A white paper titled “Fighting COVID-19: China in Action” was issued by China’s State Council Information Office at a press conference on June 7.
The around-37,000-character white paper keeps a record of China’s efforts in its fight against the virus, shares the country’s experience with the rest of the world, and clarifies its ideas on the global battle.
China’s fight against the virus fully demonstrates the leadership and science-based decisions of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee with Xi Jinping at its core.
When the novel coronavirus struck, catching the country unawares, the CPC Central Committee and the Chinese government have given its full attention to the matter and taken swift action. 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.
Putting people’s lives and health first, China swiftly adopted a series of policies on epidemic prevention and control and treatment of the infected. “In little more than a single month, the rising spread of the virus was contained; in around two months, the daily increase in domestic coronavirus cases had fallen to single digits; and in approximately three months, a decisive victory was secured in the battle to defend central China’s Hubei province and its capital city of Wuhan,” the white paper records China’s arduous efforts in the fight against the epidemic with a clear and detailed timeline.
Xu Lin, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee and director of the State Council Information Office, said at the press conference that all 1.4 billion Chinese people will always remember the hardship in fighting against COVID-19.
In fighting the epidemic, China has put the people’s interests first – nothing is more precious than people’s lives. It followed the principle of early detection, reporting, quarantine and treatment, and treated the infected in dedicated medical facilities where medical specialists from all over the country and all the necessary medical resources were concentrated, with a goal to improve the patient admission and cure rates and reduce the infection and fatality rates. By May 31, 94.3 percent of the confirmed cases had been cured, surpassing the average recovery rate for normal viral pneumonia.
The country’s nationwide virus control measures are now being conducted on an ongoing basis. Wang Chen, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and president of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, said China attaches great importance to regular COVID-19 prevention and control measures. Systematic actions should be taken in the whole society to strike a balance between effective epidemic prevention and normal life and work, Wang added.
Ma Xiaowei, director of China’s National Health Commission, noted that the Chinese government has acted with openness, transparency and responsibility, and quickly put in place response mechanisms.
Racing against time to conduct etiological and epidemiological studies, China identified the pathogen in eight days and developed testing reagents in 16 days, he explained.
The country wasted no time in reporting the outbreak to the World Health Organization and relevant countries and regions, and shared with them the genetic sequence at the first opportunity, Ma said, adding that China also immediately carried out international cooperation in epidemic prevention and control.
“The clear timeline reveals that the work done by the Chinese government and scientists can stand the test of history and time,” Ma said.
China’s battle against the epidemic fully demonstrated its governance capacity and comprehensive national strength. The country rallied 346 national medical teams, consisting of 42,600 medical workers and more than 900 public health professionals to the immediate aid of Hubei. The construction of the 1,000-bed Huoshenshan Hospital was completed in just 10 days, and that of the 1,600-bed Leishenshan Hospital in just 12 days. In over 10 days, 16 temporary treatment centers providing over 14,000 beds were built.
After the outbreak, the entire country acted promptly. Relying on its overall national strength, China pooled all its strength in the shortest period of time and halted the spread of the epidemic. Its strength was fully revealed in the epidemic.
China’s Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu said that the country’s outstanding contribution to global anti-pandemic cooperation has won itself wide applause from the international community. Foreigners not only praised China on the internet, but also lit up landmarks in red, played Chinese songs in neighborhoods and cheered “Thank you, China” on the streets.
After the COVID-19 epidemic, China’s ties with the majority of countries in the world have been strengthened rather than “undermined,” and the country’s “circle of friends” was further expanded, the vice minister said.
Wang Zhigang, minister of science and technology, noted that China has engaged in international cooperation in the whole process of developing COVID-19 vaccines.
The country will make its coronavirus vaccine a global public good when it is available, as President Xi Jinping promised at the virtual event of the opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly, the minister added.
“However, at the same time, some foreign politicians and media claimed that China is guilty of being the source of the virus based on presumption of guilt, trying to label the virus and politicize the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Xu.
They played up the accusations that China was accountable for spreading the virus and concealing the facts, which have no factual basis and disrespect science, Xu noted, adding such remarks have triggered strong indignation among the Chinese people.
Faced with defamation and slanders, the country must and will respond, Xu said, adding that it’s not a verbal game, but is clarifying the facts, restoring the truths and maintaining moral justice and human conscience.
Xu Lin, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and director of the State Council Information Office, introduces a white paper on China’s fight against COVID-19 at a press conference, June 7. (Photo by Xu Xiang, courtesy of scio.gov.cn)