COVID-19 has brought formidable threats to the life and health of people all over the world. Amid the fierce struggle between the human race and a major global epidemic, unity and cooperation is more needed than ever.
The novel coronavirus is a new type of virus. Our knowledge of it is growing yet still limited. China, too, in acquiring an understanding of the virus, went through a painful process, which is not exceptional in the pursuit of honest knowledge and scientific facts.
During this process, China has been actively engaging in international cooperation in controlling and combating the pandemic with the spirit of openness, transparency and responsibility – China identified the pathogen within an extraordinarily limited time and released its genome sequence as soon as possible; China has been updating the World Health Organization and the international community on its COVID-19 status since Jan. 3; China has so far published seven editions of a diagnosis and treatment plan and six editions of a prevention and control plan for COVID-19, all multilingual.
China’s prompt information-sharing is a manifestation of its commitment to unity and cooperation, which enabled the international community to gain a head-start in detecting, preventing and combating COVID-19.
Viruses do not respect borders, nor do epidemics discriminate between races. As United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has acknowledged, we are facing a global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of the UN – one that is spreading human suffering, infecting the global economy and upending people’s lives.
Indeed, in today’s deeply connected world, no country can stand apart from such a virus that is spreading at an unprecedented speed and scope. From virus source tracing to building a collective global response for disease control and treatment, from identifying the best treatment to producing more medical supplies and seeking breakthroughs in vaccine development, no single country alone can do it all.
Bracing for the impact of the pandemic on the global economy, all countries are on the same boat. Countries need to leverage and coordinate their macro policies to counteract the negative impact, better coordinate financial regulation, keep the global industrial and supply chains stable and thus send a strong signal and restore confidence for global economic recovery. The key to dispersing the shadows of the pandemic hinges on whether the international community can work in unity and render mutual assistance.
Humanity is a community with a shared future, as Chinese President Xi Jinping said, only by cooperating and responding together can the international community overcome the pandemic. China is committed by both words and deeds. When China fought an uphill battle at home, it has been supporting the global combat against COVID-19 to the best of its ability.
As of April 12, 83 video conferences had been held for medical experts between China and 153 other countries, including Indonesia; 14 Chinese medical teams were sent to 12 countries including Cambodia, the Philippines, Myanmar and Laos so that combat experience against the virus can be shared and put in use; China has provided more than 150 countries and international organizations with much needed medical supplies, and has been facilitating the procurement of medical supplies through commercial channels by all countries in China.
From March 1 to April 10 alone, China exported 7.12 billion face masks, 55.57 million pieces of protective clothing, 3.59 million infrared thermometers, 20,100 ventilators, and 13.69 million protective goggles. China is contributing to a sustained global combat against COVID-19.
At the end of the day, we may ask: Where does the virus come from? It is a question that should be answered by the science community, utilizing scientific knowledge and methods. More importantly, the purpose of answering that question is to better control the pandemic and save lives, not to facilitate political maneuvers.
In the face of this global crisis, some western politicians are stigmatizing others, even passing the buck to others for selfish gains. Such actions would not help with their domestic situation, but undermine global cooperation in combating COVID-19, thus eventually harming all countries.
Under the shadows of the COVID-19 pandemic, no single country can stand alone unaffected. Unity and cooperation is the best way for the human race to prevail.
Chinese ambassador to Indonesia
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.