Opinion

Xi’s speech at Boao Forum beacon in the gloom of pandemic


Published : 23 Apr 2021 04:45 AM | Updated : 23 Apr 2021 06:30 AM

With the growing contagion of new variants of the novel coronavirus, the Covid-19 has continued taking tremendous tools on humanity. Unfortunately, the world has yet to find any tangible relief from the devastating pandemic. Every sphere of human life, especially the health and economy, has been upset during the dark days of the pandemic.

It was widely expected that vaccines would make things normal and the world would return to the time before the pandemic, but people who took vaccines are now being advised to keep following coronavirus restrictions as the pandemic has gone on. That’s why they are getting more pessimistic and panting for relief at any cost.

However, China has stood out among the rest of the world. It has defeated the virus and recovered its economy. Thus the country has been the only major country on the planet posting positive economic growth last year.

China has proved its mettle in handling the pandemic and economic crisis by ensuring no incident of local transmission for long and vast growth in its foreign trade, in terms of both exports and imports, in the first quarter of this year.

As a result, the world, especially the developing countries, has taken China as a role model in staging a turnaround from the devastating crisis of the pandemic. More countries are turning to China for forging cooperation on fighting the virus and recovering their economies. 

In such a situation, President Xi Jinping has recently delivered online an important keynote speech at the Boao Forum for Asia, better known as Asian Davos, on the southern island of Hainan, China. In the speech, the Chinese president has emphasized the need for solidarity and cooperation to create a future of health and security.

He has precisely said, “In the ongoing fight against COVID-19, victory will be ours at the end of the day. We must put people and their lives above anything else, scale-up information sharing and collective efforts, enhance public health and medical cooperation, and give full play to the key role of the World Health Organization (WHO).”

President Xi has said that it is important to bolster international cooperation on the research and development, production, and distribution of vaccines and increase their accessibility and affordability in developing countries so that everyone in the world can access and afford the vaccines they need.

He has mentioned that it is also important to take comprehensive measures to improve global governance on public health security and work together for a global community of health for all.

The Chinese president has further mentioned that his country will build a closer partnership for health cooperation. Chinese businesses have already started joint vaccine production in some Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) participating countries such as Indonesia, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Turkey.

 “We will expand cooperation with various parties in infectious disease control, public health, traditional medicine, and other areas to jointly protect the lives and health of people in all countries,” he added.

The speech has widely been hailed by global leaders and concerned experts as a pragmatic and timely guideline. In my eyes, the speech has served as a beacon in the gloomy days of the pandemic. It has not only spoken for the oppressed but also raised hope for pandemic-stricken people on earth.

The speech has perfectly served the ends as President Xi has uttered optimism at a time when the world is keen to have a proper guideline and assurance of comprehensive cooperation from China. People have great faith in his words as China always walks to his talks on different issues. 

The world has witnessed how China is implementing President Xi’s commitment to making Chinese vaccines public goods. It has so far sent vaccines to more than 160 countries to make vaccines accessible and affordable for all. China is now more focused on sending vaccines to developing nations as they have no vaccines.

As part of its global fight against the pandemic, China has also offered Bangladesh some 500,000 doses of vaccines as a gesture of good ties and friendship. Though it has yet to get relevant official clearance from Dhaka, Beijing is still open to granting more vaccines to its South Asian strategic partner shortly to contribute to its fight against the virus.

Keeping the economic crisis of the developing nations, China is not only providing them with vaccines but also granting loans to buy vaccines and other products for defeating the coronavirus. It is also going to produce around four billion doses of vaccines this year and has already started vaccine productions in different countries as President Xi has mentioned in his speech.

Given the multifaceted initiatives China has already taken to save humanity from the curse of the virus, the world is now more optimistic and President Xi’s speech has raised hope among people to get rid of the devastating virus in the coming days.

- Md Enamul Hassan is a news editor and broadcast journalist at China Media Group (CMG) in Beijing, China.