A four-point proposal laid out by Chinese President Xi Jinping during the Informal Economic Leaders' Retreat of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), which was held Friday, has injected new impetus into Asia-Pacific cooperation and global economic recovery.
Xi called on APEC members to strengthen international cooperation on COVID-19 response, deepen regional economic integration, pursue inclusive and sustainable development, and seize opportunities from scientific and technological innovation.
For the first time in history, in response to the COVID-19 health and economic crisis, an informal APEC economic leaders' retreat was held before the regular annual convention in November.
COVID-19 vaccines were high on the discussion agenda. APEC economies are collectively responsible for most of the world's COVID-19 vaccine production, but imbalanced distribution has made securing vaccines difficult for many developing countries.
Xi called for closer international cooperation to ensure vaccines are accessible and affordable in developing countries, and reaffirmed China's pledge to make its vaccines global public goods. Xi said that China supports waiving intellectual property rights for COVID vaccines, and will take an active part in cooperation initiatives to keep vaccine supply chains stable and safe and support the movement of essential goods.
This has once again proved China's sincere desire to join hands with other countries through thick and thin, and demonstrated that the country is the most reliable and trustworthy mainstay in the global fight against the pandemic.
Economic recovery is another priority of all APEC members. The Asia-Pacific region has been praised for its pandemic control, but as restrictions have gradually eased and highly infectious new variants have arisen, new waves of outbreaks are threatening several parts of the region, inflicting a heavy blow to a vulnerable economic recovery. As one of the most important regional economic cooperation platforms, APEC needs to enhance solidarity and cooperation to boost global economic recovery.
As the country that was the earliest to emerge from the pandemic, China's economy continues to recover steadily. During Friday's meeting, Xi expressed China's willingness to share its development opportunities with others and map out plans to further expand regional cooperation.
China has financed the founding of a Sub-Fund on APEC Cooperation on Combating COVID-19 and Economic Recovery. It will provide another 3 billion U.S. dollars in international aid over the next three years to support the COVID-19 response and economic and social recovery in other developing countries, Xi said.
He also reiterated China's commitments to an open economy of higher standards, a more attractive business environment, and high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.
These proposals will enhance confidence in global anti-COVID-19 cooperation, promote cooperation among APEC members, and provide a lift for the recovery of the whole region and the world.
While the pandemic continues to wreak havoc, strengthening solidarity and cooperation is the best way to overcome the challenges and emerge from the crisis. Accounting for nearly 40 percent of the world's population and more than 60 percent of the global nominal GDP, APEC is a natural vehicle to coordinate these efforts.
As Xi noted, all members should stand in solidarity, promote anti-COVID-19 cooperation and economic recovery, and work for a bright future of prosperity for all in the Asia-Pacific region.