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Remarks by Chinese Ambassador to India H.E. Sun Weidong on the Webinar with Indian Youth
2020/05/27

Dear young friends, Namaste and Good afternoon!Thank you, Mr Suwan, for your warm remarks. My thanks also goes to Confederation of Young Leaders (CYL) for organizing this special online event during the epidemic. Virus makes us keep social distancing, but never keep us apart in heart.

The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 is the most serious global public health emergency since the end of World War II. It has hit over 210 countries and regions, and affected more than seven billion people around the world. China is the first country to report the epidemic and stand up to the challenge. After the outbreak, President Xi Jinping has personally led the whole nation in a people's war against the virus. We gave top priority to people's lives and health, and adopted the most comprehensive, stringent and thorough prevention and control measures. After making arduous efforts and tremendous sacrifices, China has basically brought the epidemic under control, and offered precious window period for other countries to respond.

Up till now, altogether 78,280 patients had been cured and discharged from hospitals. There are only 79 patients still being treated in China. At present, China has basically resumed work, businesses and schools, but our task is still difficult. We are still facing challenges such as imported cases. Recently, in order to figure out the number of asymptomatic infections, we are conducting more than 10 million nucleic acid tests in Wuhan city. While preventing the rebound of the epidemic, we are vigorously accelerating the vaccine research, striving to develop a vaccine as early as possible to save more lives.

China has summed up many experiences in fighting against the epidemic. I would like to focus on the following four points:

First, we have a strong leadership and national unity. China's Central Government has played a leading role in making decisive decisions and coordinating all parties. Governments at all levels have followed instructions and acted swiftly to form a concerted effort to achieve a national goal. After the lockdown in Hubei Province and its capital Wuhan, we mobilized the whole nation to ensure medical supplies and daily necessities there. 16 public venues were converted to shelter hospitals quickly. Two specialized hospitals, Huoshenshan and Leishenshan, were built in a record 20 days to admit patients. More than 340 medical teams of 42,000 medical workers across the country and half a million volunteers went to Hubei to fight the epidemic.

Due to the epidemic, many young people who planned to marry postponed their wedding without hesitation and dedicated themselves into anti-epidemic fighting. On May 20 this year, China hosted a sweetest "cloud wedding" for 100 new couples. At this critical anti-epidemic moment, China's young generation has shown their strong sense of responsibility and dedication .

Second, we always put people first. As President Xi Jinping pointed out during the Third Session of the 13th National People's Congress, China always puts people and their lives first, and protects people's life and health at all costs. We have taken measures of "four early" and "four concentrated", which means "early detection, early reporting, early isolation and early treatment", and concentration of the infected, experts, resources and treatment. We tried to achieve the goal of "testing all who need to be tested, hospitalization of all who need to be hospitalized, isolating and treating all who need to be isolated and treated", reducing transmission and fatality rates, and improving hospitalization and cure rates.

Every life is precious and cannot be duplicated or revived. We always give top priority to saving lives. From one-month newborn to centenarian, we have not given up anyone. All the treatment costs are borne by the Chinese Government, and the overall cure rate reaches 93.5%. According to statistics, more than 3600 confirmed cases over the age of 80 have been cured in Hubei, the cure rate reaches nearly 70%, and the oldest patient is 108 years old.

Third, we build strong social consensus and mobilize the whole nation. On the one hand, the Chinese Government has strengthened communication with the public and released official epidemic data through mass media every day, making sure "the public is fully informed". On the other hand, the Chinese people have actively participated in the "people's war" of nationwide fight against the virus.

Four million community workers, together with volunteers, visited 650,000 urban and rural communities across the country to communicate epidemic prevention knowledge, offer psychological counseling and help households with daily necessities. They made sure every corner was disinfected. A well-known picture of a Wuhan community worker on the internet showed him carrying dozens of medicine bags from head to toe for home delivery. Many people have shown unparalleled courage and professionalism, and made extraordinary choices and sacrifices. Facing the long period of large-scale lockdown and quarantine measures, the Chinese people have shown a high degree of trust in the government and consciously implemented them to ensure the effectiveness of these measures.

Fourth, we actively carry out international cooperation. China's successful fight against the epidemic is inseparable from the strong support and assistance of the international community. At the height of China's battle, leaders of over 170 countries offered solidarity and support to Chinese leaders through letters, phone calls and statements. Many countries provided medical supplies. People of different nationalities rooted for Wuhan and for China in various languages.

