This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated around the world, which has hit over 210 countries and regions, claimed over 400,000 precious lives, and posed a serious threat to people all over the world. As Antonio Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations, warned, the current coronavirus outbreak is the biggest challenge for the world since World War II. He also called on the world to remember the lessons of 1945 and work together to end the pandemic and build a future of peace, safety and dignity for all.
In fact, with the revolution in science and technology and globalization, the destiny of every country and every person on the earth is now more closely linked than it was 75 years ago. According to data from the World Bank, the proportion of exported goods and services in global GDP has increased from 13.64% in 1970 to 30.1% in 2018. The globalization index released by the Swiss Economic Research Institute has risen from 38.4 in 1970 to 62.1 in 2017. However, unconventional security threats such as infectious diseases, financial crises, climate change, terrorism have impacted every aspect of human beings at an unprecedented scale. For example, recently, the World Bank predicted that the economies of all countries will be severely hit in 2020, and global economic growth will decline by 5.2 percentage points. All human beings on the earth have already become a community with a shared future and a mutual stake.
President Xi Jinping took the overall view of the world and proposed to promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. We have many common challenges to face, and no country can address them alone. We call on the people of all countries to work together to build a community with a shared future for mankind, to build an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity. These important perspectives have been written in the United Nations documents for many times and become a norm of international relations.
China, as a responsible major country, not only proposed the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind but also has worked hard to implement its visions. Domestically, we arrange the developed provinces in the east of China to help underdeveloped central and western regions to achieve coordinated development across the country. This year, we will also eliminate absolute poverty and ensure that all Chinese people will step into a moderately prosperous society. In the international arena, upholding the principle of extensive consultation, joint construction and shared benefits, we have actively promoted the construction of the “Belt and Road” initiative with the international community, including Nepal. We have signed more than 170 cooperation documents with over 150 countries and international organizations. By holding China International Import Expos, we have expanded imports and comprehensive opening-up to provide more market opportunities and growth momentum to all countries in the world.
The virus does not respect borders. Nor is race or nationality relevant in the face of the disease. Facing the pandemic, the destiny of mankind is once again at stake. Only by establishing the consciousness of the community with a shared future for mankind can we avoid being distracted by temporary problems and adhere to unity and cooperation. Can we win this battle without the smoke of gunpowder, improve the welfare of all human beings, and can we realize the vision to “combine our efforts to accomplish the aims” set by the Charter of the United Nations?
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, China has actively shared information, exchanged useful experiences and practices, carried out international cooperation in testing methods, clinical treatment, and the development of vaccines and drugs. To date, we have shipped medical supplies to nearly 150 countries and 4 international organizations to meet their immediate needs. We have held video conferences with health experts from over 170 countries to share our proven protocols of diagnosis, treatment and control. We have sent 26 expert teams to 24 countries with immediate needs. We have exported 56.8 billion surgical masks and 250 million protective gowns around the world. At the 73rd World Health Assembly held not long ago, President Xi Jinping announced that COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, will be made a global public good. This will be China’s contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries. We know it well that if the world is good, China can be good; and when China is good, the world will be better.
While preparing for a long fight against COVID-19 and working on an ongoing basis to contain the virus, countries where conditions permit may reopen businesses in an orderly fashion to keep the global industrial and supply chains stable and unclogged and restore growth. A community with a shared future for mankind, China is willing to enhance the macroeconomic policy coordination with other countries, boost international cooperation against COVID-19, and contribute China’s wisdom and proposals to the development and prosperity of all human beings. China also supports the idea of a comprehensive review of the global response to COVID-19 led by WHO after it is brought under control to improve the governance system for public health security, respond more quickly to public health emergencies, promote the development of global public health and build a global community of health for all.
We are well aware that while prospects are bright, the roads have twists and turns. The building of a community with a shared future for mankind will not always be smooth, and will encounter headwinds such as egoism, unilateralism, protectionism and hegemonism from some countries or forces. Some countries and politicians emphasize that their own national interests are prioritized. They are busy with politicizing and stigmatizing the pandemic, even shirking from their responsibilities by slandering and shifting the blame to others out of personal interests, instead of focusing on prevention and control of the pandemic. Meanwhile, they intervene into the internal affairs of other countries to shift the focus, deceive the people, and win votes. In the end, they will not only harm others but also themselves. Just as President Xi Jinping put it, "The trend of history is surging forward; no efforts will succeed in trying to stop the rolling wheels of history." No matter how long the journey is, a start will bring an arrival; no matter how tough the work is, an implementation will bring a well done! As long as we continue to unite and cooperate, we will definitely create a better future for the world.
Yanqi is ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Nepal