OPINIONS New chapter of friendship

OPINIONS

New chapter of friendship

By LI BAORONG | China Daily Global

08:32, May 19, 2020

MA XUEJING/CHINA DAILY

Since the beginning of this year, the outbreak of the novel coronavirus has swept the world, posing a severe challenge to the world's public health. In this common test of mankind, the governments and people of China and Venezuela have supported each other, worked in solidarity and showed their fraternal solidarity.

At the critical moment at the beginning of this year, when the Chinese people were making all-out efforts to fight against the pandemic, President Nicolas Maduro, Vice-President Delcy Rodriguez, the Venezuelan government and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), the country's ruling party, expressed their solidarity with China, firmly supported the Chinese government and people in their fight against the pandemic, and highly appreciated the effective measures taken by China to protect people's lives and safety. The Venezuelan Minister of Culture presided over a campaign of support for China, in which friendly people from all walks of life sent letters and calls to support the cause. Many Venezuelan social organizations jointly recorded a short film themed China Wins, the World Wins. Local primary school students encouraged Wuhan and China with paintings. We have always kept in mind the solidarity and unconditional support of the Venezuelan government and all sectors of society to China.

The Chinese people know how to be grateful and reciprocate. In mid-March, when the pandemic hit Venezuela and the country faced serious difficulties due to the long-term illegal unilateral sanctions imposed on it, China sympathized with the situation and, in the spirit of being a responsible major country, donated urgently needed pandemic prevention materials such as test kits, masks and ventilators to Venezuela and facilitated its purchase of medical supplies from China.

The Chinese side has maintained close communication with the Venezuelan health authorities and invited the Venezuelan health minister and medical experts to participate in the video exchange meeting of COVID-19 pandemic experts held between China and Latin American and Caribbean countries to share information and experience in pandemic prevention and control.

In particular, at the end of March, the Chinese government appointed the first anti-pandemic medical team in Latin America to share China's experience with the Venezuelan side, strengthen guidance and training, and cooperate in fighting the pandemic. These medical personnel have had meetings with the Presidential Commission for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 and the Ministry of Health, visited health, disease control and testing departments and the hospitals appointed to treat COVID-19 patients, provided consultation for local severe patients and inspected the control and prevention systems of local communities. They have made a great and important contribution and were awarded the "Francisco de Miranda" secondary medal by the Venezuelan government.

In addition, the Chinese local governments, enterprises and overseas Chinese in Venezuela have taken concrete actions to support Venezuela's fight against the pandemic, which has aroused warm responses from all sectors of society and set off a new wave of China-Venezuela friendship.

At present, under the strong leadership of President Maduro, with the positive actions of the whole country and the firm support of China and other friendly countries, Venezuela has promptly adopted comprehensive and strict prevention and control measures, including social distancing, and achieved initial results. The number of confirmed cases and the growth curve of Venezuela are at a low level in Latin America.

We are gratified to see that the "Chinese methods" have played an important role in fighting the pandemic in Venezuela and have been widely recognized by the Venezuelan government and the public. President Maduro said publicly on many occasions that since the beginning of the outbreak, Venezuela has successfully blocked more than 90 percent of the transmission chain of the novel coronavirus in the local area by drawing on the experience of China and adopting strict quarantine measures. China has set an example for the world and become an important support for the world's fight against the pandemic.

A bosom friend knows no distance. In the face of the pandemic, China and Venezuela have deepened their strategic mutual trust and traditional friendship and pushed bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership to a new level. Not long ago, President Xi Jinping and President Maduro had a telephone conversation, in which they agreed to continue to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in the field of pandemic prevention and control and jointly promote the building of a community with a shared future for humanity. Li Jun, vice-minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, held a telephone conversation with Diosdado Cabello, first vice-chairman of the PSUV and chairman of the National Constituent Assembly, expressing that cooperation and communication between two parties will be strengthened to fight against the pandemic.

China and Venezuela are working together to tide over the difficult times and jointly present a vivid picture of international cooperation in combating COVID-19.Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at the BRICS Special Foreign Ministers' Meeting on COVID-19: "Building a community with a shared future for humanity is the right choice in line with the trend of the times." I am confident that with the joint efforts of the people of China, Venezuela and other countries in the world, the international community will surely achieve the final victory in the fight against the pandemic at an early date and make more solid progress in building a community with a shared future for humanity.

The author is the Chinese ambassador to Venezuela. The author contributed this article to China Watch, a think tank powered by China Daily. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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