Credit: Yan Yan/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire

President Xi Jinping has offered financial aid to countries impacted by COVID-19.

This morning was the first day of the 73rd World Health Assembly, an annual gathering held by the World Health Organization to discuss the world’s current health issues. The event is typically held in the WHO’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they have been forced to run shortened virtual sessions over two days. Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke during the opening ceremony via a video conference call about his country’s efforts to mitigate the pandemic.

“China will provide 2 billion U.S dollars over two years to help with Covid-19 response, and with economic and social development in affected countries, especially developing countries,“ Xi said, according to official English translations.

In regards to vaccine research, which several Chinese biotech companies are currently at the forefront of, Xi said that in the event China discovers a definitive COVID-19 vaccine, it “will be made a global public good.”

Credit: Pang Xinglei/Xinhua via Getty

In the face of recent criticisms that China has obfuscated the virus’s origin in Wuhan, Xi responded that China has been as open and transparent as possible on the matter. “We also need to continue supporting global research by scientists on the source and transmission routes of the virus,“ Xi said.

“China supports the idea of a comprehensive review of the global response to Covid-19 after it is brought under control, to sum up our experience and address deficiencies,” he added. “This work should be led by science and professionalism, led by the WHO and conducted in an objective and impartial manner.”