Signed Article by H.E. Dr. Xiao Jianguo, Chinese Ambassador to Timor-Leste, published on Timor Post
2020-10-01 09:02

On October 1st , Timor Post carried an article, both in English and Tetun, by Ambassador Dr. Xiao Jianguo entitled " Putting the People in the First Place, A Strong Determination From China ", for celebrating the 71 anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. The full text is as follows:

October 1st this year marks the 71 anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Over the past 71 years, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese people, with hard work, wisdom and courage, have embarked on a great journey of national prosperity, national rejuvenation and people's happiness.

Over the past 71 years, China's overall national strength has continuously enhanced. China has become the world's second largest economy, the largest industrial country and the largest trader of goods, with nearly $13 trillion US dollars economy. More than 700 million people have been lifted out of poverty, and the living standards of the 1.4 billion Chinese population have been significantly improved. China's international influence is also growing. From advocating the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence to building a community with a shared future for mankind, China has been integrated into the international system, actively participated in global governance, supported multilateralism, defended the principles of the UN Charter, and contributed Chinese wisdom to addressing climate change, terrorism and regional conflicts. Since 2006, China's contribution to world economic growth has been ranked first for many years. The Belt and Road Initiative has provided new drivers for global economic recovery and sustainable development.

The year 2020 is a very unusual year. At the beginning of this year, the COVID-19 pandemic posed a serious threat to the safety and health of all mankind. As the first country hit by the pandemic, the Chinese government has grasped the nettle and put all the energy into fighting the epidemic. It took more than one month to initially contain the spread of the epidemic, about two months to control the daily new infections within single digits, and three months to achieve decisive outcomes in the fight of COVID-19 in Wuhan City and Hubei Province. Since then, China has successively fought several battles to wipe out the epidemic in local areas, and won major strategic achievements in the national fight against COVID-19. On this basis, the Chinese government has promoted epidemic prevention and control as well as economic and social development in a coordinated manner, and promptly restored the normalcy of production and life, which has achieved remarkable outcomes. On 8 September, the Chinese government held a recognition conference in fighting against COVID-19.

Why have China and the Chinese people been able to withstand numerous tests and achieve a great victory against the epidemic, turning the impossible into the possible?

First of all, China has always adhered to the leadership of the CPC. The CPC comes from the people and has its roots in the people. It has always taken as its original aspiration and mission to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation, and it has always served the people wholeheartedly. No matter in the revolutionary war or the peace-building periods, the CPC has always relied closely on the people, guided itself by scientific theories, disciplined itself strictly, and had the courage to reflect on itself and at the forefront of the times. A large country with a population of 1.4 billion requires a strong core of leadership to carry out effective epidemic prevention and control. The CPC, especially with its organizations and members at all levels, has always been at the front-line of the fight against the epidemic, leading the people to unite as one and fight tenaciously for a decisive victory against the epidemic. The major strategic achievements China has made in its fight against the epidemic fully manifests the CPC's role as the strong leadership and the most reliable backbone and demonstrates the remarkable advantages of China's national system and governance system, the great strength of the Chinese people and nation.

Second, China has always been people-centered. "People first" is first embodied as "life first". The CPC has always given top priority to the people's safety and health. After the outbreak , China would rather have a period of economic decline or even a short-term "shutdown", than risk the safety or health of the people. We mobilized the nation's best personnel, the most urgently needed resources, and the most advanced equipment to rescue people on an unprecedented scale. 346 national medical teams and more than 40,000 medical personnel rushed to the front-line in Hubei and Wuhan. Tens of thousands of volunteers took part in the prevention and control of the epidemic in their communities, and countless ordinary people made contributions to the fight against COVID-19. All these have built a solid defense-line against the epidemic in China. Behind this line, we do everything we can to save lives, no matter the aged or the newborn. We do not give up any single life.

Third, China has always been committed to solidarity and cooperation in the fight against COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic reminds the world in a special form that no country can stand alone in the face of a major crisis, and that solidarity and cooperation are the most powerful weapon to defeat the epidemic. China has always respected science, been open and transparent, upheld multilateralism, supported the WHO, carried out international cooperation with the WHO and other countries to fight the epidemic, and resolutely opposed bullying and stigmatization. To build a community of common health for mankind, China has engaged in an emergency humanitarian action worldwide on a scale unseen in the history of the People's Republic, which has sent 34 medical teams to 32 countries, provided 283 batches of anti-epidemic supplies to more than 150 countries and international organizations, exported medical supplies to more than 200 countries and regions, and shared experience in diagnosis, treatment and containment without reservation. China is carrying out vaccine cooperation with other countries on multiple fronts. We will share the vaccines with other countries through various means as they become available in order to deliver on Chinese President Xi Jinping's pledge of making China's vaccines a global public good, which fully demonstrates China's sense of responsibility as a responsible major country.

As a country with fragile health system, Timor-Leste reported imported cases of COVID-19 in March. The Timorese Government attached great importance to the epidemic control and had promptly taken strict anti-epidemic measures and entered several times into a state of emergency. The local epidemic has been effectively brought under control, which achievement is recognized by the world. In the fight against COVID-19, China has given its full support to TL. China is the first country to make the quickest response to TL's request to donate medical supplies after the epidemic, the first country to deliver medical supplies in large quantity by chartered flights, and China donated the largest number of face masks to TL. As of now, more than one million masks have been donated by China, almost each Timorese resident can receive one face mask donated by China on average, making positive contributions to TL's epidemic prevention. In his video speech at the 75th UN General Assembly, Timor-Leste President Lu-olo expressed his gratitude to China's assistance for fighting against the epidemic. Recently, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone call with Timor-Leste's new Foreign Minister Adaljiza by appointment. Adaljiza also expressed her gratitude to China. Wang Yi said that China will continue to provide support and assistance to Timor-Leste's fighting against the epidemic and Timor-Leste's economy recovery. The cooperation between China and TL shows that, both countries are not only traditional friends with trusts and supports, but also sincere partners in building a community with a shared future for mankind. 

However, looking at the world, the number of COVID-19 infections has exceeded 30 million. Experts predict that, the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic may strike in the near future. The pandemic has been bringing a full range of impacts on human society, and its destructive impact is still spreading. The pandemic could change the world, but the theme of peace and development will not change, the trend of win-win cooperation will not be reversed, and unilateralism and stigmatization will not be popular. China is ready to work with TL and other countries to uphold multilateralism, pursue peaceful development, advance global governance in the post-COVID  era, promote economic recovery, and forge ahead toward the great goal of building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Together, let's embrace a brighter future.

Bless the motherland and TL prosperous, and wish two peoples happiness and health.

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