China is prepared to cooperate with India and other BRICS nations in the development of vaccines against COVID-19, said Chinese President Xi Jinping as he proposed to convene a BRICS symposium on traditional medicine to explore its role in coronavirus prevention and treatment.
Speaking at 12th BRICS summit, Xi said: "It is important that we support WHO's a crucial leadership role in this endeavour. As we speak, Chinese companies are working with their Russian and Brazilian partners on phase-III clinical trials of vaccines, and we are prepared to have cooperation with South Africa and India as well. China has joined the COVAX facility, a platform on which we will share vaccines with other countries, developing countries in particular."
"We will actively consider providing vaccines to BRICS countries where there is a need. To support the development of the BRICS Vaccine R & D Center, China has designated its own national center. We will work with other BRICS countries both online and offline to advance collective vaccine research and trials, set up plants, authorise production and recognise each other's standards. I propose that we convene a BRICS symposium on traditional medicine to explore its role in coronavirus prevention and treatment. This may well boost the global arsenal against COVID-19," he added.
The virtual summit was hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin and was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
More than 55 million people are known to have been infected by COVID-19 worldwide. Some 1.3 million people have also died of the novel coronavirus, while nearly 35 million have recovered, data collated by Johns Hopkins University showed.
The Chinese president said that the coronavirus is still causing havoc in many places and waves of infection are resurging. "Securing a worldwide victory against the pandemic remains an uphill journey".
He said that BRICS countries must stand up for equity and justice in the world.
"We must hold high the banner of multilateralism, and defend the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. We must endeavour to safeguard the UN-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law. It is important that countries rise above ideology and respect each other's choices of the social system, economic model and development path consistent with their national conditions," he said.
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