On June 7, the Chinese government released a white paper entitled “Fighting COVID-19: China in Action”.
At around 37,000 Chinese characters in length, the document records the country’s efforts in its battle against the coronavirus, and shares with the international community its experience to fight the epidemic.
The white paper has articulated China’s views and concepts on the global battle against COVID-19, and transmitted to the world again the firm voice of solidarity in the fight against the epidemic. I would like to share with Bahamian friends some aspects of the white paper.
First of all, the white paper records in detail the arduous course of China’s efforts in fighting the epidemic by mobilizing the whole country.
The COVID-19 epidemic has been the most challenging major public health emergency since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
The Chinese government has addressed the epidemic as a top priority and taken swift action.
President Xi Jinping has personally taken command of and planned the response.
Emergency actions across the country were taken, tens of thousands of people were united, a powerful force was assembled to beat the virus.
From January 24 to March 8, the Chinese government rallied 346 national medical teams, consisting of 42,600 medical workers and more than 900 public health professionals to the immediate aid of Hubei and the city of Wuhan.
The construction of the 1,000-bed Huoshenshan Hospital was completed in just 10 days, and the 1,600-bed Leishenshan Hospital in just 12 days.
In 10 short days, 16 temporary treatment centers providing over 14,000 beds were built.
All strength was pooled in the shortest period of time, which halted the spread of the epidemic.
Through painstaking efforts and tremendous sacrifice and within about three months, China made significant strategic achievements in turning the situation around, which protected its people’s lives, safety and health, and made a significant contribution to safeguarding regional and global public health.
After weathering the epidemic, the Chinese people have firmly realized that the CPC leadership is the most reliable shelter against storms, and their confidence in China’s political system has been greatly increased.
Secondly, the white paper shares objectively the open, transparent manner with which China has released relevant information.
Since the outbreak began, President Xi Jinping has called or met with nearly 50 foreign leaders and heads of international organizations, in which he called on all parties to strengthen cooperation to meet the challenge in the spirit of building a community of shared future for mankind.
With the attitude of being responsible for life, being responsible to the people, and being responsible to the international community, the Chinese government released COVID-19 information as early as possible and effectively responded to public concerns, providing reference for all countries in the world.
Whether it was the identification of the pathogen and development of test kits in very short period of time, or carrying out in-depth investigation of epidemic-related big data and epidemiology, and the correction of the number of confirmed and dead cases, China has displayed an open, transparent and responsible manner in releasing the COVID-19 related information.
And the same went for the establishment of the most stringent, professional and efficient information release system, and informing the World Health Organization, relevant countries and regions of the outbreak, sharing the genome sequence of the novel coronavirus, and conducting international cooperation to beat the epidemic.
In the form of a white paper, China clarified the truth with verifiable facts.
It has effectively responded to some unfounded accusations, and the vicious act of stigmatizing the virus and politicizing the epidemic.
Thirdly, the white paper shows that China has lived up to its responsibility as a major country through solidarity and cooperation with the rest of the world.
Even when under tremendous pressure of domestic epidemic control, China moved quickly to provide as much assistance to the international community as it could.
Coronavirus knows no border and races.
In the course of this fight, China has followed its vision of a community with shared future for mankind and provided support for other countries.
Since the outbreak began, the Chinese government has not only cared about the safety and health of foreigners in China, but also sent 29 medical expert teams to 27 countries, held more than 180 virtual expert exchange meetings with over 170 countries and international organizations, sharing experiences on epidemic control and medical treatment.
By May 31, China had provided assistance of medical supplies to over 150 countries and four international organizations, including four batches of assistance for The Bahamas.
It has provided two batches of cash support totaling US$50 million to the WHO.
It has actively participated in and acted upon the Debt Service Suspension Initiative of the G20 and has so far announced the suspension of debt repayments from 77 developing countries.
Currently the global spread of COVID-19 has posed grave threat to people’s lives and health and the global economy is facing a crisis of deepening recession.
Both the fight to rein in the virus and the endeavor to fend off a deepening global recession call for the international community to stand in unity and engage in cooperation, abandon prejudice and arrogance, resist scapegoating and other such self-serving artifices, and stand against stigmatization and politicization of the virus.
In doing so, we will see that the spirit of solidarity, cooperation, responsibility and dedication lead people around the world towards victory in our fight against the pandemic.
As the white paper says, “as long as the world’s peoples can cherish hopes and dreams, can embrace the idea of a global community of shared future, and can unite in pursuit of a common goal, we will be able to overcome all our current difficulties and challenges, and build a better world for all”.
• Huang Qinguo is the ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to The Commonwealth of The Bahamas.