Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a regular press conference on Feb 1 that a shipment of inactivated-virus COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Chinese government to Pakistan had arrived in Islamabad in the early hours that day.
It was the first batch of vaccine aid provided by the Chinese government to another country and a concrete step in honoring China's commitment to 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. Last year, at China's most trying moments, Pakistan was among the first countries to donate medical supplies to China in a great act of valuable support. When the epidemic situation in China eased, the country supported Pakistan's fight against the virus through various means including donating medical supplies and sending medical experts.
Vaccine cooperation is an important part of the joint efforts by China and Pakistan to fight COVID-19. It demonstrates not only the two countries' sincere mutual assistance as all-weather strategic partners, but also the joint efforts by the 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. Solidarity and cooperation is the most powerful weapon in the war against the virus. It is expected that 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 to defeat the virus at an early date.
In answering a question on China's plan to donate and export vaccines to other countries, Wang said that China has been acting through concrete actions on its solemn commitment of making its COVID-19 vaccines, once developed and deployed, a global public good, thus contributing to greater accessibility and affordability of vaccines in developing countries.
First, in addition to Pakistan, China is also providing vaccine aid to 13 developing countries including Brunei, Nepal, the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Palestine, Belarus, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea. Moreover, China will also assist another 38 developing countries with vaccines. China has also taken an active part in the WHO-led vaccine sharing initiative COVAX, providing 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, said Wang.
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 developing countries, and contribute its share to building a global community of health for all, said Wang.
He added that China also hopes 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.