Chinese president urges ‘intensifying’ cooperation in vaccine research with Russia, rejects ‘politicization of COVID-19’
ANKARA (AA) – China’s president said on Friday there was a “need to deepen cooperation” between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union.
Xi Jinping said: “We (also) need to support the innovative development of the digital economy, jointly tackle global climate change, and promote social and economic development in the region.”
Through a video link, he was addressing the 6th Eastern Economic Forum that runs from Thursday to Saturday, the Chinese daily Global Times reported.
The forum was established by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2015 to “prioritize economic and multi-sector development in Russia’s Asia-Pacific region via new opportunities for domestic investment.”
The Belt and Road Initiative, also known as One Belt One Road, is a global infrastructure development strategy adopted by the Chinese government in 2013 to invest in nearly 70 countries and international organizations.
Xi said China and Russia need to “intensify cooperation in vaccine research, development and production, and firmly reject the politicization of COVID-19 vaccines and origins-tracing.”
Western capitals have led a campaign to hold the second round of probe into the origins of COVID-19, with its first cases reported from the central Chinese city Wuhan in December 2019.
Beijing has pushed back what it called “a vilification campaign aimed at achieving political ends.”
Zhang Hanhui, China’s ambassador to Russia, said at the forum on Thursday that Beijing wants to boost trade and economic cooperation with Russia’s Far East.
“China places great value on the forum’s role as this is a bridge for cooperation in the whole region.
“We are ready to work with the Russian Federation for expansion of cooperation on the whole territory of the Far East, contribute to the recovery of the region’s economy, its sustainable development, and recovery after the pandemic,” he also noted.
Zhang added: “China is ready to encourage any enterprises that may invest in the Far East, as well as expand bilateral cooperation with Russia in various fields.”