Chinese President Xi Jinping has spoken to his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella over the phone to offer his “sincere condolences” to the Italian people over the coronavirus crisis.

China would make any coronavirus vaccine it developed a “global public good” once it was put into use, President Xi Jinping told the World Health Assembly on Monday.

China has five potential vaccines in clinical trials as countries race to find a way to stop the pathogen that has killed over 315,000 people worldwide.

In his speech, Xi said: “After the research and development of China’s coronavirus vaccine is completed and it is put into use, it will be made a global public good.”


This move would be China’s contribution to achieving accessibility and affordability of a vaccine in developing countries as well, Xi said.

More vaccine candidates are in the pipeline and awaiting approval for human trials, said Zeng Yixin, deputy director of the National Health Commission, last week.

Experts say it will take at least 12 to 18 months to develop an effective vaccine, or an even longer period.

Xi also told the assembly’s first-ever virtual gathering that China will provide $2 billion in global COVID-19 aid over two years.

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