As the strenuous global battle against the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic recession is well underway, China has managed to place the pandemic under full control domestically and continued to buoy up the world with its robust recovery, consistent overseas assistance and global cooperation.
CHINA’S RESILIENCE BOOSTS GLOBAL RECOVERY
The ongoing 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) highlights China’s success in the combat against COVID-19, said World Trade Organization (WTO) Deputy Director-General Yi Xiaozhun in his online speech for the event’s opening on Friday.
China is a driving force of world economy and increasingly plays an important role as supply-demand hub in services trade, Yi said, adding that China can positively influence and significantly contribute to international cooperation by supporting and advancing the services agenda of the WTO.
The country’s success in controlling COVID-19 has allowed its economy to revive steadily, as shown by a slew of upbeat data recently.
For instance, in the first seven months of the year, China’s pilot free trade zones (FTZs) attracted robust foreign investment and trade despite downcast sentiment in the global market, data of the country’s Ministry of Commerce showed.
The six pilot FTZs in the regions of Shandong, Jiangsu, Guangxi, Hebei, Yunnan and Heilongjiang, as well as Shanghai’s Lingang Area, a newly launched section of the Shanghai FTZ, attracted 13.11 billion yuan (about 1.9 billion U.S. dollars) of foreign investment during the January-July period.
Foreign trade in those FTZs came in at 660.76 billion yuan (about 90.5 billion dollars) in the seven-month period, accounting for 10.8 percent of the total foreign trade in the regions.
On the other hand, the Belt and Road, serving as an international platform for cooperation, has played a vital role in assisting the global anti-pandemic fight and stabilizing global supply and industrial chains.
In recent years, thanks to the joint construction of the Belt and Road, China’s service trade with Eurasian countries has developed rapidly, noted Liu Huaqin, director and researcher of the Eurasian Institute of the International Trade and Economic Cooperation Research Institute under the Ministry of Commerce.
In the first half of 2020, China-Europe freight trips rose 36 percent year-on-year to 5,122, transporting 3.67 million pieces and 27,000 tons of anti-pandemic materials to European countries, including Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Poland and Hungary.
Chinese President Xi Jinping called for joint efforts to push for global economic recovery in his speech at the ongoing services trade fair, which analysts said has injected momentum into the world economy amid COVID-19.
It (the fair) shows China’s willingness to join hands with all of you in this trying time and work together to enable global trade in services to thrive and the world economy to recover at an early date, Xi said.
Noting that Xi has reiterated China’s commitment to further opening up, Piotr Gadzinowski, editor-in-chief of Polish newspaper Trybuna, said that “I believe that China will fulfill its promises, contribute in the efforts to bring the globe back to normal soon.”
“It serves the benefit of people all over the world,” Gadzinowski added.
OVERSEAS ASSISTANCE AGAINST COVID-19
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, China has launched the largest medical assistance operation since the founding of the People’s Republic of China to support the COVID-19 fight in the virus-hit Hubei Province, sounding early alarms and winning the world a critical window period for the prevention of the disease.
From Jan 24 to March 8, China rallied 346 national medical teams, consisting of 42,600 medical workers and more than 900 public health professionals to the immediate aid of Hubei, according to an official white paper on China’s battle against COVID-19.
At a very early stage of the spread of disease, Chinese researchers shared the gene sequence of the novel coronavirus and insightful observations globally.
From Jan 3, on a regular basis, China began to update the World Health Organization, relevant countries and regional organizations on the development of the disease.
Overseas, China has offered help to 150 countries, including dispatching 29 medical expert teams to 27 countries as of May 31, and four international organizations to fight COVID-19.
It has also provided two batches of cash support totaling 50 million dollars to the World Health Organization, and exported protective materials to 200 countries and regions from March 1 to May 31.
Officials and experts worldwide have also commended China’s efforts and rich experience in containing COVID-19.
“Basically the Chinese have shown the way in how to deal with the epidemic,” Namibian Health and Social Services Minister Kalumbi Shalunga told Xinhua in an exclusive interview recently.
The country has received numerous test kits, masks and equipment from the Chinese government, as well as donations from Chinese enterprises and organizations.
“The response of China was hailed because it was within a reasonable period of time that they were able to bring the pandemic under control, and it was also from there that many countries have taken experience from,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa also praised the significant role played by China in bolstering her country’s fight against COVID-19.
“COVID-19 has wreaked havoc among our people, especially the economy, and we know our economy mostly is SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises). The lockdown has caused a lot of problems, but I must say as a country, with the help of our best friends like China and many others, we have managed to contain this virus,” she said.