KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13: Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has thanked China for its offer to provide Malaysia with Covid-19 vaccines once developed.
“We welcome and appreciate China’s commitment in providing Malaysia with Chinese-produced Covid-19 vaccines, once successfully developed, and listing Malaysia as a priority recipient,” he said at a joint press conference with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in Kuala Lumpur today.
Hishammuddin said Malaysia also welcomed China’s move to push its enterprises to cooperate with Malaysian partners in vaccine research and development (R&D), and distribution.
Noting that the public in China may have access to vaccines as early as next month, he said the decision to obtain a specific vaccine from China would ultimately lie with the Cabinet.
Wang, who is on a tour of Asean, said China was ready to assist Malaysia with a vaccine, which would be “the ultimate weapon” to help the world defeat Covid-19.
“Malaysia is a good friend of China, and if there is a need in Malaysia for a vaccine, we are open to that. We stand ready to pursue detailed consultations and carry out collaboration for such vaccines,” he said.
He said China was making “good progress” in its vaccine development, pointing out that four of the eight vaccines currently in Phase 3 of clinical trials were being developed by his country.
“Having said that, we don’t approve of the attempt by certain countries to monopolise the vaccine market and try to dominate or seize the international vaccine market,” he said.
“In our view, vaccines should be provided to serve all of the human race.”
Hishammuddin and Wang also discussed enhancing economic cooperation, post-pandemic collaborations and cross-border movement between the two countries.
The two foreign ministers reiterated the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea, with Hishammuddin stating that disputes should be addressed without resorting to threats or use of force.
Wang arrived from Cambodia yesterday and is scheduled to leave for Singapore later today before concluding his tour with visits to Laos and Thailand.