See More on Facebook


Xi’s diplomacy bolsters epidemic fight

Phone talks, meetings with foreign leaders boost international confidence.

Written by

Updated: February 26, 2020

China’s active, open and transparent co-operation with the World Health Organization and relevant countries in responding to the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak has demonstrated that it shoulders its responsibility as a major international player in helping the world curb the contagion, experts said.

The outbreak has also given prominence to the value of President Xi Jinping’s vision on building a community with a shared future for mankind as the international community needs to work together to eliminate the threat of the disease in order to uphold global public health security, they said.

Speaking on Sunday during a videoconference on coordinating epidemic control and socioeconomic development, Xi said leaders of more than 170 countries and over 40 international and regional organisations had expressed sympathy with China over the outbreak, and also voiced their support for the nation in its battle against the contagion.

International and regional cooperation should be expanded, and good communication with the WHO and experience-sharing with relevant countries should be continued, Xi said, adding that China will shoulder its responsibilities as a major country and provide necessary assistance to the countries affected by the novel coronavirus.

China has donated novel coronavirus testing kits to Japan, which has reported more than 850 confirmed cases.

Since the start of the outbreak, Xi has used diplomacy to boost international confidence in the fight against the epidemic. In around a month since the start of the outbreak, Xi had 13 telephone conversations with heads of state or government from 12 countries, in which the topics focused on prevention and control of the disease and China’s efforts to reduce the impact of the epidemic on its economy.

Xi also met with Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen on Feb 5 and World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Jan 29 in Beijing.

Yang Yu, a researcher at the China Center for Urban Development and a media commentator, said Xi’s telephone diplomacy and communications with foreign leaders demonstrate that China’s war on the novel coronavirus has been closely connected with the rest of the world since the start of the outbreak. This shows that the world is a community with a shared future, he said.

Speaking to the foreign leaders and the WHO chief, Xi said that China has been communicating with relevant countries and the United Nations body about disease-related information in an open, transparent and responsible manner.

He said that China stands ready to work with the international community to effectively respond to the epidemic and jointly uphold global public health security.

China has carried out the most comprehensive, thorough and rigorous measures to fight the contagion, which greatly contributes to global efforts in epidemic control and also conforms to the country’s value in the pursuit of the common interests of the whole of mankind, Yang said.

The WHO praised China’s efforts to contain the virus and said it has earned valuable time for other countries to prevent and control the epidemic. “We would have seen many more cases outside China by now if it were not for the government’s efforts,” Tedros said at a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Bruce Aylward, head of the foreign expert panel of the WHO-China Joint Mission on COVID-19, said on Monday at a news conference in Beijing that the measures China has taken offered experience of improving the global response to the disease. With the emergence of clusters of infection in foreign countries, strategies adopted by China can be implemented in other countries, Aylward said.

Xi assured the foreign leaders that China, as a nation that has faced many challenges, has full confidence, capability and determination to win the battle against the outbreak.

China’s robust epidemic response is meant not only to protect the lives and health of the Chinese people, but also to protect foreigners in China, he said.

Shared future stressed

A meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee on Friday presided over by Xi, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, underscored the need for the country to develop international cooperation on epidemic control as part of its efforts to advance the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

In the face of external challenges, society should form a collective identity and closely work together to deal with them instead of treating each other as rivals or enemies, said Xie Laihui, an associate researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ National Institute of International Strategy.

In Xi’s letter dated Jan 20 in reply to Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation, who wrote him a letter on the novel coronavirus outbreak, Xi said he has been advocating that mankind is a community with a shared future. Unity and cooperation is the most powerful weapon in prevailing over a disease that threatens all, he said.

International agencies and governments are moving toward greater collaboration and co-operation with China on the virus, Eddie Tapiero, a professor and economist from Panama, wrote in an article published on the China Global Television Network website.

“What this threat reminds us is that we live in an interconnected world where the pain of one is the pain of all, and that we need to continue to open more lines of co-operation and collaboration among countries to be able to resolve not only the problem of the coronavirus, but also other global problems like hunger, climate change and human development,” Tapiero wrote.

In his telephone talks with foreign leaders, Xi also stressed that the impact of the outbreak on China will be short-lived and the general trend of China’s economy to maintain a good momentum for development remains unchanged, as it has a resilient economy, robust domestic demand and a strong industrial base.

China can and will meet this year’s economic and social development goals, in particular the key tasks of securing a decisive victory in establishing a moderately prosperous society in all respects and eliminating absolute poverty in China, Xi said.

During Sunday’s videoconference, Xi urged co-ordinated efforts to resume production based on the local health situation to promote socioeconomic development while preventing and containing the spread of the virus.

