Speech at handover ceremony of COVID-19 vaccines donated by China to Cambodia
Nov 17, 2021
Luo Zhaohui, CIDCA Chairman
It was a pleasure to attend the handover ceremony of the new shipment of vaccines donated by China to Cambodia together with Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian.
This shipment of vaccines contains 2 million doses. Including this, China has provided nearly 37 million doses of vaccines to Cambodia. At present, the vaccination rate in Cambodia is as high as 88 percent, with almost all of the country's vaccines from China. Since last year, China has also sent several medical expert teams to Cambodia, organized several video exchange sessions, and provided a large amount of anti-pandemic supplies to strongly support Cambodia's fight against the pandemic.
As you know, China and Cambodia have a long-lasting traditional friendship, and a China-Cambodia community with a shared future has been established in recent years. The two sides continue to consolidate political mutual trust, deepen pragmatic cooperation and run high in cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
In February last year, after the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, Prime Minister Hun Sen visited China against the odds, reflecting his great support for China's fight against the epidemic. Two days ago, Premier Li Keqiang held a video meeting with Hun Sen. State Councilor Wang Yi also visited Cambodia against the odds early this September. The two sides have been promoting the deep synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and Cambodia's "Four Corners Strategy". Over the years, China has assisted in the construction of a large number of roads, wells, hospitals and other projects in Cambodia for the benefit of the Cambodian people.
Working with Cambodia to fight the pandemic is a microcosm of China's cooperation with neighboring countries in the anti-pandemic fight. A friend in need is a friend indeed.
Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping and the direct command of State Councilor Wang Yi, the China International Development Cooperation Agency has worked closely with relevant departments to conduct the longest and largest emergency humanitarian operation on a special basis since the founding of the People's Republic of China. We launched the emergency anti-pandemic support plan for neighboring countries, initiated the peripheral countries anti-pandemic protection belt operation, established the China-South Asia National Emergency Supplies Reserve, and participated in the ASEAN Plus Three reserve center for emergency supplies. Overcoming difficulties such as shortages of supplies and poor transportation, we have provided oxygen cylinders, oxygen machines, ventilators and other medical supplies as well as vaccines to many neighboring countries in need, sent medical experts and held video exchange meetings to help our neighbors fight the virus.
China's cooperation with neighboring countries in fighting the pandemic is still in progress. China's emergency anti-pandemic assistance to neighboring countries is timely and efficient. First, it has played an important role in the timely control of the pandemic, protecting lives and reducing material losses for the countries concerned; second, it has contributed to the prevention and control of the pandemic in China; third, it has sublimated bilateral relations and people-to-people friendship between China and neighboring countries; fourth, China's selfless assistance also contrasts sharply with the indifference of some major countries towards the pandemic in other countries, which has helped us make more friends. Many dignitaries from neighboring countries attended the handover ceremonies of anti-pandemic supplies at the airports and took the lead in receiving Chinese vaccines. The media called the Chinese vaccine "timely rain" and netizens praised China's aid.
A pandemic reflects the vulnerability of human beings and further rallies the consensus of humanity that viruses do not distinguish between races and that only through solidarity can we defeat the battle. Fulfilling President Xi's commitment to make vaccines a global public good, we have so far provided more than 1.7 billion doses of vaccines to 110 countries and international organizations, the highest amount in the world, and will provide more than 2 billion doses of vaccines within the year. We have also launched joint vaccine production with 19 developing countries and launched the Initiative for Belt and Road Partnership on COVID-19 Vaccines Cooperation with more than 30 countries. Since last year, we have provided 4 billion pieces of protective clothing, 6 billion testing reagents, and 350 billion masks to the international community.
The Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th Communist Party of China Central Committee has just been held successfully, emphasizing that building a community with a shared future for mankind has become a banner leading trend of the times and human progress.
Our anti-pandemic assistance actions are a vivid practice of China's implementation of the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind and a concrete embodiment of the commitment of China as a responsible major country. We will continue to take the lead in global cooperation against the pandemic and economic recovery, and promote the Global Development Initiative by working with countries around the world to overcome the pandemic as soon as possible and achieve recovery and common prosperity.