UNITED NATIONS: China has assured Pakistan and other South Asian nations of its continued cooperation in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic by providing both medical supplies and economic assistance, says a joint statement issued at the UN headquarters in New York.
China gave this assurance at a video conference on the joint response to Covid-19 on Tuesday, attended by the foreign ministers of China, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
“The foreign ministers appreciated China’s efforts in addressing this challenge. China would act on President Xi Jinping’s important statement on making the vaccines a global public good and carry out continued vaccine cooperation with the participating countries in a flexible manner, including co-production of Covid-19 vaccines,” the joint statement said.
The foreign ministers also agreed to closely follow the Covid-19 situation in India and expressed their willingness to provide needed support through respective channels in consultation with India.
The foreign ministers noted that Covid-19 was a common enemy of humankind and urged all nations to “step up solidarity and cooperation to win the final victory over it”.
China told other participants that it was ready to provide continued medical supplies and technical assistance to all five nations.
The participants reiterated their firm support to the World Health Organisation in the fight against Covid-19 and acknowledged that “tracing the origin of the virus is a matter of science and a global mission”. They also opposed politicising the issue.
The foreign ministers agreed that vaccines, as a key weapon to defeat Covid-19, should be distributed in accordance with the principle of equity and justice. They warned that “vaccine nationalism” will hinder the global efforts to defeat Covid-19 and increase the “immunity gap”.
The foreign ministers recognised the serious impact of Covid-19 on the global economy and its complex implications for the sustainable development of all countries.
They agreed to deepen Belt and Road cooperation, open their borders under the premise of pandemic prevention and control for smooth trade.
Published in Dawn, April 29th, 2021