BEIJING, May 18 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping has been calling for building a global community of health for all as the still-rampaging COVID-19 highlights the urgency for humanity to fight as one when facing such a health crisis that recognizes no border and pities no race.
Since the begining of the pandemic, China has been carrying out global cooperation to tackle the common challenge, providing medical supplies and vaccines to other countries and regions and sharing experience in virus prevention and treating patients.
In March 2020, Xi first proposed the concept of building a global community of health for all in a message to French President Emmanuel Macron.
Xi said in the message that China is willing to make concerted efforts with France to enhance international cooperation in epidemic prevention and control, support the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization to play a core role in improving global public health governance, and build a global community of health for all.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo (L) receives his second injection of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by China’s biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, Jan. 27, 2021. (Muchlis Jr/Presidential Press Bureau/Handout via Xinhua)
To put the proposal into practice, China has been taking the lead in participating in global efforts to meet challenges brought by the pandemic.
In a phone conversation with his Indonesian counterpart, Joko Widodo, in April 2020, Xi noted that the coronavirus disease has broken out in multiple countries and regions.
China will uphold the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, share its experience and provide as much support as it can for the global battle against COVID-19, and work with other countries to promote the development of global public health and build a global community of health for all, he said.
When addressing the opening of the 73rd session of the World Health Assembly 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.”
Workers unload China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines, donated by the Chinese government to Ethiopia, at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on March 30, 2021. (Photo by Michael Tewelde/Xinhua)
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.
One year after making the promise, China has been unswervingly walking its talk to ensure vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.
According to official data released earlier this month, China has provided vaccine assistance to more than 80 countries, and exported vaccines to more than 50 countries.
In a telephone conversation with Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit in January, Xi said China will continue providing assistance and support for developing countries, and striving to make vaccines public goods that are accessible and affordable to people in all countries.
China stands ready to increase vaccine cooperation, cement international solidarity against COVID-19, and promote the building of a global community of health for all, Xi said in a telephone conversation with his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, in February.
A health worker displays a dose of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine during a vaccination campaign in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on April 1, 2021. (Photo by Nidal Eshtayeh/Xinhua)
When delivering a keynote speech via video at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021 in April, Xi reiterated his vision for creating a future of health and security with solidarity and cooperation.
“We must put people and their lives above anything else, scale up information sharing and collective efforts, and enhance public health and medical cooperation,” he said.
For this purpose, international cooperation should be bolstered on the research and development, production and distribution of vaccines, so that everyone in the world can access and afford the vaccines they need, said the Chinese president.
In his phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in April, Xi said vaccines are used to prevent diseases and save lives, while stressing that China opposes the politicization of vaccines or “vaccine nationalism,” and stands ready to work with Germany and the international community as a whole to promote fair and reasonable vaccine distribution, support and help developing countries to obtain vaccines, and contribute to humankind’s common fight against the pandemic for an early victory. ■