Xi’s speech at Boao Forum is a beacon amid gloom of pandemic

By  Md Enamul Hassan (People's Daily Online) 17:38, April 22, 2021

With the emergence of new variants of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 has continued to take a tremendous toll on humanity. The world has yet to find any relief from the devastating pandemic. Every sphere of human life, especially health and the economy, has been heavily impacted during the dark days of the pandemic.

President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech via video at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2021, on April 20, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

It was widely expected that vaccines would bring things back to normal, but the world will not return to the way things were before the pandemic so soon, as people who took vaccines are now being advised to keep following coronavirus restrictions as the pandemic continues.

However, China has stood out from the rest of the world. It has defeated the virus and recovered its economy, making it the only major country on the planet to post positive economic growth last year.

China has proven its mettle in handling the pandemic and economic crisis by ensuring no local transmissions for long periods 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 brought by the pandemic. More countries are turning to China to forge cooperation on fighting the virus and restarting their economies.

Against this backdrop, President Xi Jinping recently delivered an important keynote speech via video link at the Boao Forum for Asia, also known as the Asian Davos, on the southern island of Hainan, China. In his speech, the Chinese president emphasized the need for solidarity and cooperation to create a future of health and security.

Specifically, he 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 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 stressed 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 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 was widely hailed by global leaders and concerned experts as a pragmatic and timely guideline. In my eyes, the speech served as a beacon in these gloomy days of the pandemic. It not only spoke for the oppressed but also raised hope for pandemic-stricken people on Earth.

The speech perfectly achieved its objectives, as President Xi brought 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 the talk on various 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 100 countries, regions and international organizations to make vaccines accessible and affordable for all. China is now more focused on sending vaccines to developing nations, as they have no vaccines.

China is also set to produce around three billion doses of vaccines this year and has already started vaccine production in different countries, as President Xi 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 hopes among people that they will be rid of this devastating virus.

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

(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)


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