Measures taken by the Chinese government to fight the Coronavirus epidemic are impressive. The whole world is delighted with the speed and scale of the measures taken to prevent the spread of infection, as well as the cohesion and discipline of the Chinese people facing a new health threat.
I think the whole world can learn from China how to organise work to overcome an emergency, especially because the epidemic threatens humankind as a whole.
We see that governments of all countries around the world have taken urgent measures to control the spread of the virus. These measures can be divided into two types: isolation from China and preparing specific measures to combat the epidemic.
I consider the first direction to be useless, and, as far as I know, the World Health Organization, too, does not support it.
In the second direction, work is under way in Russia, primarily to develop a vaccine against the Novel Coronavirus.
Here we need to combine scientific and technical resources, and organise international research to combat all biological threats to the existence of human civilisation.
Today, the entire medical industry is working according to the needs of China, supplying various kinds of medical items. As for measures to limit contacts with China, they have not gone beyond the standard recommendations for tourists and are aimed at informing people and reducing the channels for spreading the epidemic.
As far as I know, all the leading Russian airlines maintain their regular flights to and from China, with the possible exception of ports closed by the Chinese government itself. By the way, I just made a transfer in Wuhan recently, and spent two hours at Wuhan airport, where none of the passengers seemed to be worried about their own safety.
For Russians, China is a strategic partner with a long friendship and cooperation. The two heads of state have repeatedly talked about mutual friendship, cooperation and support, highlighting the importance of joint opposition to external threats by using such Chinese expression as “back to back” and the Russian expression “shoulder to shoulder”.
That’s why we do not hesitate for a second before accepting as a common problem the misfortune that has befallen the people of China. In the fight against the epidemic, the Chinese people can rely on the help of Russia.
I am sure that the epidemic will not have any serious negative impact on Sino-Russian trade and economic relations. Of course, temporary quarantine measures may be introduced in accordance with World Trade Organization standards and our agreements. This may concern, first of all, products of animal origin. But in other areas, on the contrary, cooperation has sharply intensified, as in the already mentioned medical industry.
And, in the long run, the epidemic has highlighted the importance of the need to deepen cooperation in areas such as high-tech industries including bioengineering technologies, pharmaceuticals and procurement.
The author is the minister for integration and macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission, and a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China also contributed to this article. CHINA DAILY