By JAMEY KEATEN, Associated Press
GENEVA (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday called for greater global cooperation against COVID-19 and pledged to send 1 billion more vaccine doses to other countries, while urging other powers to shed a “Cold War mentality” at the same time of growing geopolitical tensions – a not-so-veiled blow to the United States.
The Chinese leader touted his country’s efforts to share vaccines, fight climate change and promote development at home and abroad during his opening speech at a virtual gathering hosted by the World Economic Forum. The online event is being held in place of its January annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, due to health concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.
He touched on classic themes from his previous comments before an international audience, including responding to complaints from China’s trading partners by promising to open up its state-dominated economy more widely to private and foreign competition.
His comments come as tensions between the United States and China have simmered over issues as diverse as Taiwan, intellectual property, trade, human rights and the South China Sea.
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“We must abandon the Cold War mentality and seek peaceful coexistence and win-win outcomes. Our world today is far from tranquil,” Xi said, through a translator. “Protectionism and unilateralism cannot protect anyone. They end up harming the interests of others as well as their own. Worse still are the practices of hegemony and intimidation, which go against the tide of history.
“A zero-sum approach that increases one’s own gain at the expense of others won’t help,” he added. “The right path for mankind to follow is peaceful development and win-win cooperation.”
Xi, who has not left China since the outbreak of the coronavirus in early 2020, said China has already sent overseas more than 2 billion doses of its COVID-19 vaccines and plans to do so. provide another 1 billion, including a donation of 600 million doses to Africa and another 150 million to Southeast Asia.
By comparison, officials of the UN-backed COVAX program to ship vaccines to developing countries announced over the weekend that it has now delivered 1 billion doses of the vaccine.
Xi said China “stands ready to work with” other governments on climate change, but did not announce any new initiatives or offer any resources. He said it was up to the developed countries to provide the money and the technology.
The Chinese leader repeated official promises that the Communist Party would open up China’s state-dominated economy more widely. The ruling party has taken action over the past five years, including ending ownership restrictions in its auto industry, but business groups say foreign banks, tech and other firms still face to restrictions that limit access to the most promising industries.
Associated Press business writer Joe McDonald contributed from Beijing.
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