On June, 7, 2020, China’s State Council Information Office published a white paper titled Fighting COVID-19: China in Action, recording China’s efforts in its own fight against the virus, sharing its experience with the rest of the world and clarifying its ideas on the global battle.
The white paper, since published, has won widespread acclaim. Some call it a declaration that announces the people-oriented idea of China in fighting COVID-19. Some call it timely rain, which shares China’s experience and wisdom in fighting the epidemic with the world without reservation. Some call it a mobilisation order, which calls for people to prepare for a long-term struggle against the epidemic. Still others call it a bugle call, which appeals for the international community to work together against the once-in-a-century disaster. Here I would like to take this opportunity to share some of my feelings and opinions.
China’s fight against COVID-19 as recorded in the white paper reflects the noble spirit of regarding people’s lives as the priority. Faced with the devastating disaster, President Xi Jinping has taken personal command, planned the response, overseen the general situation and acted decisively, pointing the way forward in the fight against the epidemic. This has bolstered the Chinese people’s confidence and rallied their strength. China has rapidly mobilised the manpower and resources of the whole nation, carried out extensive, stringent and thorough containment measures and done everything possible to protect the lives and health of its people.
Thanks to the swift response, China has achieved initial success in curbing the spread of the virus and brought the daily figure of new domestic cases on the mainland down to single digits. Now we have won a decisive victory in defending Wuhan City and Hubei province, and nationwide virus control is being conducted on an ongoing basis. China’s achievements in fighting the epidemic have gained worldwide attention. As of midnight of May 31, 2020, the cure rate had reached 94.3 percent. In order to safeguard the lives and health of the people, with a heavy price and great sacrifice, China has written a moving chapter in its fight against the epidemic. China’s fight against COVID-19 as recorded in the white paper demonstrates the great power of the people. From Jan 24, a total of 346 medical teams composed of 42,600 medical workers and more than 900 public health workers from across the country were dispatched to Hubei. Some 4 million community workers are working in around 650,000 urban and rural communities, meticulously protecting their communities from the virus.
Couriers, sanitation workers, transport employees, media workers, volunteers, and many people from other sectors of society also devoted themselves to the fight against the epidemic. Preliminary statistics show that as of May 31, 8.81 million registered volunteers across the country had participated in more than 460,000 volunteer projects, rendering a total of more than 290 million hours of voluntary service. “The tough fight against the epidemic is a common memory inscribed in hearts of the 1.4 billion Chinese people. Our people is the source of confidence and power in the fight,” said a representative of China’s State Council Information Office at the news conference.
China’s fight against COVID-19 as recorded in the white paper reflects the right attitude of respecting science. Science and technology are the sharp blade that humanity wields in the battle against disease. Such battles could not have been won without scientific advances and technological innovation. To date, four inactivated vaccines and one adenovirus vaccine have been approved for clinical trials. While scientists in China and abroad have kept up with mutual developments, China leads the world in the development of certain types of vaccines. China has also fully utilizsed big data, artificial intelligence and other new technologies in epidemiological investigations.
Top research resources from around the nation have been galvanised to work on research and development (R&D) tasks in pursuit of early results and application. A total of 83 emergency R&D programmes have been initiated. There are reasons to believe that work and life will soon return to normal with more breakthroughs in the R&D of vaccines. China’s attack on COVID-19 as recorded in the white paper is a vivid reflection of the core idea of a global community of shared future. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, upholding the idea that the world is a global community of a shared future, and believing that it must act as a responsible member, China has fought shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of the world. In an open, transparent, and responsible manner, and in accordance with the law, China gave timely notification to the international community of the onset of a new coronavirus, and shared without reserve its experience in containing the spread of the virus and treating the infected.
Only 11 days after the outbreak, China shared information on the whole Coronavirus genome sequence with the World health Organization (WHO), a significant support for global virus prevention and control. China has great empathy with victims all over the world and has done all it can to provide humanitarian aid in support of the international community’s endeavours to stem the pandemic, even while under the tremendous pressure of Coronavirus control. As of May 31, China had provided two batches of cash support totalling US$50 million to the WHO, sent 29 medical expert teams to 27 countries and offered assistance to 150 countries and four international organisations. China’s fight against COVID-19 as recorded in the white paper is a slap in the face of those who discredit China’s contribution in fighting COVID-19. Faced with the once-in-a-century global public health crisis, the international community should have united and cooperated to mount a collective response.
However, some politicians and media hostile towards China are sparing no efforts in attacking China. At the initial stage of the epidemic, they criticised China for a slow response, lack of transparency and city lockdown or quarantine as violating human rights and freedom. After the global outbreak, they began playing up the so-called “Chinese virus”, “China to blame” and other shameless comments, trying to stigmatise China or shift the blame onto China. We would like to suggest those should focus on preventing and controlling COVID-19 rather than concealing their inefficiency in fighting the epidemic or shifting domestic conflicts. Passing the buck will only lead to further losses in fighting the epidemic, which will encumber global anti-epidemic efforts and economic recovery as well as harm themselves.
My dear friends, globalisation has bound all countries together more tightly than ever. Solidarity is our most powerful weapon in the war against the epidemic. In the interest of future generations and the wellbeing of humanity, all countries should help rather than doubt or attack each other in fighting the epidemic. Let’s work together to build a global community of health, safeguard people’s lives and create a brighter future for all mankind.
Wang Wentian is the ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in the Kingdom of Cambodia