China supports COVID-19 vaccine patent waiver scheme proposed by India, South Africa

China also promises to supply 10 million vaccines to COVAX (File)

Beijing:

China, which is actively following vaccine diplomacy, said on Monday that it “supports” a proposal for a temporary waiver of trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) for coronovirus vaccines in India and South Africa. , Stating that Beijing will support all. Actions that are conducive to the fight against the epidemic of developing countries.

India and South Africa in a communication to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in October last year called for the TRIPS exemption of some intellectual property provisions of COVID-19 vaccines to allow people in developing countries life-saving vaccines and medical science As soon as possible. As much as possible.

Since then, the proposal also began to gain support in the US and the European Union.

Earlier this month, World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala appealed to member states to quickly introduce and negotiate a text that could temporarily ease trade rules that looked at urgency COVID-19 protects the vaccine technology.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters in Beijing without directly referring to the proposal for India and South Africa, “China fully understands and supports the developing world’s demand for an IPR exemption for COVID-19 vaccines.” is.”

“As the largest developing country and a responsible member of the international community, China will do everything that is favorable to developing countries” will fight against the virus and support all actions that allow developing countries to vaccinate in a similar way. Can help achieve, “Zhao said.

China, which has given emergency approval to five domestically manufactured vaccines, recently received approval from the World Health Organization (WHO) for its first vaccine, Sinopharm.

Zhao said that China has provided vaccine assistance to more than 80 countries and three international organizations and exported the vaccine to more than 50 countries.

“We are working with more than 10 developing countries, including Egypt and the UAE, on technology transfer and cooperative production to rapidly advance mass production of vaccines,” he said.

China also promised to supply 10 million vaccines to COVAX, a WHO-backed global vaccine delivery campaign.

Earlier this month, more than 100 US lawmakers wrote a letter to US President Joe Biden about India’s proposal to temporarily lift some intellectual property barriers to the WTO and allow countries to make COVID-19 diagnostics and vaccines locally. Urged to support.

TRIPS went into effect in January 1995. It is a multilateral agreement on the protection of intellectual property (IP) rights such as copyrights, industrial design, patents and anonymous information or trade secrets.

TRIPS allows countries to negotiate compulsory licenses, a flexibility that was confirmed in the Doha Declaration. However, a mandatory license must be negotiated by each World Trade Organization member country for each patent or other protection that applies to each individual product.

Commerce Secretary Anoop Wadhawan said on Friday that the proposal has received the support of many countries.

He told reporters in New Delhi, “I hope that there will be some decision in the World Trade Organization soon. I hope that the result will be achieved at the earliest.”

He said the move would help increase production of vaccines and other essential products to combat coronaviruses.

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