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Wang Yi Talks about China-Arab Cooperation on COVID Response: Set a Fine Example of Solidarity and Cooperation in Difficult Times

On March 24, 2021 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi received an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya in Riyadh.

In response to the reporter's question on how to evaluate the China-Arab cooperation on COVID response, Wang Yi said that in the face of the pandemic, mutual assistance between China and Arab states has set a fine example of solidarity and cooperation in difficult times.

In this joint fight, the most fundamental belief lies in our shared future. In a pandemic like COVID-19, the entire humanity, China and Arab states included, have a common stake. King Salman of Saudi Arabia was the first head of state to call President Xi Jinping to voice support for China's anti-epidemic efforts. Burj Khalifa in the UAE, the world's tallest building, and some other Arab landmarks, lit up messages such as "Wuhan Jiayou" (Stay strong, Wuhan), which warmed our hearts.

China has conducted anti-COVID cooperation with all Arab states. China reached out to the people of Palestine and Palestinian refugees in surrounding areas, and people in Syria and other conflict zones. China provided a large amount of ventilators, test reagents, forehead thermometers, masks, goggles and protective suits. Over 50 medical expert virtual meetings with all Arab states and the Arab League were held, and nearly 100 visits were made by Chinese medical experts to eight Arab states.

In this joint fight, the most outstanding feature is our pioneering spirit. Arab states are among the first to cooperate with China on vaccines. As the first foreign country to host phase-III trials for the Chinese vaccine, the UAE has made a significant contribution to the success of the Research and Development of the vaccine. The Chinese government is earnestly fulfilling its commitment of making China's vaccines global public goods. China has donated and exported over 17 million doses to 17 Arab states and the Arab League, offering tangible support to Arab states' fight against the virus.

In this joint fight, the most precious bond is our shared belief. At the ninth Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum held last year, China and Arab states issued a joint statement on solidarity against COVID-19, which underscored the importance of closer international cooperation and support for the lead role of the World Health Organization. China and Arab states called for coordinated international COVID response to build a bulwark against the virus. By standing up against attempts to politicize or label the virus, China and Arab states played an important role in building global consensus and pooling global resources against the pandemic.

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