Friday January 22, 2021

Fighting COVID-19 Through Solidarity and Cooperation

Published : 22 May 2020, 19:25

Updated : 22 May 2020, 23:02

  By Chen Li

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at the opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly via video link in Beijing, capital of China, May 18, 2020. File Photo Xinhua.

So far, the figure of confirmed cases of COVID-19 pandemic has reached five million, with over 330,000 lives deceased. With no doubt, it is the most serious global public health emergency since the end of World War II. At such a critical moment concerning the survival and development of mankind, the 73rd World Health Assembly was successfully held in virtual form. The resolution on COVID-19 response was adopted by consensus, which unequivocally affirms and supports WHO's leading role and calls on member states to prevent discrimination and stigmatization, combat misinformation and disinformation, strengthen cooperation on the research on diagnostics, therapeutics, medicines and vaccines, and the zoonotic source of the virus and evaluate the work of WHO at the appropriate moment, voicing a strong call on fighting the virus through solidarity and cooperation.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at the Virtual Event of Opening upon invitation. President Xi proposes in the speech that countries must do everything they can for COVID-19 control and treatment; WHO should lead the global response; there should be greater support for Africa and more efforts to strengthen global governance in the area of public health; economic and social development need to be restored and international cooperation enhanced.

President Xi also announces the following measures:

— China will provide US$2 billion over two years to help with COVID-19 response and with economic and social development in affected countries, especially developing countries.

— China will work with the UN to set up a global humanitarian response depot and hub in China, ensure the operation of anti-epidemic supply chains and foster “green corridors” for fast-track transportation and customs clearance.

— China will establish a cooperation mechanism for its hospitals to pair up with 30 African hospitals and accelerate the building of the Africa CDC headquarters to help the continent ramp up its disease preparedness and control capacity.

— COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, will be made a global public good. This will be China’s contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.

— China will work with other G20 members to implement the Debt Service Suspension Initiative for the poorest countries. China is also ready to work with the international community to bolster support for the hardest-hit countries under the greatest strain of debt service, so that they could tide over the current difficulties.

As President Xi stated, we human beings will eventually prevail over the coronavirus. Yet this may not be the last time a major health emergency comes knocking at our door. It is likely that more dangerous virus might emerge in the future and pose greater threats to our lives and health. Nothing but courage, wisdom and solidarity are weapons to defeat the virus and safeguard ourselves. In light of the current situation, WHO plays an increasingly central role in coordination. Countries around the globe should increase political and financial support for WHO. Vaccines and antidotes will not appear with political maneuvering and blame shifting such as scapegoating the WHO and other countries, nor by intimidating or issuing an “ultimatum”.

China is willing to continue working with the international community to focus on pandemic control and treatment, to support WHO and international cooperation, to uphold multilateralism, to strengthen global health governance, in order to defeat the virus and build a global community of health for all.

Notes: The writer is the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Finland. It is a collaborating content by the Embassy of the People's Republic of China, Finland.