BEIJING, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- As a staunch champion for the international humanitarian spirit, China, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, has taken the lead in providing international aid to various countries.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, Xi put forward the proposal of jointly building a community of common health for humankind, calling for active engagement in jointly battling the pandemic and enhancing global public health governance.
Having initiated the largest global humanitarian efforts in its history, China by April had provided or was offering anti-epidemic aid to 151 countries and 14 international organizations, and sent 37 medical expert teams to 34 countries, said a white paper released by China's State Council Information Office in June.
Xi promised on various occasions to make China's COVID-19 vaccines a global public good, and China has joined COVAX, a global initiative backed by the World Health Organization, to ensure effective and equitable global access to vaccines.
"China will provide 2 billion U.S. dollars over two years to help with COVID-19 response and with economic and social development in affected countries, especially developing countries," Xi said on May 18 as he announced concrete measures to boost global fight against COVID-19, addressing the opening of the 73rd session of the World Health Assembly via video link.
China will work with the United Nations to set up a global humanitarian response depot and hub in China, ensure the operation of anti-epidemic supply chains and foster "green corridors" for fast-track transportation and customs clearance, he said.
When the pandemic started to rage in the Arab world, China delivered much-needed supplies and shared its experience combatting the disease via video conferences with medical staff from 21 Arab states and sent medical experts to eight Arab states.
China and Arab states have offered mutual assistance and staunch support to each other, and engaged in close cooperation since the COVID-19 outbreak, Xi said in a congratulatory letter to the 9th ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum held on July 6, 2020, stressing that under the current circumstances, it is more necessary than ever for the two sides to step up cooperation and join hands in tiding over difficulties.
When Africa was short of anti-pandemic goods last year, China overcame difficulties in international transportation and delivered anti-pandemic goods to 53 countries in Africa.
The African Union in July 2019 praised China for its continuous support for public health in the continent as China fulfilled the promises it had made to the African people, referring to Xi's announcement during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing in September 2018, that China decided to upgrade 50 medical and health aid programs for Africa, particularly flagship projects such as the headquarters of the Africa Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.
In January 2017, when delivering a keynote speech at the United Nations Office at Geneva, Xi said that China had provided foreign countries with over 400 billion yuan (about 58.4 billion U.S. dollars then) in aid between 1950 and 2016, pledging that China would remain unchanged in its commitment to pursue common development.
Also in the speech, Xi announced that China decided to provide an additional 200 million yuan (about 29 million dollars) of humanitarian assistance for refugees and the displaced of Syria.
In April 2016, China provided two million dollars in cash and humanitarian aid worth 9.2 million dollars for Ecuador hit by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that killed almost 700 people, injured nearly 5,000 and displaced much more.
"China will take an active part in Ecuador's post-quake rebuilding, and continue to provide support in housing, medical treatment, human resources and disaster prevention and reduction," Xi said in November 2016 when visiting the headquarters of Ecuador's national emergency response system ECU-911. Enditem