To coexist with COVID-19 or to pursue a dynamic clearing policy, which is better? There is no need to use a political yardstick to measure the two approaches as the facts speak for themselves.
The United States and European countries have chosen to lift their controls and coexist with the novel coronavirus despite the fact that the number of deaths caused by the virus on a daily basis is still high; more than 1,000 in the United States, which also has the largest number of infections.
The heavy death toll and seriously-affected economic activities in these countries are the costs they are paying for their compromise with the virus.
China has chosen to put up a strong resistance against the virus from the very beginning. Given its population of 1.4 billion, millions of lives would have been lost if China had done the same as the US and European countries.
What it has achieved in this fight is impressive. It is one of two countries whose deaths from the virus are less than one person per 100,000 people. It is the country that brought the virus under control at the earliest and therefore resumed its economic activities much before the rest of the world. Its economic growth was 8.1 percent in 2021, and its exports of commodities surpassed $6 trillion.
Its low death rate and the normal running of its economy have made it possible for China to offer assistance to other countries in their fight against the virus. China has provided vaccine doses for 120 countries and international organizations, for instance.
There is no reason for some in the West to conclude that China made the wrong choice simply because some Chinese cities have seen a rapid increase in the number of infections in recent days.
China's dynamic clearing approach is characterized by its adherence to the principle of "people first and life first".
Only with this approach can China minimize the human cost of the epidemic — by bringing the community spread of the virus under control as quickly as possible. China's dynamic clearing policy does not pursue the goal of zero infections. It is meant to keep the spread of the virus within as small an area as possible so that the death toll can be reduced to the lowest and enough medical resources can be employed to save lives.
Had the US and European countries adopted the same approach as China from the very beginning, millions of lives would have been saved and the rampant spread of the virus would have been brought under control much earlier.
What China has achieved with its own control and prevention approach has won for itself a window of opportunity to get through the pandemic at the minimum cost of both human lives and economic growth. There is no reason for China to give up its approach when the fight has been saving lives.