China's decision to join COVAX will strengthen global vaccine cooperation

A staff member displays samples of the COVID-19 inactivated vaccine at Sinovac Biotech Ltd., in Beijing, capital of China, March 16, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)

China has announced that it will join COVAX, an international initiative aimed at ensuring equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines, becoming the largest economy to support the initiative so far. This is an important step for China, as it honors its commitment to turning COVID-19 vaccines into a global public good.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still posing a severe threat to public health and safety, it is crucial to ensure that safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines are distributed to all countries around the world, not just the wealthy nations. China has long made a solemn commitment to ensuring that COVID-19 vaccines, once developed and put into use, will be made a global public good and provided to developing countries on a priority basis.

As this goal is consistent with COVAX, China has been in close communication with COVAX co-leaders and has a positive attitude toward joining the program.

Even with China leading the world in this field, with four COVID-19 vaccine candidates in the final stage of clinical trials, and with ample production capacity, it still made the decision to join COVAX, which aims to have 2 billion vaccine doses available by the end of 2021. China is taking this concrete step to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, especially to developing countries, and hopes that more capable countries will also join and support COVAX. China will also strengthen vaccine cooperation with relevant countries through the COVAX program.

China has made major strategic achievements in the battle against COVID-19 by coordinating epidemic control with economic and social development. The recent National Day holiday witnessed nearly 700 million Chinese people traveling across the country, one of the best indications of the scale of its success.

China's achievement in anti-epidemic response is not due to magic, but is based on a spirit that respects science and facts and places life and the people in the highest position, something that is reflected in China's unremitting efforts to promote global cooperation in COVID-19 vaccine development.

China will not turn COVID-19 vaccines into any kind of geopolitical weapon or diplomatic tool, and it opposes any politicization of vaccine development.

In the context of the global pandemic, it is impossible to stand alone. China will continue advancing international cooperation, supporting the World Health Organization's leading role in global response, sharing its experience with other countries, supporting and helping countries and regions with weak response capabilities, playing its role as the world's biggest provider of anti-epidemic medical supplies, and fostering a global community of health for all.