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Joint efforts are the only way to fight the pandemic; Blame game will delay our response: Xi Jinping

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New Delhi: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday called for joint efforts to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic while ensuring equitable distribution of vaccines and accelerated vaccination across the world, even as he warned against any backlash. blame and Cold War mentality in an apparent reference to the United States. .

He said holding back or shifting blame would only unnecessarily delay the response and also distract us from the main objective.

In a special ‘state of the world’ address on the first day of the week-long online summit on the World Economic Forum’s Davos agenda, he said humanity will certainly move forward, but that the world must defeat the pandemic together.

“A giant ship is brave enough to brave the storm. The pandemic is proving long. It is impacting health and the economy. Holding back and shifting blame will only shift our goals,” he said. declared.

Promoting greater openness in the global economy and greater cooperation, he said, “We need to break down barriers, not build walls. We need to open, not close. We must seek integration, not decoupling. Mondial economy.”

“If major economies slow down or reverse course in their monetary policies, there would be serious negative spillovers. They would present challenges to global economic and financial stability, and developing countries would bear the brunt,” Jinping said. . .

He said we must abandon the Cold War mentality and seek peaceful coexistence and win-win results.

“Our world today is far from tranquil; rhetoric that stirs up hatred and prejudice abounds. Acts of containment, suppression or confrontation that result from this are harmful, and not the least good, to peace and to global security. History has proven time and time again that confrontation does not solve problems; it only leads to catastrophic consequences,” he said.

In an apparent reference to the United States, the Chinese president said protectionism and unilateralism cannot protect anyone because they ultimately harm the interests of others as well as his own.

“Even worse are the practices of hegemony and intimidation, which run counter to the course of history. Naturally, countries have differences and disagreements among themselves,” he said, while calling for new engines of economic growth to promote a stable and robust global economic recovery. .

The Chinese president said some developing countries have fallen back into poverty due to the pandemic while some developed countries are also going through hard times.

“Developed nations need responsible economic policies, need to control the ripple effects of policies to avoid impacting developing countries,” he said while affirming that China will continue to open up and is committed to economic and market reforms.

He also called for global rules on the digital economy and greater information sharing across the world.

“The world is undergoing major changes, not seen for a century and how to overcome the pandemic and build a post-COVID world is a common concern for people around the world,” he said during his address at the summit by video conference.

The deadly virus, which was first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, has so far seen over 32 crores of confirmed cases globally with over 55 lakh deaths.

The international community has fought a stubborn battle against COVID-19, and concerted efforts by the international community mean major progress has been made in the global fight against the pandemic, Jinping said.

Stressing the importance of vaccines, he called for ensuring their equitable distribution, accelerating immunization and closing the global immunization gap.

The World Health Organization has also criticized the unequal distribution of vaccines and asked manufacturers and other countries to contribute to COVAX, a UN-backed program to provide vaccines to poor countries. So far it has delivered 1 billion doses.

According to the WHO, 36 of its 194 member countries have vaccinated less than 10% of the population and 88 have inoculated less than 40%.

According to the latest data from the Chinese government, the Chinese economy grew by 8.1% in 2021, exceeding its own target of 6%, despite challenges including epidemic resurgences and a complicated external environment.

China’s economy, which was the first to be hit by the coronavirus and to recover early from the pandemic, grew 2.3 percent in 2020, the lowest annual growth rate in 45 years.

In his address at the WEF event, Jinping said China will provide an additional 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine to African countries and 150 million doses to ASEAN countries.

He said China would celebrate the arrival of spring in the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Tiger, in two weeks.

“In Chinese culture, the tiger symbolizes bravery and strength, because the Chinese people often refer to the fiery dragon and the dynamic tiger, or the hovering dragon and the leaping tiger. To meet the serious challenges facing humanity , we must add wings to the tiger and act with the courage and strength of the tiger to overcome all obstacles in our path,” he said.

He said the facts have shown once again that amid the raging torrents of a global crisis, countries are not sailing separately in some 190 small boats, but rather are all in one giant ship on which our destiny rests. commmon.

“Small boats may not survive a storm, but a giant ship is strong enough to brave a storm. Thanks to the concerted efforts of the international community, major progress has been made in the global fight against the pandemic.

“That said, the pandemic is proving protracted, reappearing with more variants and spreading faster than before. It poses a serious threat to human safety and health and has a profound impact on the global economy,” did he declare.

He said acts of resolutely building “exclusive yards with high walls” or “parallel systems”, enthusiastically building small exclusive circles or blocs that polarize the world would seriously undermine global efforts to address common challenges.

He also warned against efforts to extend the concept of national security to curb other countries’ economic and technological advances, and to stoke ideological antagonism and politicize or militarize economic, scientific and technological issues.

“We must choose dialogue over confrontation, inclusiveness over exclusion, and oppose all forms of unilateralism, protectionism, hegemony or power politics,” he said. .

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