CARBIS BAY — The leaders of the G-7 or the world’s seven richest nations have agreed to donate one billion coronavirus vaccines to poor countries and take a stance against China, which President Joe Biden has been calling for.
The three-day G-7 Summit came to an end on Sunday near the English town of Carbis Bay. Biden told a news conference that the pandemic would be a “constant project for a long time.” Biden also said the United States would be committing to donating half of the one billion, around 500 million.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the doses will be both direct transfers of vaccines and funding to COVAX, a vaccine buying system backed by the World Health Organization.
However, the commitment to one billion doses falls far short of the 11 billion doses the World Health Organization said are needed to vaccinate a minimum of 70 percent of the world’s population.
In his first foreign trip since taking office, Biden wanted to make countering China as part of the talks at the G-7 Summit. Sunday saw Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom all slam China for its rights abuses.
“The G-7 nations will continue to challenge practices which undermine the fair and transparent operation of the global economy” the communique said. It also called on “China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially in relation to Xinjiang … and autonomy for Hong Kong,” the joint statement read.
After former President Donald Trump strained ties with America’s Western allies, Biden’s arrival was welcomed by fellow leaders. Johnson called Biden a “breath of fresh air” and French President Emmanuel Macron said it was “great to have a U.S. president part of the club and very willing to cooperate.”
Before traveling to Bussells, Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will meet with Queen Elizabeth II for tea at Windsor Castle.