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China says vaccine cooperation with Pakistan reflects joint efforts to fight Covid-19



BEIJING:

Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Wang Wenbin on Monday said that the vaccine cooperation between Pakistan and China not only reflected the sincere mutual assistance between the two all-weather strategic cooperative partners but also reflected the duo’s efforts to promote vaccines as a global public product and improve the accessibility and affordability of vaccines in developing countries.

“The vaccine cooperation demonstrates not only our mutual assistance as all-weather strategic cooperative partners but also our joint efforts as two developing countries to make the vaccine a global public good and to promote their accessibility and affordability in fellow developing countries,” he said during his regular briefing held in Beijing.

He also said that in the early hours today, a batch of inactivated Covid-19 vaccines donated by the Chinese government to Pakistan arrived in Islamabad.

Read More: First batch of Covid-19 vaccine arrives in Pakistan

“It was the first batch of vaccine provided by the Chinese government to another country and a concrete step in honouring President Xi’s pledge of making Covid-19 vaccine a global public good,” he added.

He remarked that China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic partners, adding that two countries have been supporting and assisting each other since the Covid-19 began.

‘Pakistan offered valuable support at China’s most trying moment’

The spokesperson pointed out that last year at China’s most trying moment, Pakistan offered valuable support, by first donating medical supplies, among the first group of countries.

“When the epidemic situation in China eased, we supported Pakistan’s fight against the virus through various means including donating medical supplies and sending medical experts, he added.

“Virus respects no boundaries and we are all in this together,” he said, adding that solidarity and cooperation is “our most powerful weapon”.

He hoped that all parties would take real actions, provide more vaccines to developing countries and contribute to equitable allocation and application of vaccines across the world so that “we can defeat the virus at an early date”.

While sharing details of China’s plans to providing the vaccine to other countries, he said that besides Pakistan, China iwas providing vaccine assistance to 13 development countries including Brunei, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Laos, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Philippines, Myanmar, Belarus, Mongolia, Zimbabwe.

“In next phase, we will continue to providing such assistance to another 38 developing countries in need.”

He said that the Chinese side was also participating in the WHO-led Covax initiative to provide vaccine to developing countries and added that China supports the companies in joint research and development and manufacturing.

Wang Wenbin said that his country exported Sinopharm and Siovac vaccines to countries like UAE, Morocco, Indonesia, Turkey, Brazil and Chile for clinical trials.

Earlier today, a plane of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) carrying 500,000 doses of China-made Covid-19 vaccine returned to Islamabad from Beijing, making Pakistan the first country to which China has provided vaccines as overseas assistance, in keeping with the bilateral all-weather strategic cooperative partnership.

The donation of vaccines was announced by State Councillor Wang Yi to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a telephone call last week.

The vaccines will be offered to 250,000 people, with everyone receiving two doses.



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