Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at the opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly via video link in Beijing on May 18. (Photo by Xinhua News Agency/Li Xueren)
China will provide $2 billion U.S. dollars over two years to help with COVID-19 response worldwide and with economic and social development in affected countries, especially developing countries, said Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday (May 18).
Xi made the announcement at the opening of the 73rd session of the World Health Assembly (WHA), scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, via video link at the invitation of the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The measure aims to boost global fight against the pandemic including making the country’s COVID-19 vaccine a global public good when available.
The Chinese president mourned for every life lost to COVID-19 globally and expressed condolence to the bereaved families.
“In China, after making painstaking efforts and enormous sacrifice, we have turned the tide on the virus and protected the life and health of our people,” Xi said.
Noting that China has all along acted with openness, transparency and responsibility in the fight against COVID-19, Xi said China has shared control and treatment experience with the world without reservation and has done everything in our power to support and assist countries in need.
China will work with the United Nations 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, according to Xi.
Besides, Xi urged the world to provide greater support for Africa and pointed out helping developing countries especially African countries with weaker public health system should be the world’s top priority in COVID-19 response. China will establish a cooperation mechanism for its hospitals to pair up with 30 African hospitals and accelerate the building of the Africa CDC headquarters to help the continent ramp up its disease preparedness and control capacity. Xi also added that China will work with other G20 members to implement the Debt Service Suspension Initiative for the poorest countries.
In his address, six proposals have been made as efforts to bring COVID-19 under control, with the most urgent task to curb the global spread of coronavirus and stemming cross-border transmission as soon as possible.
Xi voiced firm support to the WHO, calling on the international community to increase political and financial support for WHO so as to mobilize resources worldwide to defeat the virus.
Xi also emphasized restoring economic and social development globally and calling for keeping global industrial and supply chains stable and unclogged when conditions permit. He called on the international community to work as one and make concerted efforts to protect the life and health of people in all countries, safeguard planet Earth and build a global community of health for all.