Chinese Ambassador to India H.E. Sun Weidong Publishes Article "Viruses don't respect borders, Come together" in Hindustan Times
2020/05/01

On May 1st, 2020, Chinese Ambassador to India H. E. Sun Weidong published an article entitled "Viruses don't respect borders, Come together" in Hindustan Times. The full text is as follows:

Viruses don't respect borders, Come together

COVID-19 outbreak is posing a sudden and severe challenge to all the countries. While global efforts to fight the virus have come to a critical point, solidarity and cooperation are the most powerful weapons against the disease, and also the only right choice for the world.

The ferocity of this epidemic which is highly infectious, fastest spreading and widely contagious has rarely been seen in the past. Facing this unprecedented challenge, no country has the perfect solution beforehand. We are gradually getting to know it in the process of fighting the virus. Until today, every country is still striving to explore the most effective measures based on their national situations. What is needed most in this process is mutual respect, understanding and cooperation.

China was the first to report the outbreak and stand up to this challenge. We swiftly established a centralized, unified and efficient command system, undertook the most comprehensive, rigorous and thorough control and lockdown measures, and tried our best to prevent the epidemic from spreading nationwide and worldwide. We carried out the most extensive social mobilization. Medical workers, community workers, volunteers and ordinary people made great efforts and even sacrifices in the fight against the epidemic. In an open, transparent and responsible manner, China has been timely releasing information and sharing the viral genome sequences. Since the outbreak, we have updated information on a daily basis and held nearly 200 press conferences at the national level to inform the public of epidemic information and government efforts. This embodies our respect and responsibility to every single life.

Meanwhile, China has offered constructive proposals for global cooperation to overcome the challenge. At the Extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit on COVID-19, President Xi Jinping set out four proposals for fighting an all-out global war against the virus, forging a collective response of control and treatment, supporting international organizations in playing active roles, and strengthening macroeconomic policy coordination.

China shouldered its due responsibilities and provided support to the international community. We have worked closely with the United Nations, the World Health Organization and other international and regional organizations. We have had 83 medical experts video conferences with 153 countries, sent 14 medical teams to 12 countries with severe situation to share experiences in epidemic prevention and control. We have also provided over 140 countries and international organizations with urgently needed medical supplies, and signed commercial procurement contracts with more than 60 countries, regional and international organizations. What we have done is based on the belief of building a community with a shared future for mankind, the international humanitarian spirit and Chinese nation's tradition of reciprocation.

China and India have maintained close communication and cooperation on epidemic prevention and control. Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent a letter of condolence to President Xi Jinping. The two leaders attended the Extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit on COVID-19. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had telephone conversations with External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar twice, exchanging views on anti-epidemic cooperation. China and India both advocate strengthening international cooperation, making concerted efforts and jointly defeating the epidemic.

This reminds me of the touching stories of Dr. DS Kotnis who went all the way to China to support the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and sacrificed his life in China. This year marks the 110th birth anniversary of Dr. Kotnis. We should inherit and carry forward his spirit of internationalism and cooperate in fighting the epidemic. At the critical moment of China's anti-epidemic fight, the Indian government has provided medical supplies to China, and Indian people have shown their support in various ways. All these valuable support and assistance will be remembered.

Since the outbreak of the epidemic in India, we share the same feeling and extend a helping hand in time. China has timely shared its experiences in epidemic prevention, control and treatment with the Indian side in different ways including video conferences. As sister provinces and cities, Guangdong Province and Chongqing City have, respectively, donated medical materials to Gujarat State and Chennai City. Alibaba, Fosun 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 opened a "green channel" and approved 35 new Indian cargo flights to deliver medical supplies. China will continue to support and assist India within its capacity, strengthen medical and health cooperation and jointly work with India to overcome the difficulties.

Viruses respect no borders, and epidemics do not distinguish between races. They are common enemy of mankind. We are all in the same boat. Only by working together can we win this battle. In a crisis like this, complaining, finger-pointing or scapegoating is not the way to get countries to stay focused on their battle against the virus. Such moves will very likely divide the international community, lead to prejudice against specific ethnic groups and ultimately hurt the shared interests of the world. We advocate to reject ideological biases and attempts at labeling the virus, politicizing the response, and stigmatizing any specific country.

At present, the Indian people are fighting against the epidemic under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Indian government has taken a series of decisive and strict prevention and control measures which delivered positive outcomes. India's victory in epidemic control is of great significance to the global fight against COVID-19. As a friend, neighbor and partner, we sincerely wish India success in its endeavor at an early date. China and India are both ancient civilizations with populations accounting for nearly 40% of the world. We have all the reasons to strengthen cooperation. China is willing to work together with India to win the battle against the epidemic, jointly safeguard global and regional public health security, and contribute to greater care for our common homeland of mankind.

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