Xi urges G-20 to jointly fight Covid-19, put off debt repayment of developing nations | Pakistan Today

Xi urges G-20 to jointly fight Covid-19, put off debt repayment of developing nations

–Says China fully stalled debt servicing of $1.3 billion, would give new loans to under-developed states

BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for global partnership in fighting Covid-19 challenge, promoting digital economy, strengthening the global governance through UN-centered international system and pursue more inclusive development; and improving the governance architecture for economic globalisation.

Addressing the first session of the 15th G20 Leaders’ Summit through video-link, Xi Jinping expressed heartfelt thanks to the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz for hosting the virtual moot.

“This outgoing year, humanity has experienced the most serious global pandemic in a century. Over one million people have lost their lives. The world economy is in recession. Societies and livelihoods are taking a big hit. The impact of Covid-19 is even worse than that of the 2008 global financial crisis,” he said.

Without naming US policies, Xi said that rising unilateralism and protectionism were causing disruptions to global industrial and supply chains.

“Let us build a global firewall against Covid-19. We must first put the disease under control at home and, on that basis, strengthen exchanges and cooperation to help countries in need. Several G20 members have made progress in vaccine R&D and production. We should speed up action and support the WHO in mobilising and consolidating resources and distributing vaccines fairly and efficiently,” he said and added that China actively supports and participates in international cooperation on Covid-19 vaccines.

Calling upon G-20 members to reduce tariffs and barriers and explore the liberalisation of trade of key medical supplies.

“We need to further harmonise policies and standards and establish ‘fast tracks’ to facilitate the orderly flow of personnel. China has proposed a global mechanism on the mutual recognition of health certificates based on nucleic acid test results in the form of internationally accepted QR codes. We hope more countries will join this mechanism,” he added.

Stressing upon the need for harnessing the role of the digital economy, Xi said that Covid-19 has fueled the boom of new technologies, new business forms and new platforms such as 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and smart cities, and accelerated the development of a contact-free economy like online shopping, online education and telemedicine.

The Chinese president said that despite its own difficulties, China has fully implemented the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) and put off debt repayment totaling over $1.3 billion.

“China supports the decision on DSSI extension and will continue to work with other parties for its full implementation. China will also encourage its financial institutions to provide new financing support on a voluntary basis and according to market principles. We should help women walk out of the shadow of the pandemic, address their special needs, and implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action,” he added.

Xi also stressed upon the need to strengthen the UN-centered international system. “The UN is the core institution for addressing international affairs through cooperation. All countries should firmly support the UN’s authority and standing, follow the purposes and principles of its Charter, and uphold the international order underpinned by international law. We support a bigger role of the UN in promoting world peace and development,” he observed.

He said that China will always be a builder of global peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of international order.

“On the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, China stands ready to pursue peaceful coexistence and common development with all countries. We may bridge differences through dialogue, resolve disputes through negotiation, and make a joint effort for world peace and development,” he concluded.

Mian Abrar

The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He can be reached at [email protected]