BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday called for a resolute all-out global war against the COVID-19 outbreak as leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) convened an extraordinary summit to coordinate multilateral response to the pandemic.
“It is imperative for the international community to strengthen confidence, act with unity and work together in a collective response,” Xi addressed the summit via video link in Beijing.
Calling major infectious disease the enemy of all, Xi said the international community must comprehensively step up international cooperation and foster greater synergy so that humanity as one could win the battle against the COVID-19.
This is the first time for the leaders of the world’s 20 major economies to hold a summit online since the mechanism, which used to only gather finance ministers and central bankers, was elevated to be the world’s premier platform for international economic cooperation in 2008.
Stressing the outbreak is spreading worldwide and the situation is disturbing and unsettling, Xi called on countries to move swiftly to stem the spread of the virus.
He proposed that a G20 health ministers’ meeting be convened as quick as possible to improve information sharing, strengthen cooperation on drugs, vaccines and epidemic control, and cut off cross-border infections.
Xi also proposed a G20 COVID-19 assistance initiative for better information sharing and policy and action coordination with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO).