Resolutely Defeating the COVID-19 Outbreak and Promoting the Building of a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind
The COVID-19 outbreak poses both a great threat to the life and health of the Chinese people and a formidable challenge to global public health security. In the face of this major test, the Chinese people of all ethnic groups have united as one under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core. Together, we have launched a massive, nation-wide response. The heroic acts of the Chinese people in fighting the epidemic have won admiration and support from the international community.
In this ongoing, critical struggle, we in the diplomatic service have been earnestly implementing the important instructions of General Secretary Xi Jinping and the decisions and guidelines of the Party Central Committee in both letter and spirit. We have borne clearly in mind the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core and keep in alignment; developed greater confidence in the path, theory, system and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics; and firmly upheld General Secretary Xi Jinping’s core position in both the Party Central Committee and the Party as a whole, and firmly upheld the Party Central Committee’s authority and its centralized, unified leadership. We are engaged in an all-out, people’s war against the epidemic. We are both working energetically to forge an enabling environment for epidemic control and economic and social development at home, and making China a strong line of defense in the global response to the epidemic.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, all of us in the diplomatic service have taken epidemic control as our foremost political mission. Guided by the overarching goal of containing and defeating the outbreak, we have advanced the relevant foreign affairs with a strong sense of mission and responsibility. We are doing our best to contribute to the domestic epidemic control efforts under the stewardship of the Party Central Committee, fulfill our duty to the country and protect our people’s well-being.
We are pursuing active diplomacy to secure strong international support. General Secretary Xi Jinping has personally presided over China’s epidemic response and projected calm and confidence. In phone calls with over ten foreign leaders, including those of France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, the United States, Indonesia, Qatar, Malaysia, the United Kingdom (UK), the Republic of Korea (ROK), Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Ethiopia, Chile and Cuba, President Xi underscored that the whole nation is mobilized into a rapid response and the most comprehensive, rigorous and thorough measures have been adopted. He stressed that China has every confidence, capacity and determination to triumph over the outbreak and minimize its impact, and will strive to meet this year’s targets for economic and social development. His determined and confident statements have sent a reassuring message to the world that China will win the battle against the COVID-19 epidemic.
To date, the leaders of over 170 countries and the heads of more than 40 international and regional organizations have sent messages of sympathy or issued statements of support for China. They have also commended China for its effective and extraordinary response. The United Nations, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, African Union, Arab League, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the G77 have issued statements to specifically express confidence in and support for China.
We have hosted the visits by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga at this special time. We have had a Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on COVID-19 in the Lao PDR. We have been working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO). I have spoken to over 20 foreign ministers, including those of Japan, the ROK, Russia, France, the UK, Germany, Iran and Malaysia. These diplomatic communications have forged a strong international consensus for the world to come together to address this outbreak.
We are pursuing all-round international cooperation to meet epidemic control needs. China’s diplomatic and consular missions have worked hard to secure medical supplies badly needed at home, provided information and facilitation for overseas procurement, and fast-tracked the delivery of donations from foreign governments, overseas Chinese and international friends. To date, in-kind assistance from 50 countries and international organizations has been received. A great many scarce medical supplies have made their way to Wuhan and other places where they are needed the most. In coordination with the competent authorities, we are also facilitating active information-sharing and scientific and research cooperation with other countries. These efforts will help pool international expertise for diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccine development.
We are following a people-centered approach to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of our people. Confronted by this sudden outbreak, we have been resolute in protecting the security and interests of our citizens abroad. In response to the overreactions of certain countries, we have stated our position at the earliest opportunity consistent with WHO recommendations. We are also in daily communication and consultation with various countries to prevent the unnecessary hindrance of personnel and economic exchanges.
With the people’s interests in mind, we have set up consular protection mechanisms to deal with the outbreak. All of our diplomatic and consular missions have been instructed to locate and contact our compatriots from Hubei who had been stranded overseas. Over 10 charter flights have been sent to take back over 1,300 Hubei residents from Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Viet Nam, Singapore and Indonesia. Under the overall guidance of the central leadership, we assisted the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government in bringing back Hong Kong and Macao residents from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan.
Our diplomatic and consular missions are working around the clock at this difficult time: they have assisted over 18,100 Chinese citizens who had not been able to return home due to flight cancellations, received or made over 10,000 calls to provide consular assistance, and helped resolve nearly 2,700 consular cases. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has sent a task force to Wuhan to coordinate foreign-related matters in epidemic response. Undaunted by the virus, they are setting a fine example for the entire diplomatic service as “heroes in harm’s way”.
We are reaching out to the world to communicate China’s extraordinary response. By participating in the Munich Security Conference, hosting daily MFA briefings and getting our stories out on social media, we are informing the world of our all-out efforts to battle the outbreak. We have presented facts to show the bright future of China’s development, shoring up international confidence and trust in China’s response.
At the same time, we have acted quickly to address discriminatory actions against Chinese nationals and to debunk rumors and misinformation that create panic, which contributed to fostering a sympathetic international climate. We have also held detailed briefings for foreign diplomatic missions in China, demonstrating that the Chinese government takes a responsible attitude and cares for the life and health of foreign nationals in China.
China’s diplomatic envoys and missions all over the world have engaged in intensive public diplomacy. They have given over 400 interviews to mainstream TV and radio channels, published over 300 op-eds and articles, given over 500 briefings and speeches, and posted over 20,000 messages on popular social media platforms at home and abroad. Their efforts have helped the world better appreciate the Chinese people’s heroic fight and instill greater confidence in the positive trajectory of the Chinese economy.