BEIJING – Chinese President Xi Jinping promised his country will “honor” its commitment of providing support and assistance to other developing countries, and “work to make vaccines a global public good accessible and affordable to people around the world.”
In his address at the G20 summit in Riyadh via video link late Saturday, Xi said that the Asian country is ready “to step up cooperation with other countries on the R&D (research and development), production and distribution of vaccines” against COVID-19.
“We will honor our commitment of giving assistance and support to other developing countries, and work to make vaccines a global public good accessible and affordable to people around the world,” he said.
“We should speed up action and support the WHO (World Health Organization) in mobilizing and consolidating resources and distributing vaccines fairly and efficiently,” he added.
China is aiming to become the first country in the world to produce a large-scale vaccine against COVID-19, for which it has half a dozen developing countries, including several Latin American countries, participating in the final phase of clinical trials of various projects.
Four vaccines being developed by three Chinese companies are now in the third phase of testing: one by Sinovac, two by Sinopharm and one by CanSino Biologics.
Another vaccine is also being developed by a consortium comprising of Chinese pharmaceutical company, Fosun Pharma, Germany’s BioNTech, and Pfizer of the United States.
Xi also called for greater coordination to establish travel “fast tracks” for the “mutual recognition of health certificates based on nucleic acid test results in the form of internationally accepted QR codes.”
The Chinese leader also made a call to “firmly safeguard the rules-based multilateral trading system that is transparent, nondiscriminatory, open and inclusive,” and urged the G20 to “oppose unilateralism and protectionism.”
The leaders of the G20 countries spent the first day of the summit, which will conclude on Sunday, analyzing how to overcome the coronavirus pandemic and restore growth and employment.
The G20, a forum initially promoted by finance and central bank officials, brings together the richest countries and the world’s major emerging economies in a common platform.
The group consists of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United States and the European Union.