Stockholm, March 23(ChinaEurope) — On March 23, 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov jointly met the press in Guilin City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
One reporter asked, how does Wang Yi respond to the saying that China is engaging in “vaccine diplomacy”, and Russia is expanding its influence as China and Russia are supplying vaccines for dozens of countries?
Wang Yi said, COVID-19 is the common enemy of mankind, and vaccines, as the most effective weapon to fight against the virus, shall maximize their benefits to more people in the world. President Xi Jinping solemnly declared to the world that China’s vaccines will be a global public good and make China’s contribution to the realization of the accessibility and affordability of vaccines in developing countries. China is honoring its commitment with actions. We actively support and participate in international cooperation in COVID-19 vaccines, and we have joined the COVAX. In light of the requirements of different countries, China has provided and will offer vaccine assistance to 80 countries, and we are exporting vaccines to 47 countries. At present, more than 70 countries have authorized the use of vaccines made by China, and the safety and effectiveness of the Chinese vaccine have been widely recognized across the countries.
Wang Yi expressed, as reported, Russian vaccines have also been registered and used in more than 50 countries, and they are receiving more attention and support around the world. We sincerely hope that all countries can strengthen coordination and cooperation in R&D, production, and distribution of vaccines, making vaccines public goods that are accessible to people, and truly becoming “people’s vaccines” affordable to people in all countries. We will make more “China-Russia contributions” to stopping the virus from spreading across the border and protecting life and health of all mankind.
Wang Yi emphasized, China is not trying to engage in “vaccine diplomacy”. On the contrary, we are doing “humanitarian work”. Unlike some major countries that are hoarding the vaccines for their own interests, we want to see more people immunized. Our hope is for the world to beat the pandemic as soon as possible. For China and Russia, our choice is not to benefit only ourselves, but rather to help the whole world. In the raging times of COVID-19 last year, someone politicized and attached a geographical label to the epidemic for scapegoating and blame-shifting, which was condemned by all the people in the world. Today, I shall say that we must keep up our guard against any attempt at politicizing and labeling vaccines when the vaccines are developed and used in a large scale. The world should come together to reject various forms of “vaccine nationalism”, and eliminate the “vaccine divide” that should not appear, giving full play to the role of vaccines developed by all countries as public goods.