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