Passengers wait for metro line one in Wuhan, China's Hubei province, April 22, 2020. Starting from April 22, all bus and rail transit network resumed operation in Wuhan. (Photo: Xinhua)
"Let's stay, and pass on this kindness! Later generations will be good comes out of evil". Followed this call by Pastor William Mompesson over 300 years in 1666, all residents in Eyam, a pretty commuter village located 35 miles southeast of Manchester UK, decided to quarantine themselves, made the heroic choice to sacrifice their own lives to stop the spread of Black Death. A resounding heroic story of responsibility, selflessness and braveness links the 1660s with 2020s.
Wuhan, a transport hub of 11 million people in China's Hubei province, made the same arduous and heroic choice in the year 2020 when thrust by COVID-19, a once in a century deadly pandemic of global challenges.
Statistical prediction models show that thanks to the lock down, at least 80% of possible infections have been prevented, and valuable time was bought for the rest of China and the world in containing the epidemic.
Yet despite the lofty sacrifice of Wuhan, and of China for the greater good, which has been widely acknowledged worldwide, there are still discordant notes and groundless accusations to vilify China.
It is fair and imperative to reveal the true picture, for human history should be justified by facts, lies and disinformation shall never prevail.
It is wrong to accuse China of covering up. The fact is, China's handling and notification of this virus is extremely transparent, speedy and responsible.
As timeline shows clearly, three cases of pneumonia of unknown causes were first reported on 27th of December 2019 in Hubei Province of China. It was only two days later that relevant authorities carried out an epidemiological investigation. 4 days afterwards on 31st of December, 2019, WHO office in China was notified. The virus was separated on the 7th of January2020, and the whole genome sequence of the novel coronavirus was shared with WHO on the 12th of January.
Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the well-known medical journal The Lancet, spoke up the truth: "We knew in the last week of January that this was coming. The message from China was absolutely clear, that a new virus, with pandemic potential, was hitting cities."
It is wrong to criticize that China did not release the real number of confirmed cases and the death toll. The fact is, China has been timely releasing the data, including the number of diagnosed, suspected, severe, cured, dead and quarantined.
The reason that the Chinese figure is much lower than that in other countries lies in the most comprehensive, thorough, and strictest prevention and control measures taken in a relatively early stage by Chinese government; and in the fact that Chinese people, in respect of the force of nature, and out of their inherent values to restrain individual benefit for collective good, have strictly cooperated with containment measures.
It is wrong to claim that China’s lock down was delayed, which led to the spread of the virus. The fact is absolutely to the contrary, China’s lock down is most swift and effective.
Keep in mind that COVID-19 is a brand-new virus in human history, it is only natural therefore, for any country to compass the targeted curing of the disease for proactive prevention. No country would have announced extreme measures of locking down when only dozens of cases are found.
In fact, the Chinese government announced the "lock down of Wuhan" on January 23, 2020, less than a month since the first case of unknown virus was reported.
It was not until 30th January that WHO declared the epidemic as "Public Health Emergency of International Concern", which again proved that there was no delay from the Chinese side.
It is wrong for those who failed to test, report and act timely to pin blame on others. The fact is, shall a victim be labeled as a killer?
Shall a country be claimed as the origin of the virus, held accountable and made to pay for others' inept responses simply because it was the first to honestly report what it found?
Those who have rushed to attach geographical label to the virus, politicized its source and stigmatized China are only a handful of politicians who have demonstrated little respect for science. They have both overestimated their own ability to spread disinformation and underestimated others’ ability to tell right from wrong.
More and more cases are being discovered outside China, the specific types of virus found in China, the US and Europe are also different, all suggesting that the disease might have appeared in other countries earlier on, and making it necessary for the tracing endeavour to be carried out on a global scale.
China is open to joint efforts by the international science community to identify the source of the virus. Importantly, it must be a professional, impartial and constructive process.
It is wrong to make accusations that China's help may be driven by geopolitical factors. The fact is, China’s assistance is fighting for life. It has done everything in the open, with no strings attached, has nothing to do with geopolitical calculations, but with one and single objective, that is, to save more lives.
China has made great assistance to the world, because China is a grateful nation who is ready and willing to reciprocate acts of friendship and kindness received in its most difficult time in COVID-19 fight; because China would like to try its best to be a friend in need , and a sincere partner to be counted on in difficulty; because China firmly believes that one country’s success does not mean the end of the global pandemic, only when the virus is defeated in all countries can we claim a final victory.
It is wrong to blackmail and claim so called "state liability". The fact is, this claim has serious flaws from legal perspective.
The precondition of a country bearing "state liability" for certain damage is that the country has committed an "international wrongful act".
China is the victim, like all other countries in the world. Giving top priority to people's lives and health, which was and remains the starting point of the Chinese government's response to the epidemic, China was the first country to report cases to WHO and share information with relevant countries and regions, the first to sequence the genome of the virus and share it with the world, the first to publish guidelines for treatment and containment, and the first to make tough decision to cut off the route of transmission in the shortest possible time.
China has taken unprecedented, comprehensive, thorough and rigorous measures which go far beyond the requirement of International Health Regulations in many aspects.
China has never violated its international obligations. On the contrary, China has set a new standard for the world in fulfilling international obligations.
It is wrong to de-couple with China. The fact is, China and the U.S. can and should proceed apace. Given the extensive and multifaceted links between the two economies, any "de-coupling" of the two would spell disaster for both.
When a relationship sours, the parties involved may need a dose of self-awareness. Although bilateral relations have taken a dive, continued escalation of tensions need not be the norm. The two sides could work, not in competition, but rather in collaboration, with other nations to realize the common aims of mankind in defeating the pandemic and sustain global development.
More seriously, the efforts to create a scapegoat for the failure of the US dealing with the virus will not only create confusion about the real causes of the crisis, thereby preventing the necessary policy changes for overcoming it, but also create more difficulties for the U.S. economy which is still heavily reliant on Chinese products.
Pandemic is a disaster, but it could be a blessing in disguise.
It inspires us to make collaboration to explore the best way out to confront common challenges.
It inspires us to evaluate the right role of the government to honestly shoulder its responsibility and perform its function.
It inspires us to rethink the relationship between mankind and nature, and teaches us that humanity must live in harmony with nature.
Fabricating lies may deceive the world for a while, but can they deceive the virus? Will the virus spare them because of their lies?
Ignoring the real enemy with arrogance while manipulating it as a political tool is doomed to be punished by nature.
At this grim moment of global challenges, countries tend to be steeped in their respective national interests, but they may have to consider another source of wisdom to achieve a final victory. To look at things from a global standpoint instead of perspectives based only on the individual narrow interest, to learn from nature to mobilize those "better angels" to keep the lofty spirit burning.
Interminable challenges and chaos may be subverted if the welfare of everyone is considered.
Virus is merciless though, yet love and kindness shall pass on.