BUSINESS China to provide COVID-19 vaccines to Africa to support virus control: FM

BUSINESS

China to provide COVID-19 vaccines to Africa to support virus control: FM

Global Times

18:20, November 19, 2020

Chinese Ambassador to South Sudan Hua Ning (C) and South Sudanese officials inspect bags of rice during a handover ceremony of food aid in Juba, South Sudan, on Sept. 17, 2020.  (Photo by Gale Julius/Xinhua)

China supports the establishment of a free trade zone in Africa and will actively consider providing COVID-19 vaccines to African countries in need after the vaccine is developed and put into use, Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed on Thursday, in response to a call by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa for support from the international community.

African countries have been severely affected by the COVID-19 this year. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, China and Africa have showed solidarity with each other to tide over the difficulties. China, through various channels, has shared experience with the African Union and some African countries, and provided large quantities of materials which were in short supply there, said Zhao Lijian, spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday called on the BRICS members and the international community to support a comprehensive stimulus package for African countries to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

China maintains that economic recovery should be actively promoted on the premise of virus prevention and control. China is committed to building a China-Africa health community.

"We will promote China-Africa cooperation to focus on health, business resumption, and improvement of people's livelihood. We will also explore ways to advance China-Africa free trade cooperation and support the development of a free trade area in Africa," said Zhao.

China will honor its commitment of making COVID-19 vaccines global public goods, and will actively consider providing vaccines to African countries in need after the vaccine is developed and put into use, in order to help African countries overcome the infectious disease at an early date, according to the spokesperson.

China also believes that the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development should be placed at the core of international development cooperation, and poverty eradication should be the primary goal.

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