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Vladimir Norov: Solidarity, cooperation are the only right choices. Article by SCO Secretary-General for China Daily
23.04.2020 18:00

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented crisis. It has almost completely changed the way people live and has become a serious challenge forhumanity this century.

For the first time inat least 100 years, the world is facing a global crisis that will change economic, political and social realities dramatically.

In this difficult situation, global solidarity and international cooperation are the only right choices tomitigate the impact ofthese massive challenges.

At the same time, amidthe pandemic, the atmosphere ofanxiety and the quarantine measures have been used tospread Sinophobia and influence the public and individual psyche byspreading conspiracy theories aboutthe origin ofthe virus.

We must first refrain frompoliticizing the topic ofthe coronavirus pandemic, which is a challenge tothe entire international community and requires concerted action byall states. In addition, the efforts ofthe World Health Organization tofight the virus should be fully supported.

In recent days, the WHO's activities have come underscrutiny fromthe world community. It is a matter ofconcern that some countries question the effectiveness ofits work.

The joint statement adopted atthe extraordinary virtual summit ofG20 leaders onMarch 26 recognizes the central coordinating role ofthe WHO incountering the spread ofCOVID-19. It supported the WHO's efforts incoordinating the international response tothe pandemic.

The member states ofthe Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance, appreciate and fully support the WHO's activities.

The SCO intends toestablish broad cooperation withthe WHO tostrengthen public health inthe organization's space, which is home toalmost half the world's population.

There is also a need tolook more closely atthe good practices ofcountries such asChina, South Korea, Singapore and others incombating the epidemic.

China has adopted a centralized and scientific approach infighting the epidemic. It has taken measures that are effective and targeted. Comprehensive and concrete actions have made it possible toestablish an effective system ofdisease control, prevention and treatment.

Measures aimed atearly detection, early warning, early isolation and early treatment have had positive results.

The Chinese people have shown an exceptionally high degree ofresponsibility and understanding withregard tothe decisions taken and restrictions imposed.

Effective measures tocounter the epidemic and provision ofreliable and transparent information, aswell asrecommendations developed bythe WHO based onthe Chinese experience offighting the epidemic, gave the world two months ofprecious time toprepare forthe fight againstthe virus.

China's success has inspired many countries. India, the world's second-most populous country, has been undera lockdown sinceMarch 25, and its viral infection and mortality rates are now much lower thanin developed countries inthe West.

However, the Western public did not respond ina timely manner, and did not take the outbreak seriously. Few inEurope wore masks and few were prepared tofollow adequate guidelines forsocial distancing untilthey were forced todo so.

From the beginning, the SCO member states realized the seriousness ofthe situation. They advocated coordinated efforts tocombat the pandemic.

Many SCO member states have emergency systems, special government commissions and operational headquarters that are responsible forfighting and containing COVID-19.

The SCO countries maintain close contact withone another atthe level ofheads ofstate, aswell asheads ofministries and agencies responsible forhealth and public security. It has implemented measures toprovide humanitarian assistance, which was first provided toChina.

Now, all the countries are involved inthe process, providing one another withfinancial resources, food, medical equipment and medicine.

The SCO Secretariat, acting asa coordinating body, has put forward a number ofproposals and initiatives tojointly combat the virus.

On April 1, a meeting ofexperts fromthe ministries ofhealth ofSCO member states was held byvideoconference, duringwhich participants reviewed the epidemiological situation inthe member states and discussed enhancing ofcooperation and effective ways oftreating patients.

At the same time, the SCO's Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure, inclose coordination withmember states, has paid close attention totransnational and increasingly interconnected challenges, and threats tosecurity inthe region inthe context ofemergency measures taken tocombat the virus.

As the coronavirus spreads, more countries are facing a shortage ofsurgical masks, medical equipment and basic necessities, withsome turning toChina forhelp.

China has provided assistance tomore than127 countries and four international organizations, donated $20 million tothe WHO, and sent 14 teams ofexperts tofight the epidemic in12 countries.

As a result ofits successful fight againstthe virus, China's economic activity is recovering. The international community expects the world's second-largest economy tobecome a reliable pillar againstthe backdrop ofseverely affected global growth.

China's top leadership has taken a number ofimportant stimulus measures torevitalize the country's economy, and it seeks tocontribute toglobal economic stability.

According toexperts, despitea 6.8 percent decline inthe first quarter, China's economy will grow again inthe second quarter ofthis year.

Foreign investors remain optimistic aboutChina. In the first quarter ofthe year, foreign direct investment inthe nation's high-tech services sector grew 15.5 percent compared withthe same period last year.

Western investment funds are showing a growing interest inthe Chinese securities market. Analysts say that withcontinued instability inother markets, Chinese assets may become one ofthe few sources ofprofit forinvestors.

While maintaining key advantages inthe form ofstrong productive capacity and based ona dynamic domestic market, China has been a driving force inthe global effort tocontain the virus and revive the world economy.

More information: China Daily

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