As China celebrates the 50th anniversary of the restoration of its lawful seat at the United Nations, experts in Asia have recognized China’s crucial role in helping developing countries fight the pandemic.
“Without China, we could not imagine how the developing countries can get access to vaccines,” said Chheang Vannarith, president of the Phnom Penh-based Asian Vision Institute.
Since developed countries were able to get most of the vaccines as they could sign early contracts with private vaccine producers, Chheang told China Daily that China helped fill the distribution gap and promote vaccine equity.
“China has been a firm believer of making COVID-19 vaccines a global public good and has done its best to supply vaccines to the international community,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, noting China has provided more than 1.5 billion doses to over 100 countries and international organizations, as of Oct 17.
China’s support during the pandemic serves as testimony to its commitment to stand together with developing countries for they, as late Chairman Mao Zedong once said, are the ones that “carried” China into the UN back in 1971.
Chheang from the Asian Vision Institute said the cooperation in vaccine manufacturing between China and regional developing countries is also important, given that COVID-19 is expected to persist for a long time and more shots will be needed to build long-term immunity.