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Sad indictment of 'America first': China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-06-29 20:46

A waitress wearing a protective mask and gloves amid the COVID-19 outbreak cleans glasses at Setouchi Lemon Shokudo in Tokyo, June 22, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

If ever there were a moment for the world to realize the urgency of working in a united way to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, it is surely when the statistical global death toll reached 500,000 and the number of confirmed cases exceeded 10 million.

With the World Health Organization warning that the pandemic has not yet reached its peak, and urging countries to do everything they can to suppress transmission of the virus and save lives, it should be evident that no country can overcome the problems alone.

From the experience of China and other countries, as long as the government acts swiftly and decisively and gains the cooperation of the whole of society, this public health threat is controllable.

That it has not been effectively controlled worldwide and there are fears of a second wave is because of the absence of international cooperation and leadership.

As President Xi Jinping has stressed on a number of occasions, solidarity and cooperation are the most powerful weapons to fight the pandemic. Not only do we all as individuals have to learn how to coexist healthily with one another, but countries too need to learn how to coexist healthily. That tests the wisdom of their leaders.

That seems to be a test the US administration is intent on failing thanks to its intransigent insistence on a zero-sum rivalry with China. A stance it has been adhering to, despite the United States being the country worst affected by the pandemic.

The pandemic requires us all to act responsibly not just for our own sake, but for the sake of others as well. That also applies to countries. And that requires understanding and consensus, which in turn requires clear communication and strong leadership.

After the seriousness of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus became apparent, the international community was full of expectations for Sino-US cooperation in leading the world's anti-pandemic efforts.

But instead of stepping up to the plate, the US, which is the country with the richest medical resources and most advanced technology, saw the pandemic as an opportunity to ostracize China from the international community. People worldwide are paying the price for that misjudgment.

If the experts are right, there will probably be a second wave of this pandemic, and there will certainly be more pandemics in the future. Now is the time when countries should be learning how to fight such global health threats together.

Let's make sure the world does not have to endure such misfortune again.

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