Xi rallies G20 to support developing nations amid a troubling covid-19 surge

Written By: Eric Biegon

President Xi addressing the 15th G20 summit held virtually in Riyadh, Saudi in November 21, 2020. PICTURE/COURTESY

China has yet again called for concerted efforts by the international community in the fight against covid-19 noting that this is the only way to create a better future in the post-pandemic era.

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Addressing this year’s G20 summit hosted by Saudi Arabia over the weekend, Chinese President Xi Jinping particularly made a case for developing nations, urging major economies not to turn a blind eye on their situation.

Amid a worrying surge in covid-19 infections, Xi says poor countries need help if they are to survive the economic impact occasioned by the pandemic.

“The most pressing task of the moment is to shore up the global public health system and contain COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.” He told the meeting.

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According to the Chinese leader, all nations need to move ahead as one like never before, even as he challenged the established economies to pursue more inclusive development.

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“We should keep our support for developing countries and help them overcome the hardships caused by the pandemic,” Xi told the G20 leaders

He reaffirmed China’s commitment to help and support other developing countries by making COVID-19 vaccines accessible and affordable around the world.

While containing the virus on an ongoing basis, the Chinese leader reiterated the need to also stabilize and restore economic growth.

Displayed on a projected screen at the International Media Centre in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh on November 21, 2020, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz gives an address opening the G20 summit, held virtually due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, while surrounding him are other G20-participating leaders. – Saudi Arabia opened the G20 summit on November 21 in a first for an Arab nation, with the virtual forum dominated by efforts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and the worst global recession in decades. The two-day meeting of the world’s wealthiest nations comes as President Donald Trump refuses to concede a bitter election and campaigners criticise what they call the G20’s inadequate response to the crippling economic crisis. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP)

In his rallying call, Xi noted that China has fully implemented the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) while overcoming its own difficulties.

The G20 launched the initiative in April to address the immediate liquidity needs of low-income countries, allowing the debt service payments due, and that are owed by the most impoverished countries to be suspended.

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“China will increase the level of debt suspension and relief for countries facing particular difficulties and encourage its financial institutions to provide new financing support on a voluntary basis and according to market principles,” Xi said in his speech.

Xi told the summit that the G20 should uphold multilateralism, openness, inclusiveness, mutually beneficial cooperation, and keep pace with the times.

He also called on the G20 to promote free trade, oppose unilateralism and protectionism, and safeguard developing countries’ right to and space of development.

“We need to build up capacities for tackling global challenges,” Xi stressed.

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He said the G20 members should work together to enhance the role of the World Health Organization and build a global community of health for all.

Noting that the pandemic has fueled a boom in new technologies and business forms, he called for action to turn the crisis into an opportunity.

“We may deepen structural reform and cultivate new growth drivers through scientific and technological innovation and digital transformation,” he said.

He told leaders attending the summit that China’s move to establish a new development paradigm will create more opportunities for countries around the world to share its achievements in pursuing high-quality economic development.

“China will always be a builder of global peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of international order,” Xi said.

 

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