SCIO briefing on white paper 'Fighting COVID-19: China in Action'

​The State Council Information Office (SCIO) held a press conference on June 7 to brief the media on its new white paper: "Fighting COVID-19: China in Action." June 10, 2020

Russian News Agency TASS:

At the 73th World Health Assembly, President Xi Jinping said China will provide US$2 billion over two years to help with the COVID-19 international response and with economic and social development in affected countries. What is China's plan to deepen and expand international cooperation in the COVID-19 response. Is China planning to work with Russia or other countries in vaccine research and development? Thank you.

Ma Xiaowei:

The global epidemic situation remains complex and grave. In the face of the most serious international public health emergency after the Second World War, many people are concerned about the future of the human community. At this historic moment, President Xi delivered an important speech at the virtual opening event of the 73rd World Health Assembly, introducing China's stance on fighting COVID-19 as well as a series of important initiatives and measures from the perspective of building a global community of health for all, which is of great and far-reaching significance to boost confidence, advance international cooperation in the battle against the COVID-19 and even strengthen global public health governance.

China has always been true to its words and resolute in its deeds. The measures announced by President Xi are now being implemented and making good progress. I would like to share with you some details about the implementation. The US$2 billion package not only includes providing anti-epidemic materials but also supporting economic and social development of the affected countries. China is negotiating bilateral aid arrangements with needy recipient countries in an equal manner to identify assistance projects to help developing nations improve their public health standards, people's livelihood, reduce poverty and resume normal economic activities. On the multilateral front, China has provided two batches of cash support totalling US$50 million to the WHO and made donations to international organizations like the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations. We also helped WHO's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to raise funds in China. The establishment of a global humanitarian response depot and hub in China in cooperation with the United Nations is under discussion and preparations are under way. China has announced the suspension of debt repayments for 77 developing countries and regions and actively participated in and implemented the Debt Service Suspension Initiative for the poorest countries together with other G20 members. A cooperation mechanism for Chinese hospitals to pair up with 30 African hospitals is also in the pipeline.

Regarding your question about vaccines, Mr. Wang just explained that China has given high priority to international cooperation in terms of vaccine R&D. Our country has participated in the global initiative organized by the WHO for the R&D of specific medicines and vaccines. Not long ago, China joined hands with the WHO to hold a video conference aiming at promoting R&D from which experiments worldwide should be undertaken in great solidarity. China has committed to providing safe, effective and high-quality public products to the world once it has completed the R&D process and put the vaccine into use. It has also promised to contribute to the availability and affordability of vaccines for developing countries. These are commitments that we must fulfill.

China and Russia, in accordance with their comprehensive strategic partnership, have assisted and cooperated with each other since the outbreak of the pandemic. In the next phase, we will follow the significant consensuses reached between the leaders of the two states to expand our cooperation in pandemic prevention and control, including the vaccine R&D. That is how we are contributing to cementing the anti-pandemic efforts being taken by the entire international community. 

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