China pledges support to India amid COVID-19 surge

Oxygen concentrators, among other goods, being sourced from neighbouring country

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday sent a message to External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar reiterating China’s support to India in procuring materials amid the COVID-19 surge and current shortages.

A large number of goods are in the process of being sourced from China, including oxygen concentrators, on a commercial basis. A first batch of 800 oxygen concentrators was flown in from Hong Kong earlier this week and China’s Ambassador to India Sun Weidong said on Wednesday that Chinese medical suppliers “are working overtime on orders from India” with “at least 25,000 orders for oxygen concentrators in recent days.”

“Cargo planes are under plan for medical supplies. Chinese Customs will facilitate the relevant process,” he said in a statement.

Mr. Sun on Thursday shared a message sent by Mr. Wang to Mr. Jaishankar, saying “the Chinese side shares empathy for the challenges facing India and expresses sincere sympathy” and noted that “a new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is surging in India.”

Adding that the “international community needs solidarity and coordination for a concerned response”, Mr. Wang said, “the Chinese side firmly supports the Indian government and people in fighting the pandemic.”

“Anti-pandemic materials produced in China are entering India at a faster pace to help India fight the epidemic,” the Foreign Minister added. “The Chinese side will continue to do its utmost to provide support and help according to the needs of India. We hope and believe that under the leadership of the Indian government, the Indian people will surely prevail over the epidemic at an early date.”

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