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Xi Jinping Attends and Delivers an Important Speech at the Global Health Summit

On the evening of May 21, 2021, President Xi Jinping attended the Global Health Summit via video link in Beijing upon invitation and delivered an important speech entitled "Working Together to Build a Global Community of Health for All".

Xi Jinping said, the past year and more have seen repeated resurgence of the coronavirus. The most serious pandemic in a century is still wreaking havoc. To clinch an early victory against COVID-19 and restore economic growth remains the top priority for the international community. G20 members need to shoulder responsibilities in global cooperation against the virus and enhance preparedness and capacity for coping with major public health emergencies.

Xi Jinping made five points on what we need to do:

First, we must put people and their lives first. The battle with COVID-19 is one for the people and by the people. We must demonstrate a great sense of political responsibility and courage, make extraordinary responses to an extraordinary challenge, truly respect the value and dignity of every human life, minimize the potential impact on people's life and maintain general order in our society.

Second, we must follow science-based policies and ensure a coordinated and systemic response. It is important to have a systemic response to coordinate pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions, balance targeted routine COVID-19 protocols and emergency measures, and ensure both epidemic control and socio-economic development. G20 members need to adopt responsible macro-economic policies, step up coordination to keep the global industrial and supply chains safe and smooth, and give continued support to developing countries, especially vulnerable countries facing exceptional difficulties.

Third, we must stick together and promote solidarity and cooperation. We must champion the vision of building a global community of health for all and firmly reject any attempt to politicize, label or stigmatize the virus. Political manipulation would not serve COVID-19 response on the domestic front. It would only disrupt international cooperation against the virus and bring greater harm to people around the world.

Fourth, we must uphold fairness and equity as we strive to close the immunization gap. It is imperative for us to reject vaccine nationalism and find solutions to issues concerning the production capacity and distribution of vaccines, in order to make vaccines more accessible and affordable in developing countries. Major vaccine-developing and producing countries need to take up their responsibility to provide more vaccines to developing countries in urgent need. Multilateral financial institutions should provide inclusive financing support for vaccine procurement of developing countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) should speed up efforts under the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) facility.

Fifth, we must address both the symptoms and root causes as we improve the governance system. It is important that we strengthen and leverage the role of the UN and the WHO, uphold the spirit of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and better reflect the legitimate concerns of developing countries. It is also important that we enhance our capacity of monitoring, early-warning and emergency response, our capacity of treatment of major pandemics, of contingency reserve and logistics, of fighting disinformation, and of providing support to developing countries.

In continued support for global solidarity against COVID-19, Xi Jinping announced that:

- China will provide an additional 3 billion U.S. dollars in international aid over the next three years to support COVID-19 response and economic and social recovery in other developing countries.

- Having already supplied 300 million doses of vaccines to the world, China will provide still more vaccines to the best of its ability.

- China supports its vaccine companies in transferring technologies to other developing countries and carrying out joint production with them.

- Having announced support for waiving intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines, China also supports the World Trade Organization and other international institutions in making an early decision on this matter.

- China proposes setting up an international forum on vaccine cooperation for vaccine-developing and producing countries, companies and other stakeholders to explore ways of promoting fair and equitable distribution of vaccines around the world.

At last, Xi Jinping emphasized, let us join hands and stand shoulder to shoulder with each other to build a global community of health for all and work for a healthier and brighter future for humanity.

The Global Health Summit was jointly proposed and held by Italy, which holds the presidency of the G20, and the European Commission. The meeting, which was held via video link, focused on such issues as joint fight against the virus and enhanced prevention of future pandemics. The Summit issued the Rome Declaration, reiterating that the G20 will strengthen unity, deepen cooperation, scientifically implement policies, put people at the center of pandemic prevention and control, and step up support for developing countries in finance and vaccines.

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