African diplomats speak highly of China’s COVID-19 vaccine R&D, expect deepened anti-virus cooperation

Source:People's Daily Online 2020-10-18

 

Ambassadors and diplomats from 50 African countries visited a vaccine production lab of Sinopharm CNBG in Beijing on Oct.15, 2020. (Photo/Sinopharm Group) 

    On Oct. 15, ambassadors and diplomats from 50 African countries visited China’s largest, and the world’s fifth human vaccine R&D manufacturing enterprise, Sinopharm CNBG, in Beijing.

  During the event, which aimed to deepen anti-COVID-19 cooperation and build a China-Africa community of health for all, the diplomatic corps visited vaccine production labs and an exhibition center. Over constructive dialogue, the diplomats had the opportunity to learn more about the R&D and the latest clinical trials and progress of the COVID-19 vaccine from researchers and business leaders.

  Speaking highly of China’s COVID-19 vaccine R&D, African diplomatic corps expressed their growing confidence in winning the battle against COVID-19 with anticipation to strengthen China-Africa cooperation amid the pandemic.

Ambassadors and diplomats from 50 African countries visited a vaccine production lab of Sinopharm CNBG in Beijing on Oct.15, 2020. (Photo/Sinopharm Group)

  Liu Jingzhen, chairman of Sinopharm, said during his opening remarks that, as President Xi Jinping pledged during the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19 in June, once the development and deployment of a COVID-19 vaccine is completed in China, African countries will be among the first to benefit. Sinopharm stands ready to work together with African people in the battle against COVID-19.

  Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, China and Africa have stood together through thick and thin, said Wu Peng, director-general of the Department of African Affairs of China’s Foreign Ministry.

  “A vaccine is the most effective weapon in the fight against the virus,” Wu noted, adding “China is advancing vaccine R&D in strict accordance with international norms, officially joining COVAX, an international initiative aiming to ensure equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines, hoping to strengthen China-Africa vaccine cooperation with full respect for the will of the African side.”

Ambassadors and diplomats from 50 African countries visited the exhibition center of Sinopharm CNBG in Beijing on Oct.15, 2020. (Photo/Sinopharm Group)

  Inoussa Moustapha, Niger’s ambassador to China, said that while China is making all-out efforts to fight the epidemic at home, the country has also stayed actively engaged in international cooperation and has made outstanding contributions. According to Moustapha, China’s move to officially join COVAX is an important step to uphold the concept of a shared community of health for all.

  “We would like to offer our congratulations to Sinopharm, which has undertaken the important task of COVID-19 vaccine R&D, and sincerely hope the company could make further important progress, which the whole world is looking forward to,” said Moustapha.

  Zhang Yuntao, vice president of Sinopharm CNBC, shared with the guests the research achievements of Sinopharm in combating COVID-19, specifically the R&D progress of inactivated COVID-19 vaccines.

  According to Zhang, Sinopharm was the first in the world to develop a COVID-19 inactivated vaccine, and was the first to launch the international phase III clinical trial for inactivated COVID-19 vaccines. Up to now, two inactivated COVID-19 vaccines developed and produced by Sinopharm are undergoing phase III clinical trials in multiple countries, including the UAE, Bahrain and Peru.

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