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China's Governance and Global Cooperation – Answering to the Challenge to Humanity

Ambassador Xiao Qian's Remarks at the FPCI Forum

24 February, Jakarta


Dear Ambassador Soemadi Brotodiningrat,

Dear Mr. Acep Somantri, Director General of the International Cooperation from the Ministry of Health of Indonesia,

Dear Dr. Paranietharan, W.H.O Representative to Indonesia,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,

I would like to thank the FPCI for inviting me to speak. At this critical moment of combating the COVID-19, it is timely and highly relevant for the FPCI to host a forum where we can increase understanding, consolidate cooperation and jointly fight against the disease.

COVID-19 is a newly discovered virus. We know very little about it and a specific treatment is yet to be found. