By Chu Maoming
China has actively participated in and acted upon the Debt Service Suspension Initiative of the G20. This was disclosed by a white paper, titled “Fighting COVID-19: China in Action”, which was issued on the morning of June 7, 2020 by the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China.
At the virtual event of opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly, Chinese President Xi Jinping made an important statement that is of great and far-reaching significance in boosting global confidence in pandemic containment, promoting international anti-pandemic cooperation and planning for the future global governance system. As of now, the important measures put forward by President Xi Jinping are being actively implemented.
Regarding the US$2 billion in aid, it includes both anti-pandemic materials and support for post-epidemic economic and social recovery and development in relevant countries, and it also involves bilateral assistance and multilateral donations. China is now working with recipient countries in need to confirm assistance projects through consultations on an equal footing, and has provided two batches of cash support totaling US$50 million to the World Health Organization (WHO). Negotiations and preparations for a global humanitarian response depot and hub in China are under progress.
China has actively participated in and acted upon the Debt Service Suspension Initiative of the G20. It has so far announced the suspension of debt repayments from 77 developing countries.
China has taken part in a WHO proposed global initiative on drugs and vaccine development and co-hosted with WHO a video conference on facilitating a Solidarity Trial vaccine development program. The COVID-19 vaccine will be used as a safe, effective and high-quality global public product once it is developed and deployed in China. This will be China’s contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.
The establishment of a cooperation mechanism for Chinese hospitals to pair up with 30 African hospitals is underway. In addition to the medical supplies sent to over 50 African countries and the African Union, and the seven medical expert teams dispatched to the continent, China will offer more assistance to African countries, and continue to do all in its power to offer support. This includes sending the most urgent medical supplies, conducting cooperation on medical technologies, and dispatching more medical expert teams and task forces. China will also provide support to the Covid-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan of the United Nations.
China will never forget the invaluable friendship from people around the globe who cheered China in different ways when China was at the most trying moment of its epidemic response. In the face of the increasingly severe global pandemic, China feels for the pain and reciprocates acts of friendship and kindness from others. China has done all it can to provide all sides with support and assistance, and shared China’s experience and solutions without reservation. The international community has praised China for its outstanding contribution to international cooperation against COVID-19.
In the face of such a pandemic, the world’s most powerful weapon is cooperation and the right way to fight the virus is solidarity. As a responsible country, China stands for the vision of a global community of shared future, and has actively participated in and advanced international cooperation in public health. China will put into action the six proposals and five measures put forward by President Xi Jinping in his speech at the opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly, and contribute more to securing regional and international public health and building a global community of health for all.
*Chu Maoming is China’s Consul General in Lagos