and the Group of 20 (G20), engage in joint prevention and containment, improve global health governance, help developing countries and other countries in need with capacity-building, and cushion the epidemic’s impact on the world economy.

In November 2020, when addressing the G20 Riyadh Summit via video link, Xi said the most pressing task of the moment is to shore up the global public health system and contain COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, highlighting the importance of building up capacities for tackling global challenges.

At the invitation of Mario Draghi, prime minister of Italy that holds the G20 presidency, and Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, Xi will attend the Global Health Summit and deliver a speech via video in Beijing on Friday.

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