100 Chinese scholars pen a letter urging China-US anti-virus cooperation

By Hu Yuwei Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/3 16:57:57

China US Photo: VCG

An open letter from 100 Chinese scholars calling on China and the US to put aside their rift and work together to combat the COVID-19 has received an enthusiastic response from 12 countries including the US on Thursday, the letter's initiator told the Global Times on Friday.

A group of 100 Chinese scholars representing diverse academic fields published "An Open Letter to the People of the United States from 100 Chinese Scholars" in the Diplomat, a current-affairs magazine, on Thursday, appealing for global solidarity and cooperation, rather than buck-passing, to stem the spread of coronavirus.

"We need more of these rational, calm, and positive voices now. As the letter notes, the outbreak is unprecedented. China, like other affected countries, is a victim of the virus. We welcome more rational voices like this from all countries especially the US," Hua Chunying, a spokesperson of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Friday afternoon.

Hua posted the letter on her Twitter account on Friday, saying that "Time for more positive voices like this."

"Facing the most dangerous infectious disease across the world, we hope the voices of Chinese intellectuals and elites can be heard in a rational, objective and peaceful manner," Wang Wen, the executive dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, also the initiative coordinator of the letter, said on Friday. 

"It is the consensus of our 100 scholars to call on countries to work together instead of complaining, finger pointing, and accusing each another." 

International leaders and scholars from 12 countries such as the US, Canada, Italy, and Russia have conveyed their support. The politicians include former president of Slovenia Danilo Türk, former adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin Sergey Glazyev, who is now minister in charge of integration at the Eurasian Economic Union, and a former prime minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"Since the virus outbreak we are disappointed to see some politicians putting their domestic political interests before others. We hope that through this letter we can push all parties to put aside their disputes and share the common interests of the mankind," one of the cosigners, Song Luzheng, a researcher at the China Institute of Fudan University, told the Global Times on Friday.

"Facing the most dangerous infectious disease in a century, political bickering does nothing to contribute to the healthy development of Sino-US relations, nor will it help the people of the world to accurately understand and cope with the pandemic," the letter said.

"This is the first time for Chinese scholars to launch such a widely signed letter on a major issue involving China and the US, which reflects the sense of responsibility of Chinese intellectuals. I also believe that this letter is in line with the mainstream public opinion and expectations of countries around the world," said Song.

The Chinese scholars, from sectors including philosophy, political science, economics, medicine, law, military science, and technology, expressed concerns over voices politicizing the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We chose to publish it in an English media because we hope our voices can be heard by Western readers across the world," he said.

"We are grateful for the support of the international community, including donations from our American friends, during the most critical stage of the fight," the letter said.

As two of the great countries on earth, cooperation between China and the US could be used to bring a more positive outcome for all mankind, the scholars said in the letter.

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