On 7 April 2020, the Evening Standard published an article by Ambassador Liu Xiaoming entitled “Don’t blame China, we want to beat this together”. The website of Evening Standard carried the same article under the title of “Disperse lies with trust and beat the virus with cooperation”. The full text is as follows:
Don’t Blame China, We Want to Beat This Together
As Covid-19 continues to spread around the world and the combat against the virus is at a critical stage, some politicians in the United States and here in this country, however, are spreading lies and stigmatizing China. A lie remains a lie even though it is repeated a thousand times. But we must also get the truth out.
Here is the first truth: China has taken up the responsibility and made tremendous efforts to safeguard health and save lives. Since the outbreak, the Chinese Government and people, united and undaunted, waged a people’s war against the virus. With hard efforts and great sacrifice, China has seen the situation within the country improving and life returning to normal.
China has also participated actively in the global response to Covid-19, living up to its responsibility for the world because the epidemic poses a common challenge to all. President Xi Jinping has had telephone conversations with more than 20 heads of states, governments or international organisations in the past two months. China has donated $20 million to WHO and provided assistance to more than 120 countries, including the UK, and 4 international organisations, to the best of its capability. China has also sent out teams of medical experts and engaged in cooperation on R&D in vaccine and medicines with other countries.
In a word, China has spared no efforts in sharing its experience with the relevant countries and regions. This has won high recognition from the international community: Italy and a few others have expressed gratitude to China for lending a helping hand at their most difficult moment; the UK’s Deputy Medical Officer has spoken highly of the exchanges between the Chinese and British medical experts; Dr. Tedros, Director General of WHO, has emphasized that China’s measures are not only protecting its own people, but also protecting the people in the whole world, and that China has bought time for the rest of the world.
The second truth is, China has been open and transparent in combating Covid-19, and its measures have been effective. Stigmatizing China is unpopular.
Since as early as January 3rd, China has been briefing WHO and the other countries on the epidemic on a regular basis. China identified the pathogen of the virus in a record-short time and shared the full genetic sequence with WHO on January 12th. This was followed by sharing of diagnostic and treatment experience as well as updates on prevention and control measures, so that other countries could draw lessons from China’s efforts, and the establishment of the Knowledge Center for China’s Experiences in Response to COVID-19, which is open to all countries. WHO has spoken highly of these efforts, saying China has shared information in a timely manner and with a high degree of transparency.
However, a few Western politicians ignored China’s tremendous contribution to global public health and the professional advice of WHO that the virus should not be linked with any specific country or region. Their attempt to stigmatize China is a “political virus” that is harmful to all mankind as it undermines international cooperation in the fight against the epidemic. It reveals their hypocrisy of applying double standards. It will do nobody any good and is naturally met with condemnation and opposition from the international community. The world is fighting the scourge of Covid-19 together. There is no place for the scourge of arrogance, prejudice and discrimination embedded in the remarks of the above-mentioned politicians.
The third truth is, cooperation in the spirit of a community with a shared future for mankind is the only right choice in the fight against Covid-19. The ongoing battle is living proof of how much we all belong to a community with a shared future. Virus respects no borders nor distinguishes between races. People of the world must work together if we want to win this battle.
At the Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit a few days ago, President Xi Jinping emphasized, “At such a moment, it is imperative for the international community to strengthen confidence, act with unity and work together in a collective response. We must comprehensively step up international cooperation and foster greater synergy so that humanity as one could win the battle against such a major infectious disease.”
China and the UK are important partners in this battle. President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Boris Johnson had two telephone conversations in a matter of one month, which demonstrates the firm determination of the two countries to join hands and beat the virus. At this moment, the two countries are sharing information and experience, cooperating on R&D, supporting G20 and WHO in playing an important role and improving global governance in public health.
In face of the challenge, it is all the more important that China and the UK take up our responsibility, help each other and ignore the noises and disruptions, so as to generate positive energy for the cooperation between our two sides and make new contribution to global public health.
As Prime Minister Johnson fights a personal battle with the disease, I wish him speedy recovery and come back to lead the British people to overcome the current challenge.
The Chinese people often say, “The fire burns high when everybody adds wood to it.” Let’s join hands in this battle against Covid-19 in the spirit of a community with a shared future for mankind.
Trust can disperse lies; cooperation can put epidemic away. Let’s work together to safeguard the health and wellbeing of mankind and create an even brighter and better future for our world.