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China's role in pandemic battle hailed

By Han Baoyi in London | China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-09-21 09:26
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Global efforts help build community with a shared future, UN envoy says

China's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic with the international community is one of the best ways of building a community with a shared future for mankind, said Chen Xu, China's permanent representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva.

When China was heavily hit by the disease outbreak, 77 countries and 12 international organizations provided assistance, official figures show. As the pandemic spread, China donated $50 million to the World Health Organization and sent 33 medical expert teams to 31 countries from late February to the end of August.

"No one is safe until everyone is safe," said Chen, adding that only when all countries are in the same boat and overcome the difficulties together can the international community finally defeat the novel coronavirus.

Speaking before the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, Chen said the world should take this celebration as an important opportunity to review the UN's original mission and try to gather consensus among countries.

"Compared with the time when the UN was born, the current international situation has undergone great changes," he said.

"In addition to promoting the peaceful settlement of disputes and other traditional security issues, the UN is also facing many complicated challenges such as unilateralism, anti-globalization, climate change, and global health," he said.

Chen, based in Geneva, Switzerland, one of the most important centers for multilateral diplomacy, said opportunities and challenges coexist in his diplomatic work.

He noted that as China moves closer to the center of the world stage and participates more in UN affairs and global governance, its development achievements have won universal praise. At the same time it has also attracted groundless criticisms and accusations, and one relating to the pandemic.

China has adopted "the most comprehensive, strictest and thorough control measures" to effectively control the domestic epidemic situation. The country's efforts had won valuable time for international pandemic prevention and control, Chen said.

"However, in order to serve the political needs of domestic elections, some countries have shifted the responsibility of ineffective pandemic prevention and control, frequently taking advantage of COVID-19 pandemic to stigmatize and criticize China and the WHO," he said. "We are determined to fight against it."

In order to expose their "political conspiracy", he and his colleagues have invited WHO experts to visit China, accepted media interviews, made statements and published articles in newspapers and magazines to "let the facts speak for themselves".

China has announced it will provide $2 billion over two years to help with the COVID-19 response, especially in developing countries, and will provide its vaccine-if developed successfully-as a global public good to ensure vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.

These contributions are in line with calls from the WHO, which said making a novel coronavirus vaccine a global public product will help the world recover faster and suffer less.

Firm support

"We firmly support the WHO to play a leading role in the global fight against COVID-19, take various measures to promote international cooperation in prevention and control of the pandemic, and make China's contribution to win the global public health defense war and jointly build a community with a shared future for human health," Chen said.

Apart from the fight against the pandemic, China is also making its contribution to UN peacekeeping missions and to the sustainable development of the world, he said.

With the UN celebrating the 75th anniversary of its founding, China on Sept 10 issued a position paper to reiterate its support for multilateralism and the authority of the organization.

The paper said China is a founding member of the UN and the first country to sign the UN Charter. And as the largest developing country and a permanent member of the Security Council, China has dispatched more than 40,000 peacekeepers to more than 30 missions, contributing more peacekeepers than any other permanent member of the Security Council.

In supporting the sustainable development of the world, China has contributed more than 30 percent to world economic growth since its reform and opening-up began, brought 850 million people out of poverty, and contributed more than 70 percent to global poverty-reduction work, according to government figures.

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