Xi rejects ‘Cold War mentality,’ pushes global cooperation

·2 min read

CHINESE President Xi Jinping said Monday, January 17, 2022, that his country will send an additional one billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine to other countries, calling for global cooperation to tackle the pandemic and other challenges while urging other powers to discard a “Cold-War mentality” — a veiled swipe at the United States.

Xi touted China’s efforts to share vaccines, fight climate change and promote development in the opening speech of a virtual gathering hosted by the World Economic Forum. The online event is being held after the group put off its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Efforts to battle the global outbreak that has claimed over 5.5 million lives and upended the world economy and climate change were prominent themes Monday.

In a panel session on the virus, Moderna’s chief executive officer said the vaccine maker was working on a single-shot booster for both Covid-19 and the flu, while US infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci lamented as “very disturbing” the reluctance of many Americans to follow basic measures like mask-wearing and getting vaccinated.

Xi, who hasn’t left China since the coronavirus emerged in early 2020, said his country has exported more than two billion doses of its Covid-19 vaccines to over 120 countries and international institutions. He announced plans to provide an additional one billion, including a donation of 600 million doses to Africa and an extra 150 million to Southeast Asia.

By comparison, managers of the United Nations-backed Covax program to ship vaccines to developing countries announced over the weekend that it has now delivered one billion vaccine doses.

Standard themes

Xi touched on standard themes from previous international addresses, including responding to trading partners’ complaints by promising to open China’s state-dominated economy wider to private and foreign competition.

His comments come as tensions between the United States and China have simmered on topics like Taiwan, intellectual property, trade, human rights and the South China Sea.

“We need to discard the Cold War mentality and seek peaceful coexistence and win-win outcomes,” Xi said through a translator. “Protectionism and unilateralism can protect no one. ... Even worse are the practices of hegemony and bullying, which run counter to the tide of history” — terms Beijing has used to describe US policy and actions.

“A zero-sum approach that enlarges one’s own gain at the expense of others will not help,” he added. “The right way forward for humanity is peaceful development and win-win cooperation.”

Xi said China “stands ready to work with” other governments on climate change but announced no new initiatives and offered no resources. He said it was up to developed countries to provide money and technology. (AP)

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