Put people first and forge global synergy in fighting against COVID-19

COVID-19 vaccines provided by China arrive in Equatorial Guinea, Feb. 10 2021. (Photo/Chinese Embassy in Equatorial Guinea)

China’s people-centered approach in human rights protection was praised by representatives of many European countries at the 2021 China-Europe Seminar on Human Rights held both online and offline on Tuesday.


In its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, China has always put people and their lives first and made every effort to safeguard people’s right to life and health, opening a new chapter of protecting the right to life and health in humankind’s history of fighting against epidemic, which bears great global significance, according to attendees at the seminar themed “COVID-19 Pandemic and Guarantee of the Right to Life and Health.”


China has achieved the most notable results in the world in the prevention and control of the pandemic, said representatives at the seminar, noting that the sense of responsibility and efficiency the Chinese government has shown in its COVID-19 response are impressive.


The approach adopted by a country determines the actions it takes to protect human rights as well as the effect of its actions.


Adhering to its people-centered approach in human rights protection, China has regarded all patients as equals and made all-out efforts to treat patients and save lives in its fight against the pandemic.


The country has spared no effort to safeguard the life and dignity of everyone, be it a 30-hour old baby or a centenarian, a foreign student or foreign national in China; the right to life and health of special groups, including the elderly, people with disabilities, children, poor and low-income people, has been protected with careful attention; in addition, the country has stuck to science-based policies and ensured a coordinated and systemic response to balance targeted routine COVID-19 protocols and emergency measures as well as epidemic control and social and economic development, thus guaranteeing people’s normal production and daily life to the greatest possible extent.


All these efforts have embodied the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) commitment to serving the public good and exercising power in the interests of the people and reflected Chinese people’s reverence for life.


With the most strict, comprehensive and thorough measures for epidemic prevention and control, China managed to keep the infection and fatality rates at a low level, actively fulfilling its obligation of protecting people’s right to life and health set out in human rights conventions adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).


The right to life and health is an inclusive and fundamental part of people’s human rights. It’s a basic guarantee of human being’s living with dignity. As Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”


In its battle against the COVID-19, China has brought into full play its institutional strengths and mobilized the whole country to protect people’s lives and health.


China’s truly all-of-government and all-of-society approach has averted or at least delayed hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 cases in the country, according to a report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on COVID-19.


China’s experience has fully proven that human rights mean the integration of individual and collective rights, and individual rights can only be maximized in the context of collective rights.


As ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius rightly pointed out, “The man of perfect virtue is one who, desiring to turn his own merits to account, helps others to turn theirs to account.”


In the unprecedented battle against the pandemic, China’s efforts to safeguard people’s right to life and health have transcended national boundaries. It has done all it can to provide humanitarian aid for other countries in their endeavors to fight the pandemic, and actively promoted the building of a global community of health for all.


The country has sent medical supplies to more than 150 countries and 13 international organizations,  joined COVAX, an international initiative aimed at ensuring equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines, under which China has promised to provide an initial 10 million doses for emergency use in developing countries, and supplied more than 350 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the world, including free vaccines provided for more than 80 developing countries in urgent need and vaccines exported to over 40 countries.


In its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, China attaches importance to both people’s health and development, an experience other countries must value, said a representative of French at the 2021 China-Europe Seminar on Human Rights, who believes only in this way can countries realize global health governance based on true multilateralism.


With repeated resurgence and frequent mutations of the coronavirus, the COVID-19 situation around the world remains complicated and grim.


Countries across the world can only forge a powerful synergy against the pandemic by putting people’s right to life and health first, tiding over this trying time through solidarity and cooperation, and working together to firmly reject any attempt to politicize the pandemic or label the virus, as well as selfish acts such as those aimed at pursuing vaccine nationalism.


China will continuously adhere to its people-centered approach in human rights protection and make unremitting efforts to safeguard the right to life and health of people in China and the rest of the world.


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