OPINIONS Time for deeper China-US cooperation against unconventional challenges

OPINIONS

Time for deeper China-US cooperation against unconventional challenges

By Bai Xu | Xinhua

12:19, February 28, 2020

CHINA DAILY

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, two notable media reports concerning the United States have gone viral in China.

One is that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed up to 100 million US dollars in emergency funding to help China combat the epidemic. In a letter to Bill Gates, Chinese President Xi Jinping said he deeply appreciates the act.

The other is US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross' much criticized remarks that the disease in China could help quicken the pace at which jobs and manufacturing return to the United States.

The sharp contrast between the two suggests that some US politicians' xenophobic sentiments against China are not shared by the good-willed majority of the American people, who are working for a closer China-US relationship amid the epidemic.

Earlier this week, some 70 Americans who teach Chinese children online English courses donated thousands of masks to China through their employer VIPKid, a Chinese online education platform.

One of the teachers, Juliet Hooks from Pennsylvania, bought 1,800 masks and wrapped them up in boxes decorated with Chinese characters translating to "Be strong, China). Another, Kelsey Covington from Virginia, chose to wear a T-shirt with a world map on which China was marked with a big red heart.

Hundreds of adoptive families across the United States have joined in the Chinese-launched Masks for Orphans fundraising project, donating over 20,000 masks to 50 orphanages in China.

From a warehouse in the US state of California, 1.8 million masks and 80,000 disposable medical gowns were shipped to China thanks to US humanitarian aid organization MedShare, with support from US enterprises like Coca-Cola and UPS.

Statistics show that as of Feb. 2, 188 foreign companies have donated 1.096 billion yuan (about 157 million US dollars) to China, of which US companies have donated the most.

Ian Lipkin, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University who worked together with Chinese scientists during the SARS outbreak in 2003, has teamed up with his Chinese counterparts once again.

As the American people are offering their assistance against the epidemic, those aforementioned US politicians should stop engaging in anti-China rhetoric, listen to the voice of the majority, and take the COVID-19 outbreak as a chance to promote deeper China-US cooperation in coping with unconventional challenges for the benefit of all.

On the one hand, they need to understand that no one can stand alone against a global public health emergency in today's highly interconnected world, and that cooperation, not confrontation, is the only solution to beating a deadly virus that knows no borders.

Differences and collaboration can go hand in hand. Just as Vice Chair of Indonesia's Center for Strategic and International Studies Jusuf Wanandi said, "amid competition, there is always room to help each other, particularly in an epidemic of this scale."

On the other, they must realize that as the world's top two economies, China and the United States need to shoulder the responsibilities of major countries in the face of an unconventional global challenge.

"This is a time for global solidarity -- political solidarity, technical solidarity and financial solidarity," emphasized Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization.

As the fight against COVID-19 is entering a crucial stage, the two countries should work together to set a good example of global solidarity, making concerted efforts to safeguard international health and security, and join hands to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

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