China on Sunday affirmed its commitment to collaborating with the international medical community in developing a vaccine for COVID-19. Of the 10 human trials currently underway in search of an effective treatment, five are reportedly being conducted in China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping previously pledged that any vaccine produced by his country would be shared globally, with a particular focus on making it accessible in developing nations.

“The rigor of vaccine development has been compared by some scientists to a dance involving precise steps and rehearsals,” Science and Technology Minister Wang Zhigang said at a press conference in response to a question about which countries would be given priority for a potential vaccine.

The comments come as Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., accused the superpower of sabotaging the efforts of Western nations to develop a vaccine. While declining to elaborate, Scott said that the intelligence community had uncovered the subterfuge and further claimed that China did not want the U.S. to be the one to find a vaccine first.

“We have got to get this vaccine done,” Scott told the BBC. “Unfortunately we have evidence that communist China is trying to sabotage us or slow it down… China does not want us ... to do it first, they have decided to be an adversary to Americans and I think to democracy around the world.”

Chinese officials have not commented on Scott’s claims.

By the end of May, the Chinese government had reportedly spent a total of 1.35 billion yuan ($191 million) to fight the global pandemic. It has also pledged an additional $2 billion dollars to help fight the virus globally in the years to come.

Xi_Jinping President of People's Republic of China Xi Jinping said that they support an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus but not when there's a pandemic crisis. Photo: Creative Commons