He called for active fiscal and financial policies to promote socioeconomic development, and underscored the importance of resuming production in an orderly manner, stabilising employment and guaranteeing people’s livelihoods.

While preventing and controlling the epidemic, China is striving to resume normal economic operations, Yang said, adding that as long as China’s economic engine is in operation, global industrial chains will stabilise, which will in turn boost the confidence of global investors.

Enjoyed this story? Share it.

China Daily
About the Author: China Daily covers domestic and world news through nine print editions and digital media worldwide.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia

Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.

By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here


Taiwan: 720,000 people registered for purchasing face masks online

Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Friday announced that more than 722,000 people — 600,000 using the NHI app and 122,000 more using the Emask system — had successfully registered for purchasing face masks as of 1 p.m. Asked about people who have reportedly tried to register again, CECC Chief Commander Chen Shih-chung called on the public to stop, stressing that authorities are committed to providing a set of face masks to each user prior to March 18, the official deadline for registration. Regarding some reported phone scams on payment requirements for face masks, Chen asked users to remain vigilant. Access is limited to Taiwan residents who need to register their NHI number, obtain proper digital certification and downloa

By Asia News Network
March 13, 2020


Covid-19 outbreak will continue for a year or longer; more stringent measures may need to be put in place, says PM Lee

 In a video address on his social media channels, PM Lee emphasised that the situation in Singapore remains under control. The Covid-19 outbreak will continue for some time – a year, and maybe longer – said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his second national address on the situation on Thursday (March 12). But if Singaporeans keep up their guard and take practical precautions, the country will be able to keep its economy going and people will be able to carry on with their daily lives, he said. In a video address on his social media channels, PM Lee emphasised that the situation in Singapore remains under control. The disease outbreak response level will not be stepped up to red, the highest level, he said. It is c

By The Straits Times
March 13, 2020


Foreigners play their part in Shanghai’s epidemic prevention

 Expat volunteers have been active in helping the city overcome the COVID-19 outbreak. Twelve foreign residents in Shanghai have joined a volunteer team to help with the city’s COVID-19 prevention and control. Located in Minhang district, the team was established on Feb 10 by the Jinfeng International Community Development Association, which aims to promote the development of Huacao town and the Jinfeng International Community by organising themed activities and public welfare events. Pakistani Amir Shafiq Khan joined the team to give back. “It’s easy to run away to another country, but I felt that my family and I should contribute to China in this difficult time as it has always offered opportunities to us,” says Khan, who has lived in

By China Daily
March 13, 2020


Asian stock markets take cue from US to hit fresh lows

ST Index careens into bear territory for the first time since January 2016 Many stock markets across Asia, including in Singapore, followed the United States into bear territory after US President Donald Trump stopped short of offering a detailed rescue package as the coronavirus outbreak was declared a global pandemic. Adding to fears, oil prices slumped further. The Straits Times Index (STI) careened into bear territory for the first time since January 2016. The last time that the STI was in a bear market – where stocks have fallen at least 20 per cent from their recent high – was during the oil price rout in 2016. The STI finished down 3.77 per cent yesterday, and more than 21 per cent down from a peak of 3,407.02 on April 29 last year.

By The Straits Times
March 13, 2020


askST: Can coronavirus be spread by sweat, or via activities such as singing?

There is currently no evidence showing that the virus can be transmitted through one’s perspiration. Concerns have been raised over social activities such as singing and exercising in the light of the coronavirus outbreak. As of Wednesday (March 11), Singapore’s largest Safra Jurong cluster of confirmed coronavirus cases went up to 40, against a total of 178 cases. The patients, who had attended a Feb 15 Chinese New Year celebration held in the ballroom of Joy Garden restaurant at Safra Jurong, are members of a Hokkien singing group. This has raised concerns as to whether the disease, known as Covid-19, can be transmitted through singing. Similar concerns have been expressed about whether the virus can be spread through sweat b

By The Straits Times
March 12, 2020


Bangladesh to benefit from coronavirus fallout: survey

Study says globally renowned companies are planning to shift work orders from China to other Asian countries, including Bangladesh. Bangladesh will benefit from the fallout of the coronavirus as most of the globally renowned companies are planning to shift work orders from China to other Asian countries, including Bangladesh, according to a new survey. Hong Kong-based QIMA, a leading provider of supply chain compliance solutions and which partners with brands, retailers and importers to secure, manage and optimise their global supply network, surveyed the executives of more than 200 globally renowned companies between February and early March. Half of the survey respondents are considering shifting supplier sourcing away from China to new countries or r

By Daily Star
March 12, 2020