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China publishes white paper on COVID-19 fight

Updated: Jun 08,2020 08:03    Xinhua

BEIJING — China on June 7 issued a white paper on the country's battle against COVID-19, chronicling its painstaking yet effective efforts to contain the novel coronavirus while sharing its experience for the world to defeat the global pandemic.

Facing this "unknown, unexpected, and devastating" disease, China launched a resolute battle to prevent and control its spread, said the white paper, titled "Fighting COVID-19: China in Action."

China has for now succeeded in cutting all channels for the transmission of the virus, the white paper said, but noted that the virus is currently wreaking havoc throughout the world.

"China firmly believes that as long as all countries unite and cooperate to mount a collective response, the international community will succeed in overcoming the pandemic, and will emerge from this dark moment in human history into a brighter future," it said.

Standing "test of fire"

The COVID-19 epidemic, as a major public health emergency, has spread faster and wider than any other since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, and has proven to be the most difficult to contain, said the white paper.

Through painstaking efforts and tremendous sacrifice, and having paid a heavy price, China has succeeded in turning the situation around, it said.

In little more than a single month, the rising spread of the virus was contained; in around two months, the daily increase in domestic coronavirus cases had fallen to single digits.

As of 12:00 am of May 31, 2020, a total of 83,017 confirmed cases had been reported on the Chinese mainland, 78,307 infected had been cured and discharged from hospital, and 4,634 people had died. This demonstrates a cure rate of 94.3 percent and a fatality rate of 5.6 percent.

"China's fight against the COVID-19 epidemic is a shared memory of the 1.4 billion Chinese people, and will always be remembered by the Chinese people," said Xu Lin, director of the State Council Information Office, at a press conference following the release of the white paper by the office.

"After weathering the epidemic, the Chinese people have keenly realized that the CPC leadership is the most reliable shelter against storms. Their trust in and support for the Party have increased, along with their confidence in China's political system," said the white paper.

Invaluable experience to share

In the face of the sudden and unexpected COVID-19 outbreak, China has mounted well-coordinated prevention, control and treatment efforts.

Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at its core, China has put in place an efficient system under which the central authorities exercise overall command, while local authorities and all sectors follow the leadership and instructions of the central authorities, perform their respective duties, and cooperate with each other, according to the white paper.

"This highly efficient system has made it possible for China to win its all-out people's war against the virus," it said.

A tight prevention and control system involving all sectors of society has been set up. To contain the spread of the disease, all kinds of measures were taken, including building a community-based line of defense, breaking the chains of transmission through early intervention, and strengthening legal safeguards for epidemic prevention and control.

The white paper underlined China's all-out efforts to treat COVID-19 patients and save lives, including providing free treatment and leveraging the unique strength of traditional Chinese medicine.

As of May 31, the medical bills of 58,000 inpatients with COVID-19 had been settled by the country's basic medical insurance program, with a total expenditure of 1.35 billion yuan (about $190.63 million), according to the paper.

China has also released information in an open and transparent manner as required by law.

Ma Xiaowei, director of the National Health Commission, said there is "no delay or cover-up" in the Chinese government's response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

"The work of the Chinese government and Chinese scientists can stand the test of time," Ma said at the press conference on June 7.

Science and technology have underpinned China's anti-virus efforts.

To date, four inactivated vaccines and one adenovirus vaccine have been approved for clinical trials, according to the white paper.

Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang told the press conference that China will make its COVID-19 vaccine "a global public good" when it is ready for application.

Global solidarity

The white paper reiterated China's commitment to international cooperation in the face of the pandemic.

"China believes that all countries should make the choice that is right for the interests of all humanity and the well-being of the future generations," it said.

"In the face of such a pandemic, the world's most powerful weapon is cooperation and the right way to fight the virus is solidarity," Vice-Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu said at the press conference.

During the fight against COVID-19, China has forged stronger relationships with its partners and enlarged its circle of friends, he added.

China has actively assisted countries around the world in fighting the pandemic. It sent medical expert teams to 27 countries and shared anti-epidemic information with over 180 countries and more than 10 international and regional organizations.

The white paper called on the international community to firmly oppose stigmatization and politicization of the virus.

"It is a fight that will determine the future of the human race," the white paper said. "Solidarity means strength. The world will win this battle."