Unity and Cooperation Are the International Community's Most Potent Weapon to Overcome the Pandemic
China and Serbia are comprehensive strategic partners, and the ironclad friendship between our two countries and peoples has only become stronger as time has gone on. At a time when the Chinese people are making the utmost efforts to combat the epidemic, the Serbian government and people have provided China with strong support through practical actions. I would like to express my profound gratitude for this. China firmly supports Serbia's efforts to combat the epidemic. We will provide Serbia with assistance with regard to protective equipment and medical devices, and assist Serbia in sourcing urgently needed materials from China. We will also send a team of medical experts to your country to help improve the effectiveness of prevention and control efforts and to help safeguard the lives and wellbeing of your people.
—Message of sympathy and support to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic regarding the outbreak of COVID-19 in Serbia, March 2020
After the outbreak of COVID-19, the Polish government and all sectors of Polish society expressed their sympathy and support for China, and this imprinted itself in the minds of the Chinese people. As the saying goes, true friendship is always found in hard times. China firmly supports the efforts of the Polish government and people to fight the epidemic. Chinese health experts have also held a video conference with their counterparts from 17 Central and Eastern European countries including Poland to share timely information and relevant practices with regard to epidemic prevention and control. Guided by the vision of a global community with a shared future, we in China stand ready to strengthen cooperation on combating the pandemic with Poland and all other countries of the world to jointly safeguard the security of global public health.
—Phone call with Polish President Andrzej Duda, March 24, 2020
In the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak in China, you expressed your sympathy and support for China, and the German government and German people from all walks of life offered a helping hand. The Chinese people will always remember this. At present, Germany is facing severe challenges in combating the pandemic, and the Chinese people have deep empathy for your situation. We in China firmly support Germany in fighting the epidemic and are willing to continue providing any assistance we can. Experts from the two countries have conducted video exchanges, and German experts have also visited China with the WHO expert team. We are willing to share our experiences of prevention, control, and treatment with you, to strengthen cooperation on vaccine and drug research and development, and to contribute to the health and wellbeing of our two peoples and the security of global public health.
—Phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, March 25, 2020
Under your leadership, the World Health Organization is actively promoting international cooperation on combating the pandemic, which has been widely acknowledged by the international community. China will continue to firmly support you and the World Health Organization in playing an active leadership role in international cooperation on fighting against the pandemic. China has always actively supported the international community's efforts to combat the pandemic through concrete actions, and has provided assistance to international organizations including the World Health Organization and more than 80 countries. China will continue to provide as much support as possible to the international community in countering the pandemic.
—Letter of reply to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, March 26, 2020
At the most difficult moment in our fight against the outbreak, many members of the global community have offered sincere assistance and support to China. Such expressions of friendship will always be remembered and cherished by the Chinese people.
—Speech "Working Together to Defeat the COV-ID-19 Outbreak," at the Extraordinary G20 Virtual Leaders' Summit, March 26, 2020
I am very concerned and worried about the development of the epidemic in the United States, and also note that you are adopting a series of policy measures, Mr. President. The Chinese people sincerely hope that the United States will manage to control the spread of the epidemic as soon as possible and reduce the losses it inflicts on the American people. China has always taken a positive attitude toward international cooperation in prevention and control. Under the current circumstances, China and the United States should work together against this epidemic. The health departments and prevention and control experts of China and the United States have maintained communication on the international epidemic situation and on Sino-US cooperation in prevention and control. China is willing to continue sharing information and experiences with the United States without reservations. Some Chinese provinces, cities, and enterprises are providing medical supplies to the US. China understands the difficulties of the current situation in the United States and is willing to provide any support it can offer.
—Phone call with US President Donald Trump, March 27, 2020
After the COVID-19 epidemic occurred in China, you expressed your sympathy and support to me at the earliest possible opportunity. The Saudi government and Saudi people from all walks of life have extended a helping hand and provided much material assistance to China. China shall not forget this. The Chinese nation knows how to be grateful and to reciprocate. At present, Saudi Arabia is also facing severe challenges from the epidemic. China firmly supports Saudi Arabia's fight against the epidemic and is willing to provide any assistance it can, sharing its prevention and control experiences with Saudi Arabia and providing assistance for and facilitating Saudi Arabia's purchases of medical supplies, in the hope of safeguarding the health and safety of the people of our two countries and jointly maintaining the security of global and regional public health.
