Commissioner Xie Feng: In the pandemic, solidarity is the best cure and cooperation the only way out

On 6 April 2020, Commissioner Xie Feng received via video a courtesy call from new consuls-general of Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, the Dominican Republic and Pakistan in Hong Kong. Commissioner Xie briefed the consuls-general on China's proposals put forth by President Xi Jinping at the Extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit, China's experience in combating the COVID-19 outbreak, and China's contribution to the global fight against the pandemic.

I. Commissioner Xie said that from day one of our fight against the COVID-19 outbreak, under the firm leadership of the CPC and with personal commitment of President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government has put people's lives first, mobilized and relied on the people, and taken science-based and targeted measures nationwide. Our strenuous struggle and tremendous sacrifices have not only protected our own people but also created a strong first line of defense against international spread of the virus, thus winning time for the rest of the world and building up experience to share. The situation in China is moving steadily in a positive direction, and life and work are returning to normal at a faster pace.

II. Commissioner Xie said that although the most difficult times are now behind us here in China, the Chinese government and people feel deeply for other countries and peoples, whose life and health are under enormous threat due to the spread of COVID-19 worldwide.

In his remarks at the Extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit on 26 March, President Xi called on the international community to strengthen confidence, act with unity, work together in a collective response, comprehensively step up international cooperation and foster greater synergy. Based on China's practice and experience, President Xi put forth four proposals, namely resolutely fighting an all-out global war against the COVID-19 outbreak, making a collective response for control and treatment at the international level, supporting international organizations in playing their active roles, and enhancing international macro-economic policy coordination. He also called for collective actions in cutting tariffs, removing barriers, and facilitating the unfettered flow of trade.

China has not only offered its perspective but also made its contribution to the world. Guided by the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, we have actively shouldered our responsibility for protecting global health and economic stability in this global war against COVID-19.

At the very start of the outbreak, in an open, transparent and responsible manner, we lost no time in reporting it to WHO, sharing with other countries the genome sequence of the virus, rallying experts to work together on prevention and control, and lending a helping hand to other affected countries.

By the end of March, China had provided 120 countries and four international organizations with masks, protective suits, testing kits, ventilators and other aids, donated $20 million to WHO, and sent teams of medical experts to other countries at request. Local governments, companies and civil society organizations in China have also done their share.

China has set up an online COVID-19 knowledge center that is open to all countries, and held over 40 video conferences with more than 100 countries and regions to share prevention and control strategies, methods, technologies, standards and cases we have summed up through practice. We are also working with other countries on drugs and vaccines.

On top of what we have achieved in controlling the outbreak, we are speeding up the resumption of work and production nationwide. China will increase its supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients, daily necessities, and anti-epidemic and other supplies to the international market, and do its utmost to ensure the operation of key businesses and the production and export of key products in the global industrial chain. China will continue to pursue a proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy. We will continue to advance reform and opening-up, widen market access, improve the business environment, and expand import and outbound investment, so as to contribute to stabilizing global industrial and supply chains and boosting world economy.

What is top of mind for us and what we've been striving to do is to stand with the rest of the world to tide over the difficulties, to act as a responsible major country in a humanitarian spirit, and to carry on the Chinese tradition of being grateful to whoever helped us and repaying their kindness with even greater warmth and vigor.

III. Commissioner Xie pointed out that the virus recognizes no borders or races. It has not only spread to over 200 countries and regions, but also rattled the global financial market and increased the risk of a global recession. The international community has seen it increasingly clear that in this ongoing battle between mankind and the virus, and in this struggle to secure economic growth, no single country can stay immune, and a beggar-thy-neighbor approach produces no winner. Solidarity is the best cure and cooperation the only way out.

Unfortunately, while the entire world is rallying in the fight against the outbreak, some politicians and media agencies in certain countries have chosen instead to frantically smear China's epidemic response and efforts to help others. They have done so out of a Cold War mentality and in a bid to shift the blame and deflect attention from problems at home. But making malicious speculations of others' noble motives, playing the blame game and slinging mud at others will not help save lives in their countries; they will only backfire and undercut international cooperation on fighting COVID-19. The international community should stay alert to and counter any such practice.

The pandemic holds up a mirror to humanity, reflecting the senses of justice, sacrifice and responsibility of most countries and peoples, but also the partiality, selfishness and bigotry of some others. We trust that the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind will take deeper root after this crisis, and that solidarity and cooperation will help the international community go a long way.

IV. The consuls-general spoke highly of the tremendous efforts the Chinese government has made for fighting the outbreak and its contribution to the world, and expressed their readiness to enhance cooperation with China to defeat COVID-19.

In particular, the consuls-general appreciated the considerate arrangement made by the Commissioner's Office for the online courtesy call during such a special period, which has both facilitated their performance of duty and eliminated potential risks. They stated their commitment to enhancing the bilateral relations between the countries they represent and China and practical cooperation with Hong Kong.

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