International

China offers $3 billion COVID-19 aid, vaccines for developing countries

Chinese President Xi Jinping.File.   | Photo Credit: AP

China has pledged an additional $3 billion in aid for developing countries to assist their COVID-19 responses and suggested setting up a global forum on vaccines to ensure equitable distribution.

This was proposed by President Xi Jinping on Friday as he addressed the Global Health Summit held by the G20 and European Commission.

China, which has broadly curbed the transmission of COVID-19 at home and avoided a second wave, has been offering its vaccines and assistance including in the neighbourhood, having organised a series of virtual dialogues with South Asian countries in recent months.

Beijing has offered $2 billion in aid so far to developing countries as well as free vaccines for 80 countries with 43 other nations importing its vaccines, Mr. Xi said.

"The past year and more have seen repeated resurgence and frequent mutations of the coronavirus. The most serious pandemic in a century is still wreaking havoc,” he said. “Today, the problem of uneven vaccination has become more acute. It is imperative for us to reject vaccine nationalism and find solutions to issues concerning the production capacity and distribution of vaccines, in order to make vaccines more accessible and affordable in developing countries.”

China “will provide an additional $3 billion in international aid over the next three years”, the Chinese President said, “to support COVID-19 response and economic and social recovery in other developing countries.” “Having already supplied 300 million doses of vaccines to the world, China will provide still more vaccines to the best of its ability,” he added, also suggesting “setting up an international forum on vaccine cooperation for vaccine-developing and producing countries, companies and other stakeholders to explore ways of promoting fair and equitable distribution of vaccines around the world.”

On the issue of vaccines, China hit out at the U.S. and Western countries earlier this week. “What we have seen is that Western developed countries, especially the U.S., have stockpiled far more doses than their need,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters. “Based on the statistics of some agencies and media, the high-income countries which account for 14% of the world's population now hold six times more vaccines than medium- and low-income countries which account for over 86% of the global population. The U.S. has purchased about 2.6 billion doses, a quarter of the global total, far in excess of its need. Up to 100 million doses are sitting in American warehouses gathering dust. Therefore the most pressing task at hand is for the developed countries which have bought far more doses than their actual need to immediately lift export restrictions and increase supply to make up for the shortfall in developing countries as soon as possible.”


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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 8:11:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/china-offers-3-billion-covid-19-aid-vaccines-for-developing-countries/article34617351.ece

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