By Zhong Sheng
The State Council Information Office of China on June 7 published a white paper titled “Fighting COVID-19: China in Action”. The 37,000-word document records the Chinese people’s battle against the virus, shares with the international community China’s experience in curbing the virus and clarifies China’s stance in fighting the virus.
At the critical moment when the world is fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic, the document conveyed confidence and strength in combating the disease through solidarity and cooperation. International observers said the white paper brings great enlightenment and inspiration to the international community in the global anti-epidemic battle, and is of global scientific value.
A timeline for China’s epidemic-fighting efforts since the detection of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause was systematically laid out in the paper.
The document, which faithfully records five stages and 126 important moments of China’s fight against the epidemic, demonstrates key policies, measures and achievements of China in coping with the epidemic.
The timeline clearly records the arduous efforts of China in fighting the epidemic and carries the unforgettable memory shared by 1.4 billion Chinese people.
It took China over a month to achieve initial success in curbing the spread of the virus, about two months to bring the daily figure of new domestic cases on the mainland down to single digits, and three months to win a decisive victory in defending Wuhan City and Hubei Province.
With these strategic achievements, China has protected its people’s lives, safety and health, and made a significant contribution to safeguarding regional and global public health.
Future historians may well look upon China’s fight against the coronavirus as a global role model in containing the spread of new diseases, said Robert Lawrence Kuhn, chairman of the Kuhn Foundation.
China’s anti-epidemic timeline clearly shows the strong leadership and scientific guidance of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core.
General Secretary Xi Jinping has taken personal command, planned the response, overseen the general situation and acted decisively, pointing the way forward in the fight against the epidemic. This has bolstered the Chinese people’s confidence and rallied their strength.
Under the leadership of the CPC, the whole nation has followed the general principle of “remaining confident, coming together in solidarity, adopting a science-based approach, and taking targeted measures”, and waged an all-out people’s war on the virus.
The central authorities made major decisions, employed extraordinary measures to deal with an extraordinary emergency, and quickly turned the situation around.
When analyzing the epidemiological curve of the virus after a field visit to China, Bruce Aylward, former assistant director general of the WHO, said every curve represents the extraordinary policy decision made by Chinese leaders.
The anti-epidemic timeline reflects the people-centered governance philosophy of the CPC and the Chinese government of serving the people and relying on the people.
General Secretary Xi emphasized that people’s lives and health must come first. He pointed out that saving as many lives as possible, by every possible means, was the number one priority. He said China must rely on the people to win the battle against the novel coronavirus epidemic. He hailed the Chinese people as the source of strength and confidence for winning this battle.
China has put the people’s interests first – nothing is more precious than people’s lives, done everything possible to protect the lives and health of its people, and demonstrated firm determination to fight and win the battle against the epidemic by mobilizing all resources and blocking the spread of the virus. This has been witnessed by the whole world.
The Chinese people have a high degree of trust for their leaders, the Party and government, and consciously shoulder their responsibilities. Edelman Trust Barometer 2020 reveals that China has once again topped the trust index among major economies in the world. This reflects that the Chinese people, while going through the epidemic, show more support for and trust in the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, as well as more confidence in the Chinese system.
China’s anti-epidemic timeline shows the Chinese responsibility and contribution to the global anti-pandemic response.
In an open, transparent, and responsible manner and in accordance with the law, China wasted no time in reporting the outbreak to the World Health Organization (WHO) and relevant countries and regions, and shared with them the genetic sequence at the first opportunity. China also immediately carried out international cooperation in epidemic prevention and control, and shared without reserve its experience in containing the spread of the virus and treating the infected.
The irrefutable facts prove that China had sent a clear and unambiguous message to the international community at the beginning of the epidemic, and the “delay” and “cover-up” accusations fabricated by politicians from certain countries are totally groundless and scapegoating.
Some of the world’s leading academic journals such as Science, Nature and The Lancet have given positive evaluation to China’s anti-epidemic measures for months, believing that China’s effective control of the epidemic has set an encouraging example for other countries. The international community generally believes that China has played a truly responsible role in the global fight against the pandemic.
Recording the arduous anti-epidemic efforts of China, the White Paper marks a glorious chapter of the Chinese people’s hard work in fighting against the epidemic, a magnificent picture of the Chinese nation growing up and becoming stronger in difficulties, as well as a strong voice that China and other countries share a common destiny and come together in solidarity.
The great force running through this arduous journey has become China’s firm confidence and strong will to overcome difficulties and challenges, to support the country and the world to jointly protect the lives and health of the people, to safeguard the common homeland of mankind, and to jointly build a community of common health for mankind.
“The pandemic will have a significant impact on the development of humanity, but the people’s longing for a happy life will remain unchanged. Peace, development, and win-win cooperation will prevail,” said the White Paper.
The Chinese people will always remember this period of history, and draw wisdom and strength from it, so as to usher in a better future together with the people from across the world.
(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy.)
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