China pledges $2bn to fight global pandemic

Tuesday, 19 May, 2020

Speaking hours after Chinese President Xi Jinping announced China would provide $2 billion to help respond to the outbreak and its economic fallout, Azar said the USA had allocated $9 billion to coronavirus containment efforts around the world.

"COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, will be made a global public good", said the president.

"This work should be based on science and professionalism, led by World Health Organization and conducted in objective and impartial manner", he said.

The outbreak began in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December.

By referring to the vaccine as a "global public good", the Chinese leader echoed language in a resolution put forth by dozens of countries in Europe, Africa and elsewhere - but not backed by the US - that deems widespread immunization against COVID-19 as a global public good to end the pandemic. The move angered China, which claims the probe is a political ploy against Beijing.

"This is not a new message".

"We must treat this virus with the respect and attention it deserves". If this virus is teaching us anything, it's humility. "That simply shaking hands could be life threatening". Just over a third of Americans support free-trade agreements, in general, as an approach to "improving the global economy", and under a quarter are unwilling to pay more for a made-in-America product. "We look forward to seeing hopefully a positive outcome later this week".

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she didn't believe there was any blame to be laid, but the global community was right to be asking questions, she told Morning Report.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke Friday with his British counterpart Boris Johnson and they discussed their work together in "various global organizations, and committed to continuing to work together on shared priorities such as combating climate change and promoting democratic values", according to the Prime Minister's Office.

The WHO announced the coronavirus outbreak to be a global health emergency on January 30, its highest level of alert. It has spread to 188 countries and territories ever since resulting in the deaths of over 315,000 people.

The document does not propose a review to identify missteps in how countries handled the outbreak and is instead forward-looking and calls on the World Health Organization to potentially arrange "scientific and collaborative field missions" to help prevent similar future outbreaks.

Experts believe the virus originated at a Wuhan wetmarket and comes from bats but may have passed through an intermediary animal such as a pangolin.

The European Union's 27-member bloc called for the independent evaluation to "review experiences gained and lessons learned" but China shot down the request, arguing Beijing had provided all relevant data to the World Health Organization and other countries "in a most timely fashion".

"This contagion exposes the fault lines, inequalities, injustices and contradictions of our modern world".

"Taiwan is a model world citizen, while the PRC continues to withhold vital information about the virus and its origins", he said.

The push for the inquiry came from Australia and the European Union.

Now, Australian exporters are nervously awaiting a decision, due on Tuesday, on whether China will proceed with a plan to impose steep tariffs on barley.

"China's companies face extreme difficulties under the effects of the epidemic", said Mr Zhong, highlighting tight funding, falling orders, and increased risks to supply chains.

More than 100 countries have proposed a draft resolution calling for an independent "evaluation" into the coronavirus pandemic.

"We all have lessons to learn from the pandemic".