China has expressed a willingness to provide medical supplies to India to fight a resurgence of COVID-19 at the request of the Indian side, Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Monday.
“China has been following closely the epidemic situation in India and expressed readiness early on to help curb the latest surge. At present, the two sides are communicating with one another,” he said during his regular briefing held here.
According to some Indian media reports, China’s Sichuan Airlines has decided to suspend cargo flights to India for 15 days because of the resurgence there, which will disrupt Indian private traders’ procurement of medical supplies, including oxygen concentrators from China.
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Wang replied that the Indian private companies’ procurement of medical supplies from China was actually normal business deals.
“You asked about Indian companies’ purchase of China’s anti-epidemic medical supplies. As far as I know, that’s normal business interaction. We stand ready to offer support and assistance to the best of our capability if the Indian side informs us of its specific needs,” he said.
To yet another question, he made it clear that China was ready to provide necessary support and help to India in its fight against the new wave of infections. “If India raises any specific demand, we will offer support and help to the best of our capability.”
Wang Wenbin reiterated that the epidemic was a common challenge that could only be addressed by concerted international efforts. “We hope that all countries can stand in solidarity to fight against the virus, the common enemy of mankind.”
Vaccine nationalism & patent protection by the capitalist world is prolonging the pandemic & will likely cause millions of additional preventable deaths. pic.twitter.com/v5JKeKs7eY
— Ammar Rashid (@AmmarRashidT) April 25, 2021
He took note that leaders of some countries and international organizations were calling for strong international support to countries in need, as one in six Europeans had been vaccinated, one in five in North America but just one in 100 in Africa, which was unacceptable.
“The international community should reflect upon and stay on high alert to the huge “vaccine divide” between developed and developing countries,” he said.
The spokesperson said that China was the first to put forward and act on its commitment to make vaccines a global public good. “We resolutely oppose “vaccine nationalism”, and will work with the international community to promote fair and reasonable distribution of vaccines.
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China also called on countries in a more advantageous position to take concrete actions to support and assist developing countries in obtaining vaccines, so as to secure an early victory in mankind’s common fight against the epidemic.
About some activities carried out by certain countries within the relevant framework, the Chinese side hoped that they would also follow such principles and spirit, and jointly provide support and assistance to India and those in need within their capabilities in line with the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, and fulfill their due international responsibilities and obligations, he said.
India has been going through a wave of new COVID-19 resurgence, exacerbated by double-mutant coronavirus variants. According to Indian health authorities, India’s daily new cases reached a new record on Sunday with 352,911 cases.
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Chinese medical suppliers are receiving growing orders from India. According to media reports, Jiangsu Yuyue Medical Equipment, a major medical company in the country, told domestic media that it received about 18,000 orders for oxygen machines from Indian side in recent days, with orders keeping rising in the past days.