Kyodo News Agency: A leaders' meeting of the Quad group of countries on Friday plans to announce agreements to support an increase in coronavirus vaccines aid to developing countries. Some call this move an attempt to counter China's widening "vaccine diplomacy". Do you have any comment?
Zhao Lijian: Now that you have asked this question, I would like to brief you on China's supply of vaccines to other countries.
China is a committed front-runner in promoting international vaccine cooperation. We have carried out vaccine R&D and production cooperation with a dozen or so countries, attracting more than 100,000 volunteers of over 100 nationalities. Altogether, 17 Chinese vaccines have entered clinical trials. More than 60 countries have authorized the use of Chinese vaccines. The safety and effectiveness of Chinese vaccines are earning recognition across the world. China is prepared to discuss with other countries the feasibility and protocols for mutual recognition of vaccination.
China is a steadfast advocate for equitable vaccine distribution. We have joined COVAX, under which China has undertaken to provide an initial 10 million doses for emergency use in developing countries. So far, China has donated or is donating COVID vaccines to 69 developing countries in urgent need, and is exporting vaccines to 43 countries. Responding to a UN appeal, we have donated vaccines to peacekeepers from various countries. We are also ready to work with the International Olympic Committee to provide vaccines to Olympians. It is our hope that Chinese vaccines will inject more confidence and hope into the global fight against the virus.
Vaccines are a powerful weapon against the virus and bring hope for saving lives. They should serve the entire world and benefit all humanity. China is a firm believer in making COVID vaccines a public good. China was among the first to pledge that its vaccines, when available, will be made a global public good, and China has worked in real earnest to improve vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries. That's what we've been saying and what we've been doing.
A number of vaccines are now available around the world. It is up to each country to decide which one to choose. Whether it is a Chinese vaccine or not, it is a good vaccine so long as it is safe and effective. China opposes "vaccine nationalism". We reject any "vaccine divide" or any attempt to politicize vaccine cooperation.