China to cooperate with Indonesia against "vaccine divide"; Indonesia's Covid-19 total hits above 1.61 million

A women nd her takes wefies and selfies after receiving the Sinovac Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine in Banda Aceh on April 20, 2021.- AFP

BEIJING/JAKARTA, April 20 (Xinhua): Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday that China, while comprehensively promoting domestic vaccination, will continue to carry out vaccine cooperation with Indonesia, help Indonesia build a regional vaccine production centre, and jointly resist the "vaccine divide."

In a phone conversation with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Xi stressed that both China and Indonesia attach great importance to people's lives and health and oppose "vaccine nationalism," noting that vaccine cooperation between the two countries is at the forefront of the world.

Indonesia is one of the worst hit Covid-19 countries in Asia and its numbers are the highest in South-East Asia.

The Covid-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 5,549 within one day to 1,614,849, with the death toll adding by 210 to 43,777, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

According to the ministry, 6,728 more people were discharged from hospitals, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 1,468,142.

The virus has spread to all the country's 34 provinces.

Specifically, within the past 24 hours, West Java recorded 1,399 new cases, Central Java 682, Jakarta 460, Riau 410 and East Java 258.

On the matter of vaccine, China, Xi added, has included foreign citizens on its soil, including those from Indonesia, in its inoculation plan, and hopes that Indonesia will also provide active support for Chinese nationals in the Southeast Asian country.

In the face of profound changes and a pandemic both unseen in a century, Xi emphasized, China stands ready to join hands with Indonesia to enhance strategic mutual trust, deepen strategic consensus, strengthen strategic coordination, uphold multilateralism, safeguard fairness and justice, promote global climate governance, defend the common interests of developing countries, and advance the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Xi noted that trade and investment cooperation between China and Indonesia has kept growing despite the Covid-19 pandemic, showing strong resilience and great potential.

With China having embarked on the new journey of fully building a modern socialist country, and Indonesia marching towards its centennial goal of leapfrogging development, the two countries now face broad prospects for cooperation, Xi pointed out.

China welcomes Indonesia to seize the opportunity created by China's fostering of a new development paradigm and advance bilateral practical cooperation in various areas in a coordinated way, he said, suggesting that the two countries better synergize the Belt and Road Initiative and Indonesia's vision of Global Maritime Fulcrum, and cooperate on a larger scale with higher quality.

The two sides, Xi added, should continuously push forward infrastructure cooperation projects such as the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway, earnestly implement key projects including the regional comprehensive economic corridor, foster new growth areas like new energy and maritime cooperation, and strengthen cooperation in digital economy and other fields.

Xi said China welcomes Indonesia to expand exports of quality products to China, and supports Chinese enterprises in increasing investment in the Southeast Asian country.

The two sides should push for the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and promote regional trade liberalization and economic integration, he added. - Xinhua
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