Special: Battle Against Novel Coronavirus
State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the special representative of President Xi Jinping, delivers a video speech on Thursday to a special session of the United Nations General Assembly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo/Xinhua)
To defeat COVID-19 and keep the global economy afloat, China called upon countries around the world to “focus on the issue at hand, strengthen solidarity and expand consensus to reinforce cooperation”, according to President Xi Jinping’s special representative Wang Yi.
Wang, who’s also a state councilor and the foreign minister, made the comments on Thursday when delivering a video speech at a two-day special session of the United Nations General Assembly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event gathered nearly 80 world leaders and over 50 government ministers.
Wang expressed Beijing’s support for the UN’s convening of the session.
“The year 2020 is truly extraordinary in human history,” he said.”What lies ahead is a tenuous and uphill battle”, as the world faces a second wave of novel coronavirus infections.
Under Xi’s leadership, China has consistently put people and their lives above all else in its COVID-19 response, Wang said.
He pointed out that the country has established a mechanism to coordinate medium-and long-term efforts to advance epidemic control, and economic and social development.
“We have also launched the largest-ever global humanitarian campaign in the history of the People’s Republic of China, engaged in the most intensive virtual exchanges and stepped up to our responsibility as the largest supplier of anti-epidemic materials,” Wang said.
China will continue to provide support and assistance to countries in need, as the country is speeding up the phase-3 clinical trials of its vaccines, Wang said.
“Once developed and deployed, we will make them global public goods and provide them to other developing countries as our contribution to building a community of health for all,” he added.
In his speech, Wang delivered a five-point proposal to the global community. It calls for the world to act decisively to contain the spread of the virus; to enhance solidarity and cooperation; to coordinate COVID-19 control, and economic and social development; to step up support for developing countries; and to foster an enabling international environment for the fight against COVID-19.
It is important to promote a collective response around the world to curb the virus’ spread across borders. And major countries “must play an exemplary role in promoting collaboration”, Wang said.
“Vaccines－a powerful weapon to defeat the virus－should be a global public good and accessible and affordable for developing countries,” he said.
Countries should reopen their economies while keeping response measures in place. And they should make good use of the new business forms and models while strengthening international coordination on macroeconomic policies to keep global industrial and supply chains stable, he said.