China continues to honor its commitment vs COVID-19
MANILA – Chinese Ambassador to Manila Huang Xilian today said his government “honors its words with actions, pooling its resources and sparing no efforts to promote COVID-19 vaccine research and development.”
Speaking at this afternoon’s Vaccine Summit sponsored by the Philippines International Chamber of Commerce chaired by former Philippine Special Trade Envoy to China Dr. Francis Chua, Ambassador Huang said five COVID-19 vaccines already received conditional market approval or emergency use permit, with more than 240 million doses administered.
“President Xi Jinping solemnly declared that COVID-19 vaccine, once developed and deployed by China, will be made a global public good. This will be China’s contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries,” he said.
Ambassador Huang added the Chinese government plans to vaccinate 560 million. With 1.12 billion doses by the end of July this year.
He said more than 80 countries have authorized the use of Chinese vaccines as its safety and effectiveness earned recognition worldwide.
He added despite domestic supply shortage, China provided vaccines to 80 developing countries and three international organizations in urgent need and exported vaccines to over 40 countries.
Ambassador Huang said China respondent to the appeal of the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and participated in the WHO-backed vaccine program popularly known as COVAX where China pledged to provide and initial donation of 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine as they prioritized the needs of developing countries with the firm commitment to fair vaccine global distribution.
He appealed to the international community to cooperate and overcome difficulties and eliminate what he referred to as “vaccine divide.”
The Chinese government, he said, donated a million doses of Chinese vaccines. Three and a half million doses have arrived in the Philippines with another two million doses purchased by the government will arrive by May 2020.
“We are delighted to know that the Russian vaccine will arrive in Manila soon to help the Philippines fight against the pandemic against a backdrop of some vaccine-producing countries hoarding large amounts of vaccines far beyond their requirements.
Without going into specifics, Ambassador Huang said some countries prohibit the export of raw materials for vaccine production, resulting in serious shortage of vaccines in developing countries.
“Vaccine nationalism, contrary to international fairness and justice, undermines international community’s hardwork to fight against the pandemic,” he added.
Referring to some domestic concerns, Ambassador Huang said it is normal for neighbors to have differences.
“What matters is that we handle them in a mature and constructive manner. This serves the mutual benefits of our countries and meets the common aspiration of our people as Chinese always values promise and integrity,” he added.
He referred to the COVID-19 pandemic as “a test for friendship” with some countries “tried to sow discord by taking advantage of differences between China and the Philippines.”
Sounding optimistic, Ambassador Huang said he has always believed solidarity and mutual assistance will prevail over the pandemic.
“I also believe that China-Philippines friendship and cooperation will withstand the test of time,” he concluded. (Melo M. Acuña)