Dr Mehmood-ul-Hassan Khan
MOST recently, while addressing the World Health Assembly (WHA), Chinese President Xi Jinping once again reiterated his country’s strong commitment to combat against COVID-19 through solidarity and cooperation by ensuring to build a global community of health for all. It showed Chinese Government global outreach and contributory approach to serve ailing humanity and struggling people living around the globe through medical equipment, medicines, masks and last but not least financial assistance. President Xi also upheld strategic importance of WHA and its contribution to win battle of human survival against novel Coronavirus. Xi precisely briefed the international community about outbreak of COVID-19 and termed it a surprise global health emergency hitting over 210 countries and regions, affected more than seven billion people around the world and claimed over 300,000 precious lives.
As an experienced guru of international marketing and maestro of international relations President Xi negated western media propaganda termed global health emergency as byproduct of “Chinese virus” and focused global access of COVID-19 by dismantling physical borders and political philosophies. He appreciated holistic efforts of international community against ongoing human saga of COVID-19. Around the world, people have looked out for each other and pulled together as one. With love and compassion, we have forged extraordinary synergy in the fight against COVID-19 he added. During thought provoking speech, President Xi highlighted the diversified but integrated efforts of his government against COVID-19. It has been painstaking efforts with lots of sacrifices; China has turned the tide on the virus and protected the life and health of its people. As a true statesman, the Chinese President Xi showcased Chinese government elements of transparency, responsibility, information sharing with all the international health organizations, willingness to cooperate with international community and last but not least, openness about anti-Covid-19 strategies.
He erased all Western media doubts and widespread of US conspiracies about his country’s “national response” and “health capacity” against COVID-19 and termed it perfect, precise and productive. He upheld that China did not hide anything from the world and shared all information in a most “transparent” manner. Subsequently, Chinese traditions of compassion, mercy, help, harmony and peace reached out to other countries, struggling badly against this invisible virus. Even World Health Organization (WHO) has highly appreciated humanistic efforts of China to save the world and poor communities living around the world. Chinese President Xi as a genuine strategist showed the international community a way forward to win battle against deadly COVID-19. He suggested doing a most urgent task. He proposed to make people’s friendly policies to save precious lives. He maintained to start urgent deployment of medical expertise and critical supplies to places where they are needed the most. He offered strong steps to be taken for prevention, quarantine, detection, treatment and tracing.
He coined to move fast to curb the global spread of the virus and do best to stem cross-border transmission. He evaluated the importance of information sharing, exchange experience and best practice, and pursued international cooperation on testing methods, clinical treatment, and vaccine and medicine research and development. He suggested continuing supporting global research by scientists on the source and transmission routes of the virus. Chinese President Xi apprised WHO and suggested that it should lead the global response. He appreciated the leadership of Dr. Tedros, WHO has made a major contribution in leading and advancing the global response to COVID-19. Its good work is applauded by the international community. By supporting WHO in critical time Chinese President has now set a good example whereas, the US so called champion of civil liberties and human freedoms left it in darkness. China called on the international community to increase political and financial support for WHO so as to mobilize resources worldwide to defeat the virus.
Chinese President Xi as supporter of internationalism rightly suggested supporting Africa. He shared perpetual structural, administrative and financial weakness of all the developing countries including African continent to fight against COVID-19 and recommended capacity building measures as top priority in COVID-19 response. He pinpointed more material, technological and personnel support for African countries. On its part as a responsible country of the world, China has sent a tremendous amount of medical supplies and assistance to over 75 African countries and the African Union especially. Five Chinese medical expert teams have also been sent to the African continent. In total, in the past seven decades, over 200 million people in Africa have received care and treatment from Chinese medical teams. At present, 46 resident Chinese medical teams are in Africa helping with COVID-19 containment efforts locally.
President Xi further suggested strengthening of global governance in the area of public health. He assured that human beings will eventually prevail over the Coronavirus. In view of the weaknesses and deficiencies exposed by COVID-19, he reiterated to improve the governance system for public health security. He was of the view to respond more quickly to public health emergencies and establish global and regional reserve centres of anti-epidemic supplies. He projected Chinese support to have new idea of a comprehensive review of the global response to COVID-19 after it is brought under control to sum up experience and address deficiencies. He rightly projected the importance of science and professionalism, led by WHO and conducted in an objective and impartial manner.
Most importantly, restoration of economic and social development must be initiated as soon as possible. He suggested that countries where conditions permit may reopen businesses and schools in an orderly fashion in observance of WHO’s professional recommendations. In the meantime, international macroeconomic policy coordination should be stepped up and the global industrial and supply chains be kept stable and unclogged if we are to restore growth to the world economy. Chinese President Xi lastly proposed further strengthening of international cooperation because mankind is a community with a shared future. He outlined solidarity and cooperation as most powerful weapon for defeating the virus.
—The writer is Director, Geopolitics/Economics Member Board of Experts, CGSS.