Will Poland purchase China’s COVID-19 vaccine?

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In an effort to exit the pandemic crisis, President Andrzej Duda conducted a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping concerning the possibility of purchasing Covid-19 vaccines from China.

According to Presidential Minister Krzysztof Szczerski, Duda touched upon the issue of Sino-Polish cooperation in terms of fighting the pandemic at the behest of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, which would include Poland purchasing Chinese vaccines.

The matter of purchasing the Chinese vaccine is to be “the subject of further arrangements on the international level”.

Szczerski said that president Duda gladly accepted the Chinese president’s declaration that Beijing is ready to make Chinese vaccines a global public good. Duda was to have said that “solidarity and international cooperation are playing an important role in overcoming the health and economic consequences of the pandemic.”

Central-Eastern European cooperation with China

During the conversation, Duda also congratulated Xi on organizing the 9th Central-Eastern European Countries and China Summit (17+1) held online on Feb. 9. Poland sees this platform of cooperation with China as a supplement to bilateral relations which are a priority for Warsaw.

Szczerski added that Duda underlined that his personal participation in the summit was proof of wanting to maintain strong relations with China. This was also a practical fulfillment of the rule that all important affairs concerning Central-Eastern Europe must involve the active participation of Poland.

Szczerski also stated that the Polish president received assurance from Xi that all efforts will be made to facilitate trade for Polish exporters to China and especially for agricultural ones.

“The Chinese side is positive towards the postulate to activate a swift route for Polish companies which would want to unfreeze business cooperation with Chinese partners and make diplomatic contacts easier,” the minister said.

Despite the pandemic, the trade exchange between Poland and China in 2020 reached a record sum of $40 billion.

Szczerski believes that a good step in the direction desired by Polish authorities was Xi’s declaration at the summit concerning China’s readiness to increase import to Central Europe up to $170 billion over the next five years.

President Xi Jinping also invited president Duda to make a state visit to China.

Title image: China’s President Xi Jinping, left, and his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda, right, speak prior to the state dinner at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland, Monday, June 20, 2016, AP Images.

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