China, UAE to expedite production of affordable Covid-19 vaccines
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China, UAE to expedite production of affordable Covid-19 vaccines

China, UAE to expedite production of affordable Covid-19 vaccines

The Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi landed in Abu Dhabi from Iran on Saturday evening for a two-day official visit

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi

China wants to work with the UAE to expedite joint production of Covid-19 vaccines to make it available and affordable to all, Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi has reportedly told state-run Emirates News Agency WAM.

“We will work to expedite the bilateral production of the vaccines in a way that would contribute greatly to making sure the vaccines are available and affordable,” he said. “We will work to explore the avenues for developing multilateral cooperation to fight the pandemic and especially with Middle Eastern and African countries when it comes to the vaccines.”

He added that China will also establish an international mechanism to ease people’s travel, said the diplomat.

Yi landed in Abu Dhabi from Iran on Saturday evening for a two-day official visit as part of a regional tour. He will meet with senior Emirati officials during his visit to the UAE.

“We will deepen the communication and cooperation with the UAE to preserve peace and stability in the Middle East and the Gulf. We welcome the UAE’s effective and constructive role in the regional affairs,” said Yi.

“We have been cooperating together on Covid-19 vaccines, conventional energy, the economy, trade, investment, 5G, Big Data, AI and other high-tech tools, and infrastructure.”

The foreign minister pointed out that the cooperation between China and the UAE has entered a new phase as both parties succeeded in conducting phase III clinical trials on the first inactivated Covid-19 vaccine in the world.

The first vaccine approved for emergency use within the UAE was the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine. The UAE became was the first country in the world to approve the vaccine on December 9, 2020 after initiating its trial in the country on June 23, 2020.

“We are confident that because of the bilateral efforts between China and the UAE, there would be more and better results in fighting the pandemic,” the minister added.

Yi praised the measures taken by the UAE to show solidarity with China during the pandemic. “For example, an encouraging phrase like ‘Stay strong, Wuhan’ was lit up on Burj Khalifa. Also, on China’s national mourning day [for the victims of Covid-19] on April 4, 2020, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed posted tweets on his official account on Twitter in Chinese, English and Arabic, offering his condolences for the Chinese martyrs and victims during this pandemic, a step that left a great impact in the Chinese people’s hearts,” he said.

More than 220,000 Chinese nationals reportedly live in the UAE. In 2019, around two million Chinese tourists visited the UAE, the minister revealed.

“As the containment of the current pandemic and precaution measures are progressing, and as Dubai Expo is approaching, we are certain that the UAE would still be an important destination for the Chinese tourists,” he said.

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