It is up to each country to decide which COVID-19 vaccine it wishes to use, and there should not be vicious competition or confrontation, as China welcomes more countries to produce effective vaccines to benefit more people, Chinese Foreign Ministry said in response to reports that India was pursuing "vaccine diplomacy" to counter China.
The pressing task for the international community is to work together to fight the pandemic. The COVID-19 vaccine is a global public good, and it's up to each country to decide which vaccine it will use, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at Monday's media briefing.
"On this issue, there should not be vicious competition, and certainly not confrontation," Zhao said.
"We welcome and hope that more countries can produce safer and more effective vaccines, and provide them to more developing countries to benefit more people," Zhao said.
Zhao's made the remarks after some Indian media smeared Chinese vaccines, claiming countries that were offered Chinese vaccines have "turned to India" amid questions about the "efficacy of some of the Chinese jabs," Hindustan Times reported.
Some Western media outlets, including Reuters, said India was preparing to give millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses to South Asian countries in the following weeks and claimed it drew praise from India's neighbors while "pushing back against China's dominating presence in the region."
Zhao said that China is earnestly fulfilling its pledge to make COVID-19 vaccines a global public good. China is working with other countries, especially developing countries, to carry out international cooperation on vaccines in different ways and provide support and assistance according to their needs.