China Pledges to Fur­ther Boost Co-op­er­a­tion Un­der BRI De­spite COVID-19 Pan­demic

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Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said that China would work with its part­ners to de­velop the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive (BRI) into a model of co­op­er­a­tion for meet­ing chal­lenges through unity.

“The Belt and Road will also be a model of health for pro­tect­ing peo­ple’s safety and well-be­ing, a model of re­cov­ery for restor­ing eco­nomic and so­cial ac­tiv­ity, and a model of growth for un­lock­ing devel­op­ment po­ten­tial,” he said this in a writ­ten mes­sage to a high-level video con­fer­ence on the Belt and Road In­ter­na­tional Co-op­er­a­tion.

Pres­i­dent Xi said that the video con­fer­ence is “a highly im­por­tant meet­ing that gives Belt and Road co-op­er­a­tion part­ners an op­por­tu­nity to dis­cuss a col­lec­tive re­sponse to COVID-19, ad­vance Belt and Road co­op­er­a­tion, and strengthen in­ter­na­tional sol­i­dar­ity and co­op­er­a­tion”.

The sud­den at­tack of coro­n­avirus, he said, has posed a grave threat to the lives and health of peo­ple across the globe.

“It has dealt a heavy blow to the world econ­omy, and caused tough eco­nomic and so­cial chal­lenges for some coun­tries, de­vel­op­ing ones in par­tic­u­lar.”

Eco­nomic and so­cial devel­op­ment

“To con­tain the virus, coun­tries have taken ro­bust and ef­fec­tive mea­sures, spe­cific to their na­tional con­text.

“On top of that, many coun­tries are striv­ing to re­sume eco­nomic and so­cial devel­op­ment,” the pres­i­dent said, not­ing that in China’s case, the peo­ple’s lives and well-be­ing have al­ways been put front and cen­tre. He said that China would do what it can and con­trib­ute its share to an early global vic­tory against COVID-19 and the re­cov­ery of the global econ­omy.

“Be it in tam­ing the virus or in achiev­ing eco­nomic re­cov­ery, we can­not suc­ceed with­out sol­i­dar­ity, co­op­er­a­tion, and mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism. The right ap­proach to tack­ling global crises and re­al­is­ing long-term devel­op­ment is through greater con­nec­tiv­ity, open­ness, and in­clu­sive­ness.”

This is where Belt and Road in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion can make a big dif­fer­ence, he said, adding that China is com­mit­ted to peace­ful devel­op­ment and mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial co­op­er­a­tion.

Dur­ing the video con­fer­ence, Chi­nese State Coun­cil­lor and For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi said as a part­ner of the Belt and Road ini­tia­tive, China has the re­spon­si­bil­ity of set­ting a good ex­am­ple for the world.

“We will strengthen pub­lic health co­op­er­a­tion in the world’s fight against the pan­demic. Through joint ef­forts, we will share our ex­pe­ri­ence in epi­demic con­trol and preven­tion, boost aid and sup­port for anti-epi­demic re­sources, and vac­cine re­search and devel­op­ment, thus speed­ing up a ‘Silk Road’ of health.”

Over one per cent of hu­man­ity dis­placed: UN

He said that the Covid-19 pan­demic poses a se­ri­ous threat to hu­man health, safety and well-be­ing as well as the so­cio-eco­nomic devel­op­ment of our coun­tries and the world at large.

“Our first pri­or­ity is to con­tain the spread of the virus, save lives and safe­guard global pub­lic health. We of­fer our sin­cere con­do­lences to the fam­i­lies and so­ci­eties of the vic­tims of the pan­demic.

“We also ex­press our grat­i­tude and sup­port to all front­line health-care work­ers, med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als, sci­en­tists and re­searchers as well as other es­sen­tial work­ers around the world who are work­ing un­der dif­fi­cult and chal­leng­ing con­di­tions to deal with the pan­demic.”

The for­eign min­is­ter went on to say that China sup­ports a univer­sal, rules-based, open, trans­par­ent and non-dis­crim­i­na­tory mul­ti­lat­eral trad­ing sys­tem with WTO at its core.

“We call for sta­bil­is­ing the re­gional and the global in­dus­trial chains and sup­ply chains, en­sur­ing the con­tin­ued flow of goods, ser­vices and per­son­nel, as well as as­sist­ing the in­dus­tries and economies ad­versely af­fected by COVID-19. We also high­light the im­por­tance of fair com­pe­ti­tion and the pro­tec­tion of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty.”

For­eign min­is­ters or of­fi­cials at min­is­te­rial level from 25 coun­tries at­tended the video con­fer­ence.

Di­rec­tor-Gen­eral of the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion Te­dros Ad­hanom Ghe­breye­sus and UN Devel­op­ment Pro­gramme Ad­min­is­tra­tor Achim Steiner also par­tic­i­pated in the event.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping says China will do what it can and con­trib­ute its share to an early global vic­tory against COVID-19.

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