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China pledges another $3bn in aid to developing countries to combat COVID-19

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
China's President Xi Jinping

China's President Xi Jinping on Friday promised $3 billion in aid to developing countries to fight COVID-19 at an unprecedented emergency online meeting of APEC heads of state.

Xi said the additional funds, which come after a similar pledge in May, were intended to "support COVID-19 response and economic and social recovery in other developing countries," according to the official Xinhua news agency.

Appearing via a video-link, Xi added that China has already supplied developing countries with more than 500 million COVID-19 vaccine doses.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was scheduled to host the annual summit of leaders from the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group in December but called an additional meeting with less than five days' notice to address urgent issues caused by the global pandemic.

US President Joe Biden and Russia's Vladimir Putin attended the meeting, which began on Friday evening Beijing time.

China, where the coronavirus first surfaced in late 2019, has promised billions of dollars in aid, medical equipment, and vaccines to countries around the world in recent months as it brought domestic outbreaks under control.

(Source: AFP)

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