China’s COVID-19 fight extends beyond its borders

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By Adhere Cavince Source:Global Times

A doctor from Peking Union Medical College Hospital at the ICU of Wuhan Tongji Hospital makes finger heart on Feb 14 amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

Many people around the world thought 2020 would be heralded as a significant turning point for China. This is the year Beijing is to leapfrog into a moderately prosperous society and shake off the last vestiges of extreme poverty.

Alongside domestic socio-economic fortification, China was also expected to continue its push for a world capable of hoisting universal prosperity for all humanity. Premised on the backdrop of a peaceful rise – on which development was the key driver of global wellness, China became the yardstick by which poverty eradication is measured. Chinese initiatives like the Belt and Road Initiative, have morphed into compelling frameworks for reducing the disparity between rich and poor nations.

It is little wonder, therefore, that the outbreak of COVID-19 sent chills through world capitals. From a few infections at dawn of the outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the disease has claimed over 2,000 lives and sickened tens of thousands in 27 countries.

In a move of self-preservation, many countries slapped travel bans to and from China, cutting tourism and disrupting the global flow of both goods and services.

Yet, China has now engaged its resilience gear, marshalling domestic resources, and expertise to cushion its population and by extension the world from the vagaries of the virus. Chinese proactive measures to contain COVID-19 have been hailed by leading experts and global organizations including the World Health Organization.

In keeping with its mission to galvanize the world around the idea of a community of shared destiny, China is implementing a number of action steps to lessen the burden and potential impact of the disease on global populations.

It was heartening to see Beijing extend a hand to help Africa establish and put into operation the continent’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. The financial and technological input into Africa’s leading institution to help manage outbreaks speaks to the desire and resolve by China to not leave any part of the world behind on matters concerning epidemic prevention and management.

While battling the virus within its borders, China’s generosity has been manifested by the donations of medical supplies to other affected countries like Japan. Despite its immense need at home, Beijing understands all too well that eradicating the virus requires efforts from all; including from the most plagued.

As the second-largest economy in the world, disruptions in the Chinese economy ricochet around the world. To minimize international afflictions, Beijing has implemented momentary policies aimed at keeping the country’s economy buoyant even as the virus continues to bite. China has incentivized local businesses with tax and insurance exemptions and more companies are resuming operations to sustain China’s enviable tag as a world growth engine.

China has also gone all out to keep foreigners safe from contracting the disease. Seeing evacuations as a possible source for the spread of the virus to both evacuees and the receiving populations, Beijing has taken care of foreign nationals within its boundaries. Such acts indicate the confidence of the Chinese government not only to take care of its citizens but also foreigners.

The scientists and emergency medical workers who are currently battling COVID-19 in China are gaining invaluable expertise and experience that puts the world in a better position to combat future outbreaks. Such was the scenario when dozens of Chinese experts joined their African counterparts to fight the Ebola outbreak on the continent in 2018-2019.

These actions clearly demonstrate that Beijing is firmly apprised of the need to push for policies and gestures that have impacts beyond its borders. It is the actualization of the long-term view of a shared and prosperous destiny for all civilization.

The author is a PhD student of International Relations at Central China Normal University as well as Belt and Road Tourism Ambassador. WeChat: Cavinceworld. Twitter: @Cavinceworld.

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