Extended BRI Health Partnership


Dr. Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan

China the “champion” of pure “humanity” and “pioneer” of vaccine diplomacy has been helping the developing countries, weaker communities, marginalized groups, fragile civil society, NGOs and numerous organizations battling against the deadly pandemic of COVID-19 since its outburst.

Now China is rated as real “savior” of struggling humanity in the world in which visionary president Xi Jiping philosophies of “shared prosperity”, equitable and equal world have played an important role.

Most recently the State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi presided over the High level video conference on Belt and Road International Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific which vividly reflected Chinese superior state policies of services and integrated mechanism of human survival.

On this occasion, Chinese President Xi Jinping highlighted Chinese willingness to work with all parties to build a closer “Belt and Road” partnership. He showcased the purpose of proposing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to inherit the Silk Road spirit jointly build an open cooperation platform and provide new impetus for the cooperation and development of all countries.

Chinese president hailed the pragmatic progress of the BRI which have actively enhanced connectivity in policy, infrastructure, trade, finance and people-to-people ties. He said a partnership for all-dimensional and composite connectivity has been set up, which opened up new prospects for common development.

Chinese president Xi highlighted holistic policies of China which has been supporting and assisting each other in the most difficult times and pushed forward the construction of the BRI, conveying confidence and strength to the international community and making an important contribution to global cooperation against the pandemic and economic recovery since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chinese president reiterated that the joint pursuit of the BRI should follow the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, pursue open, green and clean cooperation, as well as pursuing high-standard cooperation to improve people’s lives and promote sustainable development.

The conference focused on COVID-19 prevention and control cooperation in the region and the region’s economic recovery. It provided a platform for the representatives of more than 30 countries and international organizations to pool their wisdom in addressing the challenges the region faces.

It hopes that the quality of Belt and Road cooperation projects will be higher in the future, and although infrastructure constructions remain crucial, more attention will be paid to strengthen public health collaboration and ensure the reliability and security of supply chains, and enhance cooperation in innovation, technology and green development.

It has further strengthened its regional as well as global stature being a staunch supporter of better and healthier world. It showcased its holistic approach towards the help of struggling people combating against COVID-19 around the globe. It also highlighted its multiculturalism global drive by promoting global cooperation by negating all sorts of propaganda and discriminatory policies.  

The noble initiative received immense response from the other participants in the conference reflecting regional unity and harmony and desire to get their socioeconomic development back on the right track at an early date, build more responsive and efficient public health systems, and develop new growth engines through international cooperation.

During which spirits of global solidarity and cooperation was recognized as the most important and effective tools for defeating the COVID-19 pandemic. It upheld the importance of Chinese holistic strategy of humanity, sharing & caring projecting that “No one can be safe until everyone is safe”.

For the time immortal Since China has always been firmly believed in equitable and equal world so it has now stressed the need to have equitable distribution system/mechanism of vaccines.    

Unlike the Build Back Better World (B3W) initiative the US proposed at the G7 Summit earlier this month, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) starts from the practical needs of the participants rather than any single country’s geopolitical ambitions. Functioning on the basis of joint construction, collective consultation and benefit sharing, instead of one participant telling the others what to do, it produces tangible benefits for the people.

Furthermore, in accordance with the true spirits and resolutions of the United Nation General Assembly, the World Health Assembly and last but not least, political declaration of equitable global access to COVID-19 Vaccines  being a responsible country of the world, China called open, fair, free and non-discriminatory international cooperation on vaccines.

In this context, the noble Initiative for Belt and Road Partnership on COVID-19 Vaccines Cooperation commended the efforts and cooperation of the United Nations system and the World Health Organization on COVID-19 vaccines.

It urged all the BRI partners to disseminate the real essence of this grand initiative which should also be replicated in all the member countries. It reflects the common will of the people in the region working together for a better world that enables the Belt and Road Initiative to stand the tests of such grave challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic, and continuously demonstrate robust vitality and strong adaptability.

It was wisely advised that further strengthening of communicative and coordinative system on vaccines regulatory policies would enhance and ensure the safety and efficacy of vaccines.

It stressed the need to have more and more production of vaccines and called on vaccines producing countries to support their companies for the capacity building sphere enabling massive production of vaccines to Access (COVAX) facility of the WHO.

To promote spirits of donation or affordable exports COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries it encouraged the joint collaboration between the governments and private sectors/ vaccines companies throughout the world.

It upheld the importance of joint vaccine research, technological exchange and encouraged vaccine companies to transfer technologies to developing countries.

It pinpointed that wavier of intellectual property rights (IPRs) must for massive production and easy and smooth supplies of COVID-19 vaccines in which World Trade Organization (WTO) should follow a holistic approach of accommodation.

For the scaling up of global production, it encouraged universal collaboration between global vaccine producers and partners from developing countries. 

It considered provision of concessional financing of regional as well as multilateral development banks to developing countries for the production as well as procurement of COVID-19 vaccines with complete free right of selection of vaccines.

It further called upon all the member countries of the BRI to strengthen the operationalization and channelization of easy and smooth flows of vaccines and raw, auxiliary materials and manufacturing equipment. It desired to have more and more partners in the most recently launched Initiative for Belt and Road Partnership on COVID-19 Vaccines Cooperation.  

Being prominent regional expert of China, BRI and CPEC I really appreciate the BRI development concept in which so far 140 countries and 32 international organizations have been engaged which highlights the great significance attached to it. With plentiful substantial achievements having been made since it was proposed in 2013, the initiative has provided the world with many global public products that manifest practical progress toward the realization of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

It is a development oriented mega project of the 21th century which has prompted countries to work together to protect public health and promote common development. It has been providing essential medical supplies through mutual assistance programs and intensive exchanges on epidemic prevention and control work, and macro policy coordination which demonstrate the vitality of the BRI, which is an open and inclusive multilateral platform.

The conference provides an ample opportunity for the participants to discuss ways to collectively fight the pandemic and to restore regional economies. Acceleration of the vaccination process is urgently needed to achieve the herd immunity, so the socio-economic development and infrastructure investments will continue without any hindrance.

On its part, China will continue to play a core role in providing vaccines, economic assistance, infrastructure development, connectivity, and technical know-how to both the Asia-Pacific region and the BRI countries.

The Asia and Pacific High-Level Conference on Belt and Road Cooperation showed unity and solidarity among partner countries in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and restoring regional economies during and after the pandemic. I submit that collective efforts, actions and measures should be initiated as soon as possible to effectively fight against this pandemic and to achieve socio-economic recovery as well as enhance partnership for sustainable and inclusive development.

It provides historic opportunity for participating BRI countries to strengthen inclusive multilateralism and enhanced partnership in an endeavor to jointly defeat these transnational health issues. It also demonstrates unity, shared political commitment and shared responsibility to tackle this global health crisis.

To conclude, it is recommended that common interests and aspirations should be institutionalized for building the community having a shared future and plan to overcome on the critical issues pertaining to humanity and human survival with joint solutions and cooperation.