China to send another 1bn Covid vaccines to Africa: Xi

Published on Jan 17, 2022 07:34 PM IST

President Xi, speaking at an all-virtual Davos forum, said China will also send 150 million doses of the Covid vaccine to Asean

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote address for the 2022 World Economic Forum virtual session in Beijing, on Monday. (AP)
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote address for the 2022 World Economic Forum virtual session in Beijing, on Monday. (AP)
BySutirtho Patranobis

China will supply another one billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines to African countries, President Xi Jinping announced at the all-virtual Davos forum on Monday, adding that 150 million vaccine doses will donated to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.

Of the one billion vaccines that it will send to Africa, 600 million will be donated, Xi said. This is in addition to the more than one billion doses that China promised and supplied to Africa last year.

“China is a country that delivers on its promises. China has already sent over two billion doses of vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organisations,” the Chinese President said at the World Economic Forum via video link on Monday, the third time the Chinese leader has addressed the event.

“Still, China will provide another one billion doses to African countries, including 600 million doses as donation, and will also donate 150 million doses to Asean countries,” he said.

Xi had announced in November that China will deliver one billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Africa, after already having supplied nearly 200 million doses to the country.

Xi reiterated that cooperation is “the only right way” to defeat the pandemic, while holding each other back or shifting blame “would only cause needless delay in response” and “distract us from the overall objective”.

“Holding each other back or shifting blame would only cause needless delay in response and distract us from the overall objective,” he said.

“As changes of the times combine with the once-in-a-century pandemic, the world finds itself in a new period of turbulence and transformation,” Xi said.

The Covid-19 pandemic first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late December, 2019.

China has been accused of withholding critical information related to the origin of the virus; Beijing has strongly countered that by saying more countries should be investigated to trace the origins.

According to official data, by the end of last year, China had provided the international community with about 372 billion masks, more than 4.2 billion protective suits, 8.4 billion testing reagents, and more than 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organisations.

China has provided the most vaccines worldwide, a government spokesperson said on Monday.

Xi urged other powers to discard a “Cold-War mentality” at a time of rising geopolitical tensions — a veiled swipe at the United States.

The Chinese leader touted his country’s efforts to share vaccines, fight climate change and promote development at home and abroad as he delivered the opening speech.

“We need to discard the Cold War mentality and seek peaceful coexistence and win-win outcomes. Our world today is far from being tranquil,” said Xi. “Protectionism and unilateralism can protect no one. They ultimately hurt the interests of others as well as one’s own. Even worse are the practices of hegemony and bullying, which run counter to the tide of history.

“A zero-sum approach that enlarges one’s own gain at the expense of others will not help,” he added. “The right way forward for humanity is peaceful development and win-win cooperation.”

For the second year in a row, an online event is being held in place of the face-to-face gathering of political and corporate power players in Davos, Switzerland, because of health concerns linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sutirtho Patranobis has been in Beijing since 2012, as Hindustan Times’ China correspondent. He was previously posted in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he covered the final phase of the civil war and its aftermath. Patranobis covered several beats including health and national politics in Delhi before being posted abroad.

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