How has China delivered on its promise to make its vaccines a global public good?
In the fight against the coronavirus, vaccines should always be the top priority. Over the past couple of months, China has committed itself to promoting a fair and reasonable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the world.
Since President Xi Jinping announced making China's COVID-19 vaccines a public good at the 73rd session of the World Health Assembly last May, the country has delivered about 800 million vaccine doses to more than 100 nations as of August. They are mostly developing countries, according to data from the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Over 80 countries have received vaccine donations from China. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the total number of donated and exported doses ranked first in the world during the first meeting of the International Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine Cooperation last month.
In fact, the president has been leading China to fulfill its responsibility as a major country and calling for closer international vaccine cooperation on various bilateral and multilateral occasions.
One of the important moves China has made is joining the global initiative known as COVAX, a COVID-19 vaccine equity scheme led by the World Health Organization (WHO). The initiative is designed to discourage national governments from hoarding COVID-19 vaccines and first vaccinate the most high-risk people in every country.
The move marks an important step that China has taken to uphold the concept of a shared community of health for all and honor its commitment to turn COVID-19 vaccines into a global public good, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying during a press conference.
This February, the ministry announced that it would provide 10 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccines to the COVAX Facility. Meanwhile, Xi reassured the world in a written message sent to the COVID-19 Vaccine Cooperation meeting that China will provide 2 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to the world throughout this year and offer $100 million to COVAX for the distribution of vaccines to developing countries.
Exporting and donating vaccines are also critical on China's path to fulfilling its promise.
China continues to donate its vaccines to various developing countries that have struggled to obtain enough doses for mass inoculation. The government also supports relevant Chinese companies in exporting vaccines to countries in urgent need that have authorized the use of Chinese vaccines.
At present, four Chinese vaccines have been approved for use in over 100 countries, and international authorities have recognized their safety and effectiveness.
In June, China and 28 countries, jointly launched the Initiative for Belt and Road Partnership on COVID-19 Vaccines Cooperation, calling for stronger cooperation in vaccine assistance, export and joint production.
The initiative has no political purpose, no calculation of economic interests and no political strings attached and welcomes more countries to join, said Wang Yi.