By H.E. Mr. Cao Xiaolin, Chinese Ambassador to Tonga
The COVID-19 outbreak is the most widespread global pandemic to hit mankind in the last hundred years and represents a serious crisis and a significant global threat. Up till now, the global accumulated number of confirmed cases is more than 8 million. Many lives are being lost every day. We grieve for those who have been killed and those who have sacrificed their lives during the fight. We extend the greatest respect to those who are struggling to save lives around the clock, and offer true moral support to those who are infected and receiving treatment.
Facing this unknown, unexpected, and devastating disease, the Communist Party of China(CPC) and the Chinese government put people's lives and health first. They adopted the most extensive, stringent and thorough containment measures. By working together to overcome the difficulties, the Chinese people have succeeded in containing the spread of the virus.
Recently, the Chinese government released a white paper entitled "Fighting COVID-19: China in Action”. The paper introduces what the Chinese people have learned from their adversity, and is intended to bolster confidence and strength in defeating the virus through solidarity and cooperation. I would like to make a brief introduction about the main content of this paper to my Tongan friends.
First, China's painstaking efforts to fight the disease deserve to be remembered forever. The virus spread faster and wider than any other since the founding of the People's Republic in 1949, and proved to be the most difficult to contain. It was both a crisis and a major test for China. In the face of the complex situation and serious challenges, the Chinese people, under the leadership of the CPC, fought the epidemic courageously. We made tremendous sacrifice, and paid a heavy price. However, the decisive results of the defensive battles of Wuhan City and Hubei Province led to major strategic achievements in the prevention and control of the epidemic. The arduous history of China's struggle against the epidemic is the unforgettable common memory of 1.4 billion Chinese people, and they will always remember this part of their history.
Communist Party of China (CPC)
Second, China's fight against COVID-19 fully demonstrates the outstanding leadership and science-based decisions of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, General Secretary Xi prioritized the well-being of people and oversaw the general situation. At the critical moment, he made major decisions and led an all-out people's war on the virus. He chaired many important meetings, including meetings of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, and meetings of the Political Bureau. He inspected the COVID-19 response in Beijing and Wuhan. He ordered major guidelines and overall requirements on the fight against the virus, as well as important principles on epidemic control and medical treatment. Based on changes in the situation, he made major decisions to coordinate epidemic control with economic and social development, as well as take unremitting and meticulous efforts in prevention and control work on an ongoing basis. General Secretary Xi Jinping's personal command and deployment have boosted the confidence of the Chinese people in the fight against the epidemic, gathered strength and set a clear direction.
Third, China's fight against the pandemic demonstrates that it has put the people's interests first and that it considers nothing more precious than people's lives. China has taken every possible measure to treat patients and save lives at all costs. The country has put in place a centralized and efficient command system to effectively coordinate prevention, control and treatment. It has ensured that no coronavirus patient is left unattended and that all those in need have been tested, quarantined, hospitalized or treated. Severe cases were treated by the best doctors using the most advanced equipment, and critical supplies were pooled to save lives. By doing so, it has improved patient admission and cure rates to the maximum extent possible. As of May 31, 2020, the recovery rate for COVID-19 had reached 94.3%.
Fourth, China's fight against the epidemic demonstrates its governance capacity and its composite national strength. The entire country acted promptly after the outbreak to muster the support of the whole country to assist Hubei Province, and Wuhan City in particular, to combat the disease. A total of 346 medical teams composed of 42,600 medical workers and more than 960 public health professionals from across the country and the armed forces were dispatched to assist Hubei during the coronavirus outbreak. To increase the production and supply of medical supplies, medical enterprises operated at full capacity and expanded capacity; meanwhile, enterprises in other industries made rapid adjustments to their manufacturing facilities and turned to producing products for the fight against the epidemic. The country stepped up efforts to ensure material supply in Wuhan and Hubei. From the days when outbound traffic from the city and the province was closed to the days when such restrictions were lifted, millions of tonnes of epidemic prevention and control materials, producer goods and daily necessities were transported to Hubei from across the country.
Fifth, the Chinese people are the main source of confidence and strength in China's fight against the epidemic. According to the white paper, the 1.4 billion Chinese people represented a formidable force in the fight against COVID-19. After the outbreak, the Chinese people, irrespective of their gender, age or occupation, joined the battle against the epidemic with tenacious, unified willpower. The general public shouldered their responsibilities and united as one, demonstrating two defining values of Chinese culture – solidarity and mutual assistance; and the profound love of the Chinese people for their family and their country.
Sixth, the Chinese government has made persistent efforts to release information on COVID-19 in a timely, open and accurate manner as required by law. While making an all-out effort to contain the virus, with a keen sense of responsibility to humanity, its people, history and the international community, China has improved its system of releasing information on COVID-19 and effectively responded to public concern. China wasted no time in releasing information such as the whole coronavirus genome sequence and the specific primers and probes for detecting the coronavirus to the World Health Organization (WHO) and other relevant countries and regional organizations, thus providing fundamental support to global virus prevention and control.
Seventh, China appreciated the valuable support from the international community during its COVID-19 fight, and it is reciprocating the same goodwill. The Chinese nation will never forget the help and generosity it received. When the situation in China was at its most difficult point, the international community provided valuable support and assistance to our people, for which China is deeply grateful. Facing a prolonged global pandemic, China has actively carried out exchange and cooperation with the international community, shared information and experiences and done everything it can to provide humanitarian assistance, thereby contributing its methods and strength to the global fight against the coronavirus.
China and Tonga
Since the outbreak, China and Tonga have stood side-by-side and supported each other in the sincerest ways in fighting COVID-19, which is the best reflection of “a friend in need is a friend indeed”. Through effective measures and close cooperation, China and Tonga can serve as successful models of defeating the virus and maintaining COVID-19 free respectively in the international community. I’m confident that through the joint fight against COVID-19, our cooperation will be much stronger, our friendship will be much closer, and the vision of a community of a shared future for mankind will win the hearts of the people. And our journey through this hardship will be written as a heartwarming chapter of our friendship into the shared memory of our peoples.
The global spread of COVID-19 is currently causing great concern, solidarity and cooperation are the most powerful weapons available to the international community in the war against the pandemic. Every country should make the right choice for the interests of humanity and the wellbeing of our future generations. Upholding the vision of a global community of a shared future, China wishes to work closely with Tonga and other countries to build confidence, pool our strength, fight an all-out war to defeat the COVID-19 and emerge from this dark moment in human history into a brighter future.