TOKYO (Reuters) – China urged the international community to resist “vaccine nationalism” and to coordinate policy to make vaccines accessible for developing countries in order to contain the pandemic and for the sake of the global economy.
Yi Gang, Governor of the People’s Bank of China, said in a statement delivered to the International Monetary Fund’s steering committee on Thursday that the pick-up in global growth was “slow and uneven”, and a fair distribution of vaccines was key to achieving a sustainable recovery.
“The international community should work together to resist ‘vaccine nationalism,’ strengthen cooperation and policy coordination to fight against COVID-19, and improve the accessibility and affordability of vaccines in developing countries in a meaningful way,” Yi said.
China’s President Xi Jinping had delivered the same message on vaccines in a telephone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier this week.
The central bank chief also gave an assurance that China would continue to provide necessary monetary support to the economy and refrain from abruptly unwinding stimulus measures.
“The sound monetary policy will be implemented in a flexible, targeted, reasonable, and appropriate manner,” Yi said.
Fiscal policy in China would focus on “quality, effectiveness and sustainability,” as the country’s economy is expected to continue recovering this year with gross domestic product (GDP) growth projected to be over 6%, he said.
Beijing has repeatedly called into question the assumption that the new coronavirus originated in China, and has embarked upon a vaccine diplomacy campaign to send Chinese-developed shots against COVID-19 around the world.
Yi said China either provided or plans to offer vaccine assistance to 80 countries, while exporting vaccines to over 40 countries. It also provides 10 million doses of vaccines to global vaccine sharing scheme COVAX, he added.
(This story refiles to correct formatting problem between 2nd and 3rd paragraphs)
(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)