China pledged Monday to launch its international health certificate in a bid to spur people-to-people exchanges with other countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the move will help prop up the sluggish global economy.
"The current epidemic still continues across the globe and the world economy is in urgent need of recovery. The necessity of facilitating personal exchanges is increasingly urgent," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters.
The international health certificate, which would be available in both electronic and paper format, would show whether those entering China from other nations have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus or not, Zhao said.
In early 2020, the Chinese Communist-led government introduced a health code system that can confirm whether a person has a high risk of infection. The leadership of President Xi Jinping has been trying to pitch the technology to the world.
The system assigns residents multicolor QR codes to register where they went and whether they had contact with infected patients. With a green light shown on their smartphones, they are permitted onto trains and expressways, and into shops and office buildings.
The electronic version of the new certificate for foreigners is expected to use a similar method.
"China is willing to discuss with other countries the establishment of the mutual recognition mechanism" about the virus to "actively promote the construction of healthy, safe and orderly personnel exchanges," Zhao said.