Nation is willing to do whatever it takes to protect people's lives, president says
Solidarity and cooperation are the right choice for the international community to respond to a major crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, while selfishness and scapegoating will harm the people of all countries, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday.
Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark when addressing a meeting to commend the role models in the country's fight against COVID-19 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
During the meeting, Xi presented the Medal of the Republic to renowned respiratory disease expert Zhong Nanshan, and the national honorary title "People's Hero" to Zhang Boli, a traditional Chinese medicine expert; Zhang Dingyu, head of Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province; and Chen Wei, a military biomedical expert, for their outstanding contributions to the country's fight against COVID-19.
Xi said the great anti-epidemic effort has demonstrated that building a community with a shared future for mankind is the right way to prevail over the common challenges facing humanity and to build a more prosperous and better world.
He reviewed nationwide efforts in combating the unprecedented public health crisis as well as China's cooperation with the rest of the world in fighting the pandemic.
He also praised those who have made sacrifices and contributions to the country's achievements in epidemic control, and the foreign countries and international organizations that offered assistance and support to China during the difficult time.
Despite the tremendous pressure in domestic epidemic control, Xi said China has offered assistance to the international community to the best of its ability in fighting the pandemic.
China has donated funds totaling $50 million to the World Health Organization, sent 34 medical expert teams to 32 countries and provided assistance to 150 countries and four international organizations.
Between March 15 and Sunday, China had exported 151.5 billion masks, 1.4 billion protective suits, 230 million goggles and 209,000 ventilators to more than 200 countries and regions to support the global fight against COVID-19.
"With concrete actions, China has helped save a great number of lives from COVID-19 around the world," Xi said.
As the pandemic is still raging globally, Xi said China will continue to enhance international cooperation in epidemic control, support the WHO playing a leading role in the global fight against the disease, share anti-epidemic and treatment experience with other nations, and provide aid to countries and regions with poor capabilities to deal with the pandemic.
During his speech, Xi summarized China's spirit of combating the outbreak, which features putting people's lives first, nationwide solidarity, sacrifice, respecting science, and a sense of mission for humanity.
In the fight against the epidemic, people's lives have always been put first and foremost, Xi said, adding that China is willing to do whatever it takes to protect people's lives.
Noting that strong Party leadership is the most reliable support for the Chinese people in times of trouble, Xi said the fight against the epidemic has also demonstrated that socialism with Chinese characteristics is the fundamental guarantee for resisting risks and challenges and improving the capacity for national governance.
He noted that the Chinese economy is steadily turning for the better as the country has coordinated epidemic control with economic growth.
"China has become the first major economy to return to growth during the COVID-19 pandemic and has taken the lead in the world in both epidemic control and economic recovery," Xi said. "This has demonstrated China's strong ability to recover and its enormous vitality."
China will continue to advance economic globalization, firmly uphold the multilateral trading system, ensure the stability of global industrial and supply chains, and work with the international community to help the world economy recover, he said.
"We will also stand ready to work with other countries to make global governance more inclusive, the multilateral system more efficient and regional cooperation more robust," he added.