OPINIONS Mutual respect foundation of cooperation in anti-virus fight


Mutual respect foundation of cooperation in anti-virus fight


22:33, April 06, 2020

(Photo: Sipa)

Not all apparently well-intentioned moves are free of prejudices, preconceived notions and oversights, as the joint statement of some US scholars and former government officials released on Friday revealed.

The statement issued jointly by two China-focused think tanks at the University of California, San Diego, calls upon China and the United States to join hands to fight the novel coronavirus pandemic, yet it echoes neither the spirit nor the sincerity of the open letter 100 Chinese scholars wrote to the US people a day earlier giving the same call.

This shows the two sides still have some distance to cover before accepting each other as a reliable partner in the fight against the virus, let alone jointly meeting the other global challenges in the fast changing world.

Despite China's readiness to help the US contain the virus, which President Xi Jinping reiterated during a conversation with his US counterpart on the phone on March 27, some US officials seem determined to badmouth China.

A similar trait can be seen in the joint statement of the so-called China-friendly US scholars and former officials, as they have urged the US administration to ignore China's "initial cover-up", "lack of transparency" and "failure to cooperate" in order to launch joint research on a vaccine, and get personal protective gear, medicines and clinical experience from China to save lives in the US and beyond.

Worse, the statement compares the scenario to the US' cooperation with the Soviet Union to develop a vaccine for smallpox.

By doing so, the signatories of the statement too are trying to cover up the US administration's belated and ineffective response to the outbreak in the country, which many say is worse than the Pearl Harbor and Sept 11, 2001, attacks at least in terms of deaths.

The truth, no matter how bitter the US may find it, is that after largely containing the virus at home, China diverted its attention to reviving the economy by increasing the outputs of medical products and dispatching them to other countries, and thus helping the world fight the outbreak.

As of last weekend, China had donated medical supplies to more than 80 countries, and exported more than 4 billion surgical masks and 16,000 ventilators, and shared its experience of fighting the outbreak with the world.

By contrast, the US is recalling its supplies and hijacking those meant for its allies, while continuously trying to occupy the high moral ground.

As Chinese ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai said, "this is a time for solidarity, collaboration and mutual support", especially as more American cities reach the community transmission stage, the next two weeks will be critical for the US, when it has to make real efforts, not play blame games, to combat the situation.

But whether the US administration will put people's lives above politics remains to be seen.

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