Together, We Are Stronger
At the just-concluded Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit via video link, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on the international community to “strengthen confidence, act with unity and work together in a collective response” in order to win the battle against the novel coronavirus.
With the virus posing a grim challenge to people around the world, countries increasingly recognize that in this global village, we face common challenges, shoulder common responsibilities and above all, share a common future.
Thanks to its unprecedented efforts, the situation in China is improving steadily. Life and work are getting back to normal. While consolidating what has been achieved at home, China is doing the best it can to help with the international efforts to combat the virus.
First, China is sharing its experience and expertise. Ever since the start of the outbreak, China has kept providing information and knowledge on the virus, including its genome sequencing to the World Health Organization and the international community. Its prevention and control measures also bought time for the rest of the world to enhance its preparedness.
Through video conferences and briefings, Chinese public health experts and their international counterparts including those in the Czech Republic have been comparing notes on the most relevant topics such as containment measures and research findings. Relevant QR codes and website links have been shared with the Czech authorities so that they may use China’s experience as reference in their fight against the virus. China also stands ready to conduct joint research and development of drugs and vaccine.
Second, China is providing support and assistance in various forms to countries in need. Solidarity and support are most appreciated in times of difficulty. China deeply appreciates the solidarity and support it received from Czech President Milos Zeman and Czech people from all walks of life. Musicians from the Czech Philharmonic made a special recording of Jasmine in support of Chinese people. The video of their performance went viral on the internet and touched the hearts of millions of Chinese viewers.
Such expressions of friendship are mutual. When the Czech side urgently needed medical supplies, the Chinese side responded quickly to provide support. We facilitated the opening of an “air bridge” to ensure speedy delivery of their purchased medical supplies. Now, planes from China Eastern Airlines are bringing tons of masks, respirators and protective suits from China to the Czech Republic.
Third, China is playing an active role in global public health governance. As Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi pointed out in his letter to his Czech counterpart Tomas Petricek, humanity now is facing a common challenge, countries should work together to ensure the global and regional public health security. Public health issues deserve a higher priority on the international agenda. Major international initiatives in the field of public health such as a Health Silk Road ought to be pursued together.
The pandemic has laid bare certain inadequacies in both individual and global public health governance and highlighted the urgency to strengthen the system of global health governance. For this purpose, China has donated $20 million to the WHO to bolster global response to the pandemic. China will continue to support the primary role of the UN and the WHO in responding to health emergencies and in improving the global public health governance system.
Fourth, China is trying to enhance international macro-economic policy coordination. President Xi has called on all G20 members to take collective actions to send a strong signal and restore confidence in the global economy. As a major contributor to world economic growth over the past decade and more, China is keenly aware of the important role it plays and has acted responsibly to minimize the impact of the pandemic on the Chinese and world economy.
China will continue to advance reform and opening-up. Its enterprises are being encouraged to resume production so as to ensure the stability of global industrial and supply chains. By broadening market access, improving the business environment and expanding imports and outbound investment, China will continue to make its due contribution, if not more, to the growth of the world economy.
In this global village, we all have a stake in each other’s success. As the outbreak reaches more and more countries, the battle against the virus is becoming ever more challenging. The pandemic is a common threat that can only be met through global cooperation. No one should be fighting alone, and no one is able to win the battle alone. To quote a famous Czech writer Karel Capek, we are all in the same boat (Všichni jsme najedné lodi). Together, we are stronger and we shall prevail over the virus.