Pakistan helped China at trying moments against COVID-19: Spokesperson 

BEIJING, Feb. 2 (INP): Last year, at China’s most trying moments, Pakistan was among the first countries to donate medical supplies to us in a great act of valuable support.

When the epidemic situation in China eased, we supported Pakistan’s fight against the virus through various means including donating medical supplies and sending medical experts, said here a spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Wang Wenbin at a news briefing.

He told reporters that in the early hours on Monday, a batch of inactivated COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Chinese government to Pakistan arrived in Islamabad. It was the first batch of vaccine aid provided by the Chinese government to another country and a concrete step in honoring President Xi’s pledge of making COVID-19 vaccines a global public good.

China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic partners. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the two sides have been supporting and assisting each other.

Vaccine cooperation is an important of the joint efforts by China and Pakistan to fight COVID-19. It demonstrates not only our sincere mutual assistance as all-weather strategic partners, but also our joint efforts as two developing countries to make vaccines a global public good and promote their accessibility and affordability in fellow developing countries.

The virus respects no boundaries and we are all in this together. Solidarity and cooperation is our most powerful weapon in this war. We hope all parties will take real action, provide more vaccines to developing countries, and contribute to the equitable distribution and application of vaccines across the world so that we can defeat the virus at an early date, he added.

About the China’s plan to offer vaccines as aid to other countries as well or export vaccines to them, the spokesperson said, “China has been acting through concrete actions on President Xi Jinping’s solemn commitment of making COVID-19 vaccines, developed and deployed in China, a global public good, thus contributing to greater accessibility and affordability of vaccines in developing countries. That’s what we’ve been saying and what we’ve been doing.

First, apart from Pakistan, China is also providing vaccine aid to Brunei, Nepal, the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Palestine, Belarus, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea, altogether 13 developing countries.

Going forward, we will also assist another 38 developing countries with vaccines. We also take an active part in the WHO-led COVAX and provide vaccines through this platform to developing countries.

Second, China supports Chinese companies in conducting joint vaccine R&D and production with foreign partners. Vaccines made by Sinopharm and Sinovac have been exported to countries including the UAE, Morocco, Indonesia, Turkey, Brazil and Chile where clinical studies have been conducted.

Third, China supports relevant companies in exporting vaccines to countries in urgent need that have approved Chinese vaccines and authorized their emergency use. For instance, Serbia has started vaccination with recently imported Chinese-made vaccines. More and more countries are approving the domestic use of Chinese vaccines.

The whole world needs to pull together in order to defeat the pandemic. China will continue to provide in a timely manner, to the best of its capability, vaccines to relevant countries, especially the developing countries, and contribute its share to building a global community of health for all.

We also hope the international community will work together to promote the equitable allocation and use of vaccines globally to make sure developing countries have access to and can afford them.”

INP/JAVED