President: Countries should cooperate, jointly safeguard global public health
President Xi Jinping's messages of sympathy sent to the European Union, South Korea, Iran and Italy over the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak have demonstrated China's firm support for the hard-hit region and countries in fighting the pandemic, experts said.
The messages, which were made public over the weekend, also show that China, as a major and responsible international player, stands ready to strengthen international cooperation with the rest of the world to eradicate the contagion, they said.
Xi's messages came as China's fight against the outbreak has achieved positive results with only 20 new confirmed cases recorded on Saturday — 16 of these were imported from abroad. Outside China, the number of the infected patients had risen to 71,380 by Sunday, according to the World Health Organization.
Xi told the foreign leaders that China upholds the concept of the community with a shared future for mankind and maintains that countries should join forces to safeguard global public health.
In his message to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Xi expressed thanks for the aid sent to China from the neighboring country.
The virus knows no borders, and in turn, China knows just how much pain South Korea feels, Xi said, adding that China will continue to support its neighbor's efforts to contain the virus, and is willing to cooperate with South Korea to help it overcome its difficulties as soon as possible.
In his message to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Xi appreciated the support and assistance from the Iranian government and people during China's fight against the epidemic, and he said that China is lending Iran a helping hand.
China stands ready to step up cooperation with Iran to contain the epidemic, Xi said, adding that he is confident the country will surely prevail over the outbreak.
In the message to Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Xi said China firmly supports Italy's efforts against the disease.
Xi pointed out that only through solidarity and cooperation can mankind face all kinds of global risks and challenges.
In his messages to European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Xi recalled that not long ago the EU and its members conveyed their sympathy and support in various forms to Beijing over China's epidemic prevention and control efforts.
Xi stressed that unity is strength and that China stands ready to provide assistance and help the EU overcome the outbreak at an early date.
China is ready to strengthen coordination and cooperation with the EU within bilateral and international frameworks to jointly safeguard global and regional public health security and protect the lives and health of people around the world, Xi said.
To help contain the virus, China has shared treatment plans and experiences with other countries and international organizations. It has sent medical teams to Italy, Iran, Iraq and established a joint response and cooperation mechanism on the contagion with South Korea.
Although it is still at a critical moment in the fight against the epidemic, China has offered medical supplies to some severely affected countries and has also announced a donation of $20 million to the WHO to combat the virus.
China is practicing the concept of the community with a shared future for mankind in combating the pandemic as the disease is the enemy of all the people around the world, whatever their nationality, skin color or race, said Ruan Zongze, executive vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies.
On the other hand, China keeps in mind the assistance and support from other countries and international organizations in its battle against the contagion, Ruan said.
In a globalized world, China's knowledge and experience in diagnosing and treating the disease, as well as in coping with the epidemic, will help the rest of the world stem the spread of the virus, he said.