Xi Jinping calls for mutual Covid vaccine approvals

Speaking to the G20 summit by video, China’s president stresses vaccine cooperation and economic stability

China’s president, Xi Jinping, has called for mutual recognition of Covid-19 vaccines based on the World Health Organization’s emergency use list, according to a transcript of his remarks delivered to leaders of the Group of 20 leaders’ summit, published by the official Xinhua news agency.

Speaking to the participants in Rome via video link, Xi said China had provided more than 1.6bn Covid shots to the world, and was working with 16 nations to cooperate on manufacturing doses.

“China is willing to work with all parties to improve the accessibility and affordability of Covid-19 vaccines in developing countries,” he said.

Two Chinese vaccines, one from Sinovac Biotech and one from Sinopharm, have been included in the WHO’s emergency use list.

At the first in-person summit since the coronavirus pandemic began last year, the climate crisis, post-Covid-19 economic recovery and the global minimum corporate tax rate are on the agenda.

On Saturday, the Italian prime minister Mario Draghi opened the meeting with a call to action on multilateralism. “The more we go with all our challenges, the more it is clear that multilateralism is the best answer to the problems we face today. In many ways, it is the only possible answer,” he said.

In his speech, Xi reiterated China’s support for the World Trade Organization (WTO) making an early decision on waiving intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines, and called for vaccine companies to be encouraged to transfer technology to developing countries.

Xi also called for policies to maintain global economic and financial stability, saying China would strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination and maintain policy continuity, stability and sustainability.

“Major economies should adopt responsible macroeconomic policies to avoid negative spillover effects to developing countries and maintain the steady operation of the international economic and financial system,” he said.

Xi’s speech at G20 came a day before the commencement of the Cop26 climate summit, to be held in Glasgow. Xi is not expected to attend, but he spoke about the subject to Boris Johnson on Friday in a phone call.

On Saturday, Xi reiterated that China would work to hit a carbon emissions peak by 2030, with the goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2060.

This year’s G20 summit is held amid rising tensions between China and the US and other western democracies. Since Joe Biden became president, Washington and Beijing have exchanged sharp rebukes over issues including China’s human rights, the Taiwan Strait and nuclear weapons.

Before the Rome meeting, opponents of Beijing – including exiles from Chinese regions Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet – gathered in Rome to demand “tougher action on China”.

Speaking before the G20 meeting, Xi’s representative at this year’s summit, China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, also warned Washington and its allies not to “interfere” in the affairs of Taiwan, an island that China regards as its own breakaway province.

“Recently, the US and other countries attempted to achieve breakthroughs on the issue of Taiwan, which is in contravention of the political guarantees they made when they established diplomatic relations with China,” Wang said.

“If they couldn’t stop the One China principle 50 years ago, it’s even more impossible in today’s world in the 21st century … If they forge ahead regardless, they will definitely pay a price accordingly.”


Vincent Ni and agencies

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
US stays away as world leaders agree action on Covid-19 vaccine
Video meeting seen as global endorsement of WHO and sign of Trump’s isolation on world stage

Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editor

24, Apr, 2020 @4:55 PM

Article image
Global immunisation: low-income countries rush to access Covid vaccine supply
Despite efforts to procure Covid vaccine, some nations will only vaccinate 20% of population

Sarah Boseley Health editor

15, Jan, 2021 @12:23 PM

Article image
G20 urged to do more to support global vaccine distribution
New alliance of multilateral institutions warns vaccine inequity could curb economic recovery

Patrick Wintour

05, Jul, 2021 @5:42 PM

Article image
Gordon Brown urges emergency Covid vaccine airlift to Africa
Former UK prime minister says operation could be under way within days if world leaders signed off

Michael Savage

16, Oct, 2021 @11:02 PM

Article image
Covax: Covid vaccine global effort gets China's support
Beijing joins initiative against ‘vaccine nationalism’ in contrast to US, which is not part of alliance

Lily Kuo in Beijing

09, Oct, 2020 @4:57 AM

Article image
China calls theory that Covid originated in Chinese lab ‘politically motivated lie’
WHO report has said origins of virus are still unknown and recommended further investigation

Vincent Ni China affairs correspondent

10, Jun, 2022 @1:28 PM

Article image
Why home-produced Covid vaccine hasn't helped India, Russia and China rollouts
Challenge of reaching vast, far-flung populations is combined with a lack of public interest

Michael Safi in Beirut, Theo Merz in Moscow and Helen Davidson in Taipei

17, Mar, 2021 @3:00 AM

Article image
EU ‘ready to discuss’ waiver on Covid vaccine patents
Emmanuel Macron also supports US-backed proposal described as a gamechanger by WHO

Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editor

06, May, 2021 @10:22 AM

Article image
WHO voices concerns over Sputnik V Covid vaccine plant
WHO reports issues with quality control data and test results as Slovakia announces it is offloading 160k doses

Jon Henley Europe correspondent

23, Jun, 2021 @3:33 PM

Article image
Prince Harry and Meghan appeal to G20 to keep Covid vaccine donation pledges
Prince Harry and Meghan join WHO in urging leaders to honour promises to help low-income countries

Patrick Wintour

29, Oct, 2021 @7:38 PM