عربي Español Русский Français 简体中文

Ambassador Hong Xiaoyong has a signed article "China-Asean ties - A crucial moment in fighting the outbreak hand in hand" published in The Straits Times

(From Chinese Embassy in Singapore)

2020/02/18

On 18 February 2020, H.E. Mr. Hong Xiaoyong, Chinese Ambassador to Singapore, has a signed article published in The Straits Times titled "China-Asean ties - A crucial moment in fighting the outbreak hand in hand". The full text is as follows:

At a crucial moment in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic, the Special Asean-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting on the coronavirus will soon be held in Vientiane.

This is the first inter-governmental meeting between China and Asean since the outbreak of the epidemic.

This meeting, which was proposed by China and has received a positive response from Asean countries, is highly anticipated. Since Asean and China established dialogue relations in 1991, we have taken many actions together to address common challenges. This meeting, which represents another major action in this spirit, demonstrates that the Asean-China relationship has become more and more mature.

We believe this meeting will help enhance the sharing of epidemic information, deepen cooperation between China and Asean, and inject more confidence and positive energy into the prevention and control of the epidemic among all parties.

At present, China is mobilising efforts nationwide to fight the epidemic by taking the most comprehensive, stringent and thorough measures.

The great efforts are gradually yielding good results. The situation is improving. Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, has received strong support from across the country. The number of new confirmed cases has been declining across the country and the overall cure rate is on the rise for more than two weeks. Effective drugs are under development. Social life and economic production are gradually getting back on track. The resumption of production is progressing in parallel with the disease prevention and control.

Behind all of these improvements are the contributions and sacrifices of many ordinary people. More than 25,000 medical workers rushed to help Hubei province. Some of them fell ill from exhaustion, and others even lost their lives. I saw on TV that a doctor diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, whose wife has been unfortunately infected with the virus, continues working hard to save lives. A nurse, fighting the epidemic on the front lines in Wuhan, grieved only from afar the death of her mother and continues to work.

A group of farmers from Wenchuan, Sichuan province, drove 36 hours to deliver 100 tonnes of vegetables to Wuhan voluntarily. Countless people are racing against the clock and battling the virus with their selfless contributions.

Viruses respect no borders. As President Xi Jinping points out, the measures we have taken are not only responsible for the health of the Chinese people, but also making contributions to global public health. China cooperates actively with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other countries to prevent the spread of the epidemic.

To date, the number of infected cases outside China is less than 1 per cent of that inside China, and the impact on the world is far lower than that of H1N1 and other infectious diseases that have occurred in North America. As WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently stated, if it weren't for China's efforts, the number of cases outside China would have been much higher.

So far, the governments of more than 30 countries and several international organisations have provided support and assistance to China. People from all over the world have expressed their support for China in various ways and prayed for China, by which we are deeply moved.

Since the outbreak of the epidemic, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has expressed his confidence in China's fight against the epidemic on many occasions, and stressed that a public health emergency is not an issue of nationality or race. In a phone conversation with Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng, Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat expressed his sympathy and support for China. The Singapore Government and people from all walks of life have provided valuable help to China.

China and Singapore have carried out sound cooperation in information sharing, medical research and protection of overseas citizens. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude, and will remember these in our hearts.

But we've also seen some people in the world taking advantage of the epidemic to stigmatise or discriminate against Chinese people. What hurts us more is the prejudice and discrimination, rather than the virus.

This is not the first public health emergency in the world, and it will definitely not be the last. The only way to solve a public health incident is for all countries to work together productively. Whether in terms of mutually beneficial cooperation, or as a joint response to a public emergency, humanity is a community with a shared future.

Over the past 30 years, China and Asean countries have worked together and achieved remarkable results in our cooperation. We have also overcome many difficulties and challenges hand in hand. Taking joint actions in response to this epidemic will definitely add more substance to the Asean-China cooperation.

Although the epidemic has affected China and Asean countries, it cannot stop the development momentum of this region. The epidemic will eventually come to an end, while our cooperation will continue. We look forward to the positive outcomes delivered by the Special Asean-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting, which will be a role model for international cooperation in combating the epidemic, and enrich the mutual trust and cooperation between China and Asean.

Suggest to a friend
Print