Joining hands to fight COVID-19 pandemic is vivid interpretation of building community with shared future for mankind (Part I)
By Jun Sheng
"Brothers are not far away, let's overcome the difficulties hand in hand", "Iron friendship, help each other as passengers in the same boat", "We are waves of the same sea, leaves of the same tree, flowers of the same garden"... These words written on China's foreign aid supplies have recorded China's actions to fight the pandemic hand in hand with foreign countries, demonstrating China's responsibility and undertaking in the joint response to challenges.
At present, solidarity and cooperation is the right way to overcome the pandemic. On June 17, Chinese President Xi Jinping chaired the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against COVID-19 in Beijing and delivered a keynote speech, putting forward a series of important initiatives and proposals. President Xi stressed the need for China and Africa to stay committed to fighting COVID-19 together, enhancing China-Africa cooperation, upholding multilateralism, and pushing China-Africa friendship forward. These principles demonstrate the firm determination of the two sides to defeat COVID-19 with solidarity and cooperation, point the way forward for pandemic response and practical cooperation between China and Africa, chart the course for the future of China-Africa relations, and unleash strong and positive energy for the international community to secure an early victory against COVID-19 through solidarity and cooperation.
At present, the COVID-19 pandemic spread has yet to be effectively curbed, and it is particularly important to strengthen international cooperation in the fight and safeguard global public health security. In this big test of pandemic prevention and control, China adheres to the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind and actively promotes international cooperation in pandemic prevention and control. From supporting international organizations to play their due roles to joining hands with other countries to improve global public health governance; from powerfully and orderly promoting the resumption of work and production to ensuring the openness, stability, and security of the global industrial chain, to hedging the influence of "reverse globalization" and the undercurrent of protectionism... China upholds unity of knowledge and practice, the philosophy of mind put forward by Wang Yangming, an ancient Chinese philosopher, injecting a powerful driving force into international cooperation in fighting against the pandemic.
Looking back, the history of human civilization is not only a history of struggle against diseases and disasters but also a history of progress in global integration and cooperation. Various infectious diseases, including the Black Death, smallpox, measles, and poliomyelitis that have ravaged the world, have terrorized the people. These "common enemies" have retreated in the collective struggles of human society. In the 1960s, the World Health Organization (WHO) implemented the Smallpox Eradication Programme (SEP), in which all countries participated, and finally, smallpox was eradicated all over the world. Later, human society got united to fight against SARS, prevent Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and contain the Ebola virus with a case fatality rate of up to 90%. History has proved that the defeat of pandemics cannot be separated from global solidarity. WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that only actions faster than the virus can defeat it, and solidarity is the most critical factor for quick action.
The world cannot go back to the past, and history keeps moving forward. At present, pandemic prevention and control has become a war to safeguard human health and well-being and the world's development and prosperity. The spread of rumors, discrimination and stigmatization, and the catharsis of racism and xenophobia, have left the spirit of solidarity in the dust... At the critical juncture, human beings need to pull their efforts together to fight against the pandemic and protect their common home jointly.
Actions speak louder than words. In the face of the pandemic, China has worked with other countries to demonstrate the stories of helping each other like passengers in the same boat through practical actions, giving an answer living up to the expectations of the times.
China was the first country to fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, having paid a huge price and made a great sacrifice. Great strategic achievements have thereby been made in epidemic prevention and control, saving precious time for other countries. During the severe moment in China's epidemic prevention and control, there have been "gelivable" (awesome or amazing) heroes in harm’s way across the world — Cambodian Prime Minister Hu Sen made an extra trip to Beijing, and Pakistani President Arif Alvi specifically came to Beijing to show his support and clearly expressed his opposition to the stigmatization and isolation of China under the pretext of the epidemic... Besides, ordinary people in many countries have also taken active actions to help China in the fight.
The Chinese nation is a nation that knows how to be grateful. It is the belief of the Chinese people that we should be grateful for every precious support received in difficult times. China has never been absent from the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Batches of urgently needed supplies, groups of medical experts have been sent overseas... It has become a vivid portrayal of the mutual aid between China and other countries across the world.
The joint efforts made by the international community in the pandemic prevention and control have served to deepen our understanding of building a community with a shared future for mankind and strengthening the Belt and Road Initiative.
Multiple infrastructure and livelihood projects promoted by the Belt and Road Initiative not only serve to provide outpouring Chinese strength to the global pandemic prevention and control, but also give a "cardiac stimulant" to the world economy: in the first four months of 2020, the operation rate of China-Europe freight rail services got increased under the negative background, with the number of running and shipments increasing by 24% and 27% respectively, and the total amount of transported anti-pandemic supplies up to nearly 8,000 tons. The China-Europe freight rail has become the "lifeline" across the Eurasian continent. Various projects, including the China-Laos railway, the Budapest-Belgrade railway, the Cambodian dual-fuel power plant, and the Egyptian new capital CBD project of Iconic Tower in New Administrative Capital, have been steadily pushed forward, and a large number of temporarily suspended projects have been resumed. The global governance concept of consultation, collaboration, and sharing hidden in the Belt and Road Initiative has brought new light to the worldwide pandemic prevention and control.
We will stand together regardless of the situation and go hand in hand. In the face of rampant virus spread, solidarity and cooperation are the common wish of people all over the world, and the most powerful weapon to defeat the pandemic. This excellent practice of building a community with a shared future for mankind is bound to become an important chapter in the history of human development in the 21st century.