—Phone call with King Salman of Saudi Arabia, March 27, 2020
At the most difficult moment in China's prevention and control of the epidemic, African countries have provided a great deal of valuable support to China, and this has imprinted itself in our minds. I am very concerned about the current epidemic situation in Africa. China has overcome difficulties and actively provided material assistance to the African Union and African countries to combat the epidemic, and organized an expert video conference to share experiences, while Chinese companies and non-governmental organizations have also offered assistance to African countries. These are all true representations of the community with a shared future that has been formed between China and Africa. We will continue to intensify our efforts to provide assistance in combating the epidemic to Namibia and other African countries, share prevention and control experiences, strengthen cooperation in the health domain, and work with you to achieve final victory in the fight against the epidemic. We are confident that, by jointly fighting against this epidemic, our friendship with Namibia and other African countries will be further deepened.
—Phone call with President of Namibia Hage Geingob, April 3, 2020
IV. Public health security is a common challenge faced by humanity, and major infectious diseases are the enemy of all of us. Countries need to work together to comprehensively strengthen international cooperation and to bring together a powerful joint force to overcome the pandemic.
The World Health Organization plays an important role in coordinating global health affairs. China attaches great importance to cooperating with the World Health Organization, and welcomes its participation in the prevention and control of the epidemic. Experts from the World Health Organization have already conducted a field visit to Wuhan. China is willing to work with the World Health Organization and the international community to jointly safeguard regional and global public health security. I trust that the World Health Organization and the international community can make an objective, fair, sober, and rational assessment of the epidemic situation.
—Remarks at a meeting with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, January 28, 2020
Public health security is a common challenge facing humanity and requires countries to work together. At present, outbreaks of COVID-19 have occurred in many countries. It is necessary to strengthen communication and exchanges with the WHO and to cooperate with relevant countries, especially countries badly affected, in the areas of tracing the outbreak's origins and in medicines, vaccines, and testing. With ensuring national security as a precondition, we should share scientific research data and information, jointly study and put forward mitigation strategies, and contribute ingenuity and energy to the building of a global community with a shared future.
—Speech "Providing Strong Scientific and Technological Support for Winning the Battle of Epidemic Prevention and Control," March 2, 2020
The last few weeks have seen outbreaks of the epidemic in many countries, and the situation calls for great concern. The international community should intensify its actions, carry out effective international cooperation in joint prevention and control, and bring together a powerful joint force to overcome the epidemic. China is willing to share its experience of prevention and control with relevant countries, conduct joint research and development of drugs and vaccines, and is providing what assistance it can to some countries where the virus is spreading. China supports the United Nations and WHO in mobilizing the international community to strengthen policy coordination, increase investment of resources, and especially help developing countries with weak public health systems to prepare for prevention and response. China has announced a donation of US$20 million to the WHO in order to support international action launched by the WHO to combat the epidemic.
—Phone call with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, March 12, 2020
We must strengthen international cooperation on epidemic prevention and control and work closely with the World Health Organization. We need to step up analysis and forecasting of developments in the global pandemic situation, and improve prevention and control strategies and policy measures to deal with risks coming in from beyond our borders. We need to increase exchanges and cooperation with relevant countries in epidemic prevention and control, and continue to provide whatever assistance we can. It is necessary to strengthen guidance and support for epidemic prevention and control with regard to Chinese citizens abroad, do well in all aspects of work, and safeguard their health and safety.
—Remarks at a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, March 18, 2020
China and France both shoulder the heavy responsibility of safeguarding the security of international and regional public health. Our two countries should earnestly cooperate in order to advance joint research projects, strengthen cooperation on health and quarantine issues at national borders, support the WHO in its work, jointly help African countries with epidemic prevention and control, and strive to build a global community for public health.
China is willing to work with France to encourage relevant parties to strengthen coordination and cooperation under frameworks like the United Nations and the G20, to carry out joint prevention and control, to improve global health governance, to help developing countries and other countries in need to strengthen capacity building, and to counter the impact of the pandemic on the world economy, thus allowing the bright rays of cooperation to disperse the shadows of the pandemic.
—Phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron, March 23, 2020
Viruses know no borders or races, and we humankind can conquer them only if we work together. All countries should advance cooperation within the framework of the United Nations and the G20, strengthen information exchange and experience sharing, and enhance collaboration on scientific research. We should support the WHO so that it can play its proper role, and promote the improvement of global health governance. Countries should strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination, stabilize markets, maintain growth, safeguard people's livelihoods, and ensure that global supply chains are open, stable, and secure. I have every confidence that after defeating the pandemic, the mutual understanding between China and the UK will be deepened, consensus between our two countries will be broader, and our cooperation will usher in greater prospects for the future.