When other countries are struck by the virus, the Chinese people readily extend a helping hand. We have launched the largest global humanitarian operation in the history of the People's Republic of China. To date, we have shipped medical supplies to nearly 150 countries and four international organizations to meet their immediate needs. We have held video conferences with health experts from over 170 countries to share our proven protocols of diagnosis, treatment and control without any reservation. We have sent 26 expert teams to 24 countries to provide timely information and in-person guidance. Our factories have operated at full capacity to make high-quality medical supplies and equipment that are badly needed around the world, exporting 56.8 billion surgical masks and 250 million protective gowns, among other provisions. Nothing we do is out of geopolitical calculation, or in pursuit of economic gains, or with any political strings attached.

President Xi Jinping made a six-point important proposal on international cooperation against COVID-19 at the Opening of World Health Assembly recently. It includes doing everything we can for COVID-19 control and treatment, the WHO should lead the global response, providing greater support for Africa, strengthening global governance in the area of public health, restoring economic and social development, and strengthening international cooperation.

President Xi stressed that China will provide US$ 2 billion over two years to help with COVID-19 response and with economic and social development in affected countries, especially developing countries; China will work with the UN to set up a global humanitarian response depot and hub in China, ensure the operation of anti-epidemic supply chains and foster "green corridors" for fast-track transportation and customs clearance; China will work with other G20 members to implement the Debt Service Suspension Initiative for the poorest countries, and work with the international community to bolster support for the hardest-hit countries under the greatest strain of debt service, so that they could tide over the current difficulties.

As countries unite to fight the epidemic, many "conspiracy theories" also appear, such as "China concealing epidemic situation" and "virus originating from Wuhan lab". We need to be highly vigilant that the "political virus" is jumping at any opportunity to attack and slander China. The coronavirus is a novel virus unseen in the past, and it takes time to study and understand it. China has provided timely information to the world in an open, transparent and responsible manner. We did not cover up anything, and did not delay any efforts. Identifying the source of the virus is a serious and complex issue of science, which should be studied and explored by scientists and medical experts.

Just as Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi pointed out at his recent press conference, the most important thing people can learn from COVID-19 is that the life and health of people in different countries have never been so closely connected. It has never been made so clear to us that all nations live in the same global village and that humanity is in fact a community with a shared future. The virus respects no borders or races. It poses a challenge to all humans without distinction. Having claimed so many precious lives, COVID-19 serves as a stark reminder that countries must rise above differences in geography, race, history, culture and social system. We must work together for a community with a shared future and jointly preserve Planet Earth, the only home we have.

Since the outbreak, China and India have maintained close communication and cooperation on epidemic prevention and control. Our two leaders President Xi Jinping and Prime Minster Narendra Modi have exchanged letters, and our foreign ministers made phone calls twice to strengthen our anti-epidemic cooperation. Indian people from all walks of life have shown their support in various ways at our most trying time. CYL has organized many events and recorded videos in support of China. Co-hosted by CYL and Manav Rachna University,more than 2,000 Indian students signed the album and conveyed their messages "stay strong China, we are with you!" We will always remember and cherish this profound friendship.

Since the outbreak of the epidemic in India, we also feel for the pain and extend a helping hand in time. As sister provinces and cities, Guangdong Province and Chongqing City have respectively donated medical supplies to Gujarat State and Chennai City. Alibaba, Fosun, SANY Group and other Chinese enterprises and charities have assisted India with a large number of medical supplies such as facial and protective masks, protective suits, medical gloves and ventilators.

China has provided India with various conveniences and assistance for its commercial procurement in China. The Civil Aviation Administration of China has set up a "green channel" and approved 45 Indian cargo flights from India to transport medical supplies. China has timely shared its experiences in epidemic prevention, control, diagnosis and treatment with the Indian side in different ways including holding video conferences for experts. China will continue to support India within its capacity and strengthen our medical and health cooperation.

President Xi Jinping has advocated building a community with a shared future for mankind. Prime Minster Modi also mentioned "World is One Family". As the two most populous developing countries in the world, if China and India defeat this virus together, it would be of great significance to safeguard the global public health and the ultimate victory over the epidemic. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and India. As neighbors, friends and partners, China and India should join hands, strengthen cooperation and fight against the epidemic together. I sincerely wish India an early victory in this battle. I also wish all young friends and the Indian people good health, prosperity and happiness!

Thank you!

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