Xi says China aims to provide 2 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses to world in 2021

China has supplied more than 770 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to other countries, said its foreign minister. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday (Aug 5) said China will strive to provide two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines to other countries in 2021, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

In his written message to the first meeting of the International Forum on Covid-19 Vaccine Cooperation, Mr Xi also said China would donate US$100 million (S$135 million) to the World Health Organisation-backed Covax global vaccine distribution scheme, according to the CCTV report.

He said China always stands for the vision of building a community of common health for mankind, adding that the country has also conducted joint vaccine production, reported CGTN, an international English-language cable TV news service based in Beijing.

"We are ready to work with the international community to promote international cooperation on vaccines and build a community with a shared future for mankind," said Mr Xi, as reported by CGTN.

About 30 participants - including ministers from various countries, representatives of the United Nations and other international organisations, as well as business representatives - attended the virtual meeting hosted by China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

China has supplied more than 770 million vaccine doses to other countries, a statement on the website of its Foreign Ministry quoted Mr Wang as saying at the meeting on Thursday.

Sinovac Biotech, one of the major Chinese vaccine suppliers, has signed cooperation agreements with 20 countries involving nearly 900 million doses of its vaccine, its chief executive Yin Weidong said on Thursday in a speech at the forum, according to a transcript of his address provided by a Sinovac spokesman.

Apart from China, Sinovac's partners in Indonesia, Brazil, Turkey, Malaysia and Egypt will also partake in producing these doses, Mr Yin said, without specifying during which timeframe the doses will be delivered.

Sinovac will apply to regulators in various nations for clinical trials and emergency use authorisation for two new versions of its vaccine, tweaked to target the Delta variant and Gamma variant respectively, in the near future, Mr Yin said.

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