—Phone call with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, March 23, 2020
Staff loading a cargo plane with the medical aids provided by Russian government to China at the Zhukovsky International Airport near Moscow, Russia, February 8, 2020. XINHUA / SPUTNIK
China and Brazil are comprehensive strategic partners. The two sides should maintain our strategic resolve, support each other's core interests and major concerns, speak to the international community in a voice of solidarity, and convey a positive message about working hand-in-hand in our response to the epidemic. At the same time, we should advance pragmatic cooperation in various fields, strengthen communication and collaboration within the multilateral framework of the G20 and BRICS countries, and jointly maintain and develop the China-Brazil comprehensive strategic partnership. I am confident that China and Brazil will be able to work together to overcome the epidemic and push our all-round cooperation to a higher level.
—Phone call with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, March 24, 2020
Major infectious diseases are the enemy of all humanity. As we speak, the COVID-19 outbreak is spreading worldwide, posing an enormous threat to the health and safety of the people and bringing a formidable challenge to global public health security. The situation is worrying. At such a moment, it is all the more important for the international community to strengthen confidence, act with unity, and work together in a collective response. We must step up international cooperation on all fronts and foster greater synergy so that humanity as one could win the battle against this major infectious disease.
For that to happen, I would like to put forth four proposals.
First, we need to be resolute in fighting a global war against the COVID-19 pandemic. The community of nations must move swiftly to curtail the spread of the virus. In this regard, I propose that a G20 health ministers' meeting be convened as quickly as possible to strengthen information sharing, carry out cooperation on medicine and vaccine research and development and epidemic control, and cut off cross-border infections. G20 members need to jointly help developing countries with weak public health systems to enhance preparedness and response capacity. I propose a G20 COVID-19 assistance initiative for better information sharing and coordination of policies and actions with the support of the World Health Organization. Guided by the vision of a global community with a shared future, China is more than ready to share its successful practices, conduct joint research and development of medicines and vaccines, and provide any assistance it can to countries hit by the growing outbreak.
Second, we need to effectively mount a collective response to the pandemic at the international level. This is a virus that respects no borders. The outbreak we are battling is our common enemy. All countries must work together to build the most tightly knit global network of prevention and control the world has ever seen. China has set up an online COVID-19 knowledge center which is open to all countries. It is imperative that countries pool their strengths and speed up research and development of drugs, vaccines, and testing capabilities in the hope of achieving early breakthroughs to the benefit of all humanity. Discussions are also needed regarding the establishment of regional emergency liaison mechanisms to enable quicker response to public health emergencies.
Third, we need to actively support international organizations in playing their proper roles. China supports the WHO in leading the global efforts to develop science-based, appropriate prevention and control measures and minimize cross-border spread. I call on G20 members to enhance anti-epidemic information sharing with the support of the WHO and to promote comprehensive, systematic, and effective control and treatment protocols. The G20 platform for communication and coordination may be used to increase policy dialogue and exchange, and a high-level meeting on global public health security should be convened in due course. China will be happy to join other countries and scale up support for relevant international and regional organizations.
Fourth, we need to enhance international macroeconomic policy coordination. The outbreak has disrupted production and demand across the globe. Countries need to leverage and coordinate their macro policies to counteract the negative impact and prevent the world economy from falling into recession. We need to implement strong and effective fiscal and monetary policies to keep our exchange rates basically stable. We need to better coordinate financial regulation to keep global financial markets stable. We need to jointly keep the global industrial and supply chains stable. What China will do in this regard is to increase its supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients, daily necessities, anti-epidemic supplies and other products to the international market. What's more, we also need to protect women, children, the elderly, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups, and provide for people's basic needs. China will continue to pursue a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy. We will remain committed to advancing reform and opening up, widening market access, improving the business environment, and expanding imports and outbound investment to contribute to a stable world economy.
I want to call on all G20 members to take collective actions—cutting tariffs, removing barriers, and facilitating the unfettered flow of trade. Together, we can send a strong message to the international community and bolster confidence for global economic recovery. The G20 needs to draw up an action plan and promptly set up communication mechanisms and institutional arrangements for anti-epidemic macro policy coordination.
—Speech "Working Together to Defeat the COVID-19 Outbreak," at the Extraordinary G20 Virtual Leaders' Summit, March 26, 2020
Local people greet members of the third Chinese medical team with an elbow bump instead of handshake as the medics arrive at the Malpensa Airport in Milan, Italy, March 25, 2020. The team of 14 medical experts, all selected by Fujian Provincial Health Commission, was organized by China's National Health Commission. On the same flight, they took with them medical supplies donated by China including ventilators, medical monitors and masks. XINHUA
Now is a crucial moment, a time for us to rise to the challenge and act with swiftness. I am convinced that through solidarity and mutual assistance, we will prevail over this pandemic, and we will usher in a brighter future for humanity.
—Speech "Working Together to Defeat the COVID-19 Outbreak," at the Extraordinary G20 Virtual Leaders' Summit, March 26, 2020
At present, Sino-US relations have reached an important juncture. Cooperation between China and the United States is beneficial to both sides, while fighting is harmful to both. Cooperation is the only correct choice. I hope that the United States will take substantive actions to improve Sino-US relations. The two sides should make joint efforts to strengthen cooperation in areas such as combating the epidemic, and develop a relationship without conflict or confrontation that is based on mutual respect and mutually beneficial cooperation.
—Phone call with US President Donald Trump, March 27, 2020
V. China has taken timely, decisive, and effective measures in the fight against the virus, and it has not only been responsible for the health of its own people, but has also contributed to global public health. China has made tremendous sacrifices to fight the pandemic, a fact that has been recognized by the global community.
Under the centralized, unified leadership of the Party Central Committee, thanks to the concerted efforts of all sides, prevention and control work is proceeding effectively and has earned approval from all sectors of society and the international community. During my meeting with the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, he stated that the swift speed and large scale with which China acted have rarely been seen in the world, that this is a manifestation of China's institutional strength and something worthy of other countries learning from, and that he was confident the measures China has taken would bring the epidemic under effective control and eventually defeat it.
—Remarks at a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee regarding the response to the out-break of the novel coronavirus epidemic, February 3, 2020
China not only safeguards the health and safety of the Chinese people, but also safeguards the health and safety of the people of the world. We promptly notified the WHO and relevant countries and regions including the United States in an open, transparent, and responsible manner, and invited the WHO and relevant experts to go to Wuhan for field visits. We took timely, decisive, and effective measures, which were fully affirmed and highly praised by the WHO and many countries.
—Phone call with US President Donald Trump, February 7, 2020
In taking strong measures against the epidemic, China is not only being responsible for the health of its own people, but also contributing to global public health, and this has been fully affirmed by the WHO and countries around the world.
—Phone call with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, February 13, 2020
In the wake of the outbreak, the international community has watched closely how China responds and how effective that response is. It has praised the strength, spirit, and efficiency demonstrated by the Chinese people, which reflected China's status as a responsible major country. Leaders of more than 170 countries and heads of over 40 international and regional organizations have expressed sympathy and support to China by telephone, letter and statement. It is recognized worldwide that while combating the epidemic in a comprehensive and effective way, China has actively cooperated and communicated with the WHO and the international community, quickly shared the whole genome sequences of some virus strains, developed rapid test kits, and worked hard to prevent the spread of the epidemic around the world. In doing so, we have not only shown ourselves responsible for the health and safety of the Chinese people but also contributed to the world's public health endeavors.
The international community at large is also of the belief that the resolute and powerful prevention and control measures taken by China, and the remarkable capacities in leadership, response, organization, mobilization, and implementation it has shown are beyond the reach of other countries and have set a model for the world in epidemic prevention.
—Speech at a meeting to coordinate efforts to curb the COVID-19 outbreak and promote economic and social development, February 23, 2020
China upholds the vision of a global community with a shared future and has taken responsibility for safeguarding the lives and health of its people and for global public health. We have actively carried out international cooperation in the fight against the epidemic with an open, transparent, and responsible attitude, and this has been fully affirmed and universally recognized by the WHO and the international community. China will continue to strengthen cooperation with Mongolia and all other countries in order to jointly and effectively respond to the epidemic and to maintain the security of regional and global public health.
—Remarks during a talk with Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga, February 27, 2020
We have strengthened international cooperation on epidemic control. Recently, I have had many phone conversations with the leaders of many countries. Since January 22, I have had 26 calls with 22 foreign leaders and heads of international organizations. Yesterday I also attended the Extraordinary G20 Virtual Leaders' Summit on COVID-19. All parties have universally affirmed that we controlled the epidemic quickly and expressed their willingness to strengthen cooperation with China and work together under multilateral frameworks to meet the challenges faced in responding to the epidemic.
—Speech at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on further coordinating COVID-19 prevention and control efforts with economic and social development work, March 27, 2020
These are excerpts about international cooperation on overcoming the pandemic from speeches and remarks made by President Xi Jinping, letters and messages sent by him to leaders of other countries and heads of international organizations, and phone conversations between them during January and April 2020.
(Originally appeared in Qiushi Journal, Chinese edition, No. 8, 2020)