China to Provide Mekong Countries with Covid-19 Vaccine

Woman receiving a vaccine at the Mother and Child Hospital in Vientiane, Laos
Woman receiving a vaccine at the Mother and Child Hospital in Vientiane, Laos

China has said it will give priority access to Mekong countries for the provision of a Covid-19 vaccine once developed.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang made the announcement when attending the third Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) leaders’ meeting via video link, according to a report in Xinhua.

The LMC leaders’ meeting is a regional dialogue mechanism including six member countries along the Mekong river basin; China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

China intends to set up special funds to promote public health under the framework of the LMC Special Fund and says it will continue to provide anti-epidemic materials and technical support to Mekong countries.

Premier Li said that solidarity and cooperation are vital in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, saying China will work with Mekong countries in support of the World Health Organization.

At the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation leader’s meeting, China announced a number of proposals to promote Lancang-Mekong cooperation, including the sharing of the Lancang River’s hydrological data for the year.

Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith said that Laos appreciates China’s offer to share its annual hydrological information with other Mekong countries, and thanked China for its support in the construction of the Laos-China Railway.

He said he hopes China will continue support in extending the railway to Thailand to promote regional connectivity.