Building a community with a shared future for humanity by joining hands in combating COVID-19

by H.E. Huang Zheng, Chinese Ambassador to the FSM

The COVID-19 outbreak poses both a great threat to the life and health of the Chinese people and people around the world, as well as a formidable challenge to global public health security. In the face of this major test,with the personal commitment of Chinese President Xi Jinping and strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee,the Chinese people have put up a tenacious fight against the outbreak,which have resulted in a growing positive momentum in epidemic control across the country.

Together with the rest of the global community, the FSM Government and people and many overseas Chinese have made important contributions to the efforts in China in fighting the virus, to whom we’d like to extend our sincerest gratitude. Nowadays, there are no newly reported local cases in China, which vividly showcases the institutional strength of socialism with Chinese characteristics in pooling resources for major undertakings. Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO,noted that China is setting a new standard for global public health security response. However, global situation deteriorates rapidly,with outbreaks simultaneously spotted in various countries and cities. The pandemic is even approaching Pacific island countries including the FSM, which is indeed worrying. At the moment, the global community needs to hurry up in carrying out international cooperation and conforming a strong synergy in combating the pandemic.

China has always been upholding the vision of building a community with a shared future for humanity initiated by Chinese President Xi Jinping. We attached high importance to international health cooperation from the very beginning and China’s efforts have bought precious time and earned important experience for the whole world. In responding to its domestic outbreak, China has provided timely updates on the epidemic in a spirit of openness, transparency and accountability. We shared the genetic sequencing of the virus, worked closely with the WHO, neighboring countries and other countries concerned, and invited international experts to join this fight. Now, the Knowledge Center for China's Experiences in response to COVID-19 (website: https://covid19.alliancebrh.com/) is officially online. All countries are welcome to share China’s experiences.

China will continue to expand cooperation at bilateral and multilateral levels against the epidemic and keep up good communication with the WHO. We will explore transnational epidemic prevention and control by China and countries concerned by better coordinating competent departments responsible for health, quarantine, transportation and border control, promptly sharing epidemic updates, containment measures and research findings, and intensifying joint R&D of antiviral drugs and vaccines. China has donated 20 million US dollars to the WHO, in support of its global action in fighting the virus. China will also assist countries and regions undergoing a spread of infections as much as we can and live up to our role as a responsible major country.

The history of human civilization is a history of fighting diseases. COVID-19 is yet another sobering reminder that in this age of globalization, the future of countries are closely connected and building a community with a shared future for humanity is the right way to go. No country can spare itself from the global community in the face of major infectious diseases among other non-traditional security challenges. We must join hands in promoting global public health governance. China will put into practice its concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security and respond to global public health challenges together with the international community collectively. Meanwhile, China firmly opposes any conduct of politicization or stigmatization of diseases. China supports the central role of the UN and WHO in responding to health emergencies and in improving the global public health governance system, where public health issues should be moved up on the international agenda, major international health projects be implemented, and a Silk Road of Health be taken forward.

Building a community with a shared future for humanity is the core of Xi Jinping Thoughts on Diplomacy, which has become a major guidance to China’s major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics,and been written into several UN resolutions. This vision is winning growing support from a large number of countries and is gradually becoming a global consensus shared by the international community. In response to this pandemic, the Chinese people have made important contributions to the world public health security with its own efforts and sacrifice, which depicts a vivid image of building a community with a shared future for humanity.

As Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized, those communicating with hearts, their friendships last. In response to the ongoing global COVID-19 spread, China will neither flinch nor stand aside. Severe as the situation may be, confidence is most valuable; tough as the job may seem, hope lies ahead. The Chinese people will stand, unite, and communicate with hearts with the people of the FSM, on the basis of One China principle, mutual respect and common development. By standing together, we will surely seek greatness from difficulties, continue to deepen China-FSM Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and our Great Friendship and win the final success in combating the COVID-19 pandemic together.

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Responding to the COVID-19 challenge in the Pacific

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Australia.

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic represents a significant challenge for governments and communities across the Pacific. It is a challenge the Australian Government is committed to tackling with our Pacific partners, in the long-term interest of the stability, prosperity and resilience of our region.

                Prime Minister Morrison told G20 leaders on 26 March that the Pacific needed to be a focus of international support. As the world’s economies, large and small, grapple with a pandemic that does not recognise national borders, co-operation will be critical.

                Australia’s response will build on our existing Pacific Step-up, which has strengthened our co-operation in helping to grow economies, build resilience, and enhance regional stability through our defence, policing and border security cooperation. We have never faced a challenge of the scale of COVID-19, but we will combat it together as a Pacific family.

                The top priority for our governments right now is to keep infection rates as low as possible. As have many Pacific nations, Australia has closed its borders to non-citizens and non-residents, and we have banned Australians from travelling overseas. Pacific islanders transiting Australia to return home are exempt from our travel ban. We have also put in place enhanced health screening for passengers flying to the Pacific.

                As a region, we need to enable the movement of a small number of international experts, as well as essential supplies, medicines and food, across the Pacific.  Australia is already taking steps, as a transit country to much of the region, to facilitate a humanitarian and essential services corridor to the Pacific, and Timor-Leste.

                Australia’s high commissions and embassies across the Pacific remain open. We have also worked quickly to ensure essential Australian advisers – in health and frontline services – have been able to stay and continue their work with Pacific governments.

                We have also been strongly engaged with Pacific partners to prepare for, and prevent, the spread of COVID-19, and to manage the broader health and economic impacts. Australia is assisting Pacific Island governments with laboratories, medical equipment, health expertise, public information campaigns and support for national preparedness plans and the World Health Organisation’s regional plan.  Our regional institutions are critical to this response, and we are working closely with the Pacific Islands Forum and the Pacific Community.

                In this unprecedented situation, we have moved quickly to reorient our development partnerships to bring forward funding for critical health services and to mitigate the economic shock.

                No country should be alone in this crisis. Nowhere is this more true than in the Pacific. Australia faces its own immediate challenges, but our support for, and partnership with, our Pacific family is essential for our regional health security and our long-term interests.

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