By Wang Yu, Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan
Recently, the State Council Information Office of China issued a white paper entitled ” Fighting Covid-19：China in Action”, with a length of about 37000 words, to keep a record of China’s efforts in its own fight against the virus, to share its experience with the rest of the world, to introduce the feelings and experiences of the Chinese people who have experienced the trials and tribulations of the epidemic, and to convey the confidence and strength of unity and cooperation to overcome the epidemic. The white paper, filled with facts and data, is a panoramic record of China’s fight against COVID-19, a collective memory of the 1.4 billion Chinese people, and an asset in the history of human anti-epidemic.
From swift response to the public health emergency and initial progress in containing the virus, to newly confirmed domestic cases on the Chinese Mainland drop to single digits and reaching the initial victory in a critical battle of Wuhan city and Hubei province, and finally to ongoing prevention and control, the white paper outlines the five stages of China’s arduous process of fighting the epidemic with a rigorous, meticulous and comprehensive timeline. The leapfrogging of each stage was once considered impossible but materialized under the painstaking efforts and hard work of all the Chinese people, recording the fact of China’s fight against the COVID-19 that shines brilliantly in human nature.
The white paper shows China’s struggle against epidemic under the wise leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core. Facing the outbreak of the epidemic, Comrade Xi Jinping has had at heart the people and assumed full command over the control efforts from the very beginning. He has chaired 14 meetings of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, 4 meetings of the Political Bureau and many other important meetings, and made inspection tours to Beijing, Wuhan, Zhejiang, Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces. He has closely followed developments in China’s virus control and made timely decisions accordingly. He has been leading the all-out people’s war against the virus and bolstered the Chinese people’s confidence and rallied their strength.
The white paper shows that China put the people’s lives first. When the novel coronavirus struck, China decided that it would protect the lives and health of its people even at the cost of a short-term economic downturn and even a temporary shutdown. The government took strict and comprehensive control measures, never tried before, in the city of Wuhan and Hubei Province. In the early stage of the epidemic, as the cases of infection soared, Chinese government did everything possible to treat each and every patient, from an infant only 30 hours old to a centenarian. The goal was to save every single patient whatever the cost. Patients in severe and critical condition were gathered for treatment and intensive care at the best hospitals with the greatest capacity for accommodating patients with infectious respiratory diseases. China also provides free treatment for all patients. The average cost for treating Covid-19 patients is 3260 USD, and that surpassed 21 thousand USD for those in severe condition, and in some critical cases the individual cost exceeded 200 thousand USD, all covered by the state.
The white paper shows the magnificent strength of all the Chinese people united as one. After the outbreak, the entire country acted promptly. From January 24, Chinese New Year’s Eve, to March 8, it rallied 346 national medical teams, consisting of 42,600 medical workers and more than 900 public health professionals to the immediate aid of Hubei province and the city of Wuhan, greatly relieving the pressure on the hardest-hit areas caused by severe shortages of medical resources. 40,000 construction workers gathered in Wuhan, and finished the construction of 1,000-bed Huoshenshan Hospital, 1,600-bed Leishenshan Hospital and 16 temporary treatment centers with 14,000 beds in around 10 days separately, pooling all its strength in the shortest period of time and halting the spread of the epidemic. The 1.4 billion Chinese people, irrespective of their gender, age, and occupation, have plunged themselves into the battle against the epidemic. Resilient and united, they represent a formidable force.
The white paper presents China’s image of openness, transparency, and responsibility. China has always acted with openness, transparency and responsibility, and informed the international community of developments of the epidemic in a timely manner. Acting with a keen sense of responsibility to humanity, its people, posterity, and the international community，China has provided information on Covid-19 in a thoroughly professional and efficient way. It has released authoritative and detailed information as early as possible on a regular basis, thus effectively responding to public concern and building public consensus. Its experience is something other countries can draw on in their fight against the virus.
The white paper presents that China has forged the idea that the world is a global community of shared future, and believed that it must act as a responsible member. At the time when the situation in China was at its most difficult, the international community provided valuable support and assistance to our country and our people. On May 18, President Xi Jinping addressed the opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly, calling for a joint effort on the part of all countries to overcome the virus and build a global community of health for all, and made a sonorous and forceful China commitment. In the face of a virus that is spreading worldwide, China has moved quickly to provide as much assistance to the international community as it can and assist weaker countries and regions, even while under the tremendous pressure of coronavirus control. China has actively shared information and experience with the international community, and carried out international scientific research exchanges and cooperation to deal with the impact of the epidemic on all fields of the world.
The white paper highlights that China firmly opposes stigmatization and politicization of the virus. The common enemy of humanity is this virus, not any particular country or any particular race. China has suffered tremendously but has contributed generously to the global efforts to combat the virus. Its efforts should be duly recognized, and it should not be criticized groundlessly. It is both irresponsible and immoral to play the blame game in an attempt to cover up one’s own shortcomings. China will never accept any frivolous lawsuits or compensation claims. China calls on the international community to come together, 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 leads people around the world towards victory in our fight against the pandemic.
In the face of the virus, mankind is a community with a shared future. As the white paper stresses clearly, preventing and controlling the spread of the virus has become a fight to safeguard global public health, to secure the wellbeing of humanity, to maintain world prosperity, and to enforce morality and conscience on the international community. It is a fight that will determine the future of the human race. We have no other choice but to overcome the pandemic. Solidarity means strength. The world will win this battle.