By Binsal Abdulkader
Islamnews – China wants to work with the UAE to expedite joint production of COVID-19 vaccines to make it available and affordable to all, Beijing’s top diplomat told Emirates News Agency .
The joint efforts can also explore developing multilateral cooperation to fight the pandemic, especially with Middle Eastern and African countries, and establish an international mechanism to ease people’s travel, added the Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, in an exclusive interview on Saturday.
Accelerate joint vaccine production
“I would like to say that China is making sure to work with the UAE to continue the cooperation between the two countries. First, 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.
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.
He was referring to the fact that the UAE was the first country in the world to approve Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine on 9th December 2020 after initiating its trial in the country on 23rd June 2020.
Multilateral cooperation and international travel mechanism
Talking about the second aspect of the cooperation with the UAE, the top Chinese diplomat 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.”
The third part will be working together to establish an international mechanism to exchange the vaccination certificates in a way that would ease people’s travel as part of the precautionary measures to contain the virus, Yi revealed.
UAE’s symbolic solidarity touched hearts of Chinese
“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 that would also result in a stronger international rhythm,” the minister stressed.
The UAE is a well-known country in China and the Chinese appreciate the way this country has modernised itself while maintaining traditions, tolerance, coexistence and openness, the foreign minister noted.
The UAE is a close friend of China in the Middle East, the Gulf and Arab and Muslim World. “It is also a good friend of China to connect and cooperate on the international affairs. The bilateral relations between the two countries are becoming stronger.”
Relations centered on creativity and pragmatism
The successful visits and meetings between the Chinse President Xi Jinping and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, reflect a solid political trust, Yi said.
The cooperation between China and the UAE has always been about creativity and pragmatism, the minister asserted. “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.”
More than 220,000 Chinese nationals live in the UAE. In 2019, some two million Chinse tourists visited the UAE, the minister revealed, adding that people-to-people ties have become a bridge of friendship between the two countries.