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Tuesday Mar 02 2021

FM Qureshi announces China to send 500,000 more coronavirus vaccine doses to Pakistan

A nurse vaccinates a health worker against the coronavirus disease, February 18, 2021. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo/Files

  • Qureshi announces that China would send 500,000 more doses of coronavirus vaccine for Pakistan’s health workers and senior citizens.
  • Says China and Pakistan — the "iron brothers" — to tackle the coronavirus pandemic together.
  • China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi says both countries should "remain committed to mutual benefit and win-win cooperation".

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced on Tuesday that China would be sending 500,000 additional doses of the coronavirus vaccine for Pakistan’s frontline workers and senior citizens.

Qureshi's announcement came during his conversation with the media at the launch event of celebrations related to the establishment of Pakistan-China diplomatic relations along with Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

China, the federal minister added, had already gifted 500,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine — prepared by China National Pharmaceutical Group Co., Ltd. (Sinopharm) — to Pakistan nation for its frontline healthcare workers.

Both countries — or "iron brothers" — would tackle the coronavirus pandemic together, he said, adding that the ties between Pakistan and China had deepened further.

The two countries would hold a series of events to celebrate the establishment of diplomatic relations, he added.

At the event, a logo was also launched to mark the start of celebrations.

'Special, iron-strong friendship'

Qureshi expressed gratitude to the Chinese government, as well as his counterpart, Wang, saying the two countries were determined to move forward together as their bilateral relations were based on mutual trust.

In this regard, China's foreign minister said Pakistan had become the first country to receive Chinese vaccines and "this fully attests to the special, iron-strong friendship that we have".

"The world today is undergoing profound changes and struggling against the pandemic, both of which are unseen for a century. The global economy has been plunged into deep recession. And all countries are taking a 'tough test'," Wang said.

'Pass our friendship onto future generations'

Therefore, these new global circumstances called for "consolidating and expanding our all-weather strategic cooperative partnership" not just for the bilateral interests but also the "stability and well-being of the region and the whole world".

The Chinese official added that the two sides should "deepen political mutual trust", "remain committed to mutual benefit and win-win cooperation", "pass our friendship onto future generations", and "practice multilateralism".