China’s virus fight projects an image of responsible major power

By Zhang Jian Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/22 14:23:40

Members of the medical team from South China's Hainan Province pose at the Wuhan Tianhe International Airport before leaving on Tuesday. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

As a responsible major country, China has always fulfilled its international obligations in public health. Besides taking resolute and powerful measures to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 in an open, transparent and responsible manner, China has also timely and comprehensively provided information to the international community about the coronavirus. China has also carried out in-depth international cooperation in fighting the pandemic, having actively provided medical and material assistance to the international community. 

China's effective responses to the COVID-19 outbreak have projected its image as a highly responsible nation, and demonstrated the strong appeal of the concept of a global community with a shared future. Its multifaceted efforts and outcomes have been widely praised by the international community.

China has been actively providing - within its capacity - public goods to the international community for the prevention and control of the spread of COVID-19 since the novel coronavirus was first detected. At the early stage of the outbreak, China and the World Health Organization (WHO) have maintained close contact and cooperation: On January 12, the WHO announced that it had received the genetic sequence of the coronavirus shared by China. On January 29, Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program Michael Ryan spoke highly of China's COVID-19 prevention and control work at a press conference. In February, the Chinese government also invited the WHO to send an international group of experts from multiple countries to China. The two sides formed a joint team called "WHO-China Joint Mission on COVID-19" and conducted field research in four provinces within nine days   

China and the international community have widely cooperated on pandemic information for joint research on prevention and control. China has shared many technical documents, including COVID-19 prevention and control and diagnosis and treatment programs, with over 100 countries and regions and more than 10 international and regional organizations. China also cooperates with other countries on drugs, vaccines and testing reagents.

China also provides assistance to the international community in the fight against the pandemic. China has donated testing kits to Pakistan, Japan and the African Union and has dispatched medical groups to Iran and Italy. The Chinese government has also donated $20 million to the WHO to support international cooperation in combating the virus.

China has actively and steadily promoted the resumption of work and production in order to minimize the negative impact on the global industrial supply chain. This is not only for the sake of China's own economic and social development, but is also designed to relieve pressure on the world economy and safeguard global common interests.

China has made great efforts and sacrifices in tackling the pandemic, and seized the "window of opportunity" to effectively control the virus. The "window of opportunity" itself is a global public good that can help the international community fight the coronavirus.

On February 24, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres praised China's contribution to the global fight against COVID-19, noting that the Chinese are making efforts for humanity. According to the report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) released on February 28, "the reduction that has been achieved in the force of COVID-19 infection in China has also played a significant role in protecting the global community and creating a stronger first line of defense against international spread." 

China has provided priceless experience in preventing and controlling the pandemic, such as free virus detection, separating mild and severe cases, online medical consultations, construction of makeshift hospitals, and delivery of goods and supplies to communities. Chinese diplomatic envoys and Chinese media correspondents overseas have worked closely with the mainstream media in host countries, including receiving interviews, publishing articles and hosting briefings, to introduce China's defense and control measures and share valuable experience in fighting the COVID-19. 

China's effective measures are being used by more countries, and are playing an active role in pandemic prevention and control worldwide. Iran has followed China's lead and established a Middle East version of the mobile hospital which has 200 beds in an isolation ward. Iran has sent about 300,000 medical teams across the country to test residents for COVID-19. Italy also drew on China's experience by implementing emergency control measures on the movement of people.

China has actively implemented pandemic prevention and control and achieved good preliminary results. It has demonstrated the strong national spirit of the Chinese nation that is not afraid of sacrifice and dedication to a cause.

The author is an associate research fellow at the Department for Asia-Pacific Security and Cooperation Studies, China Institute of International Studies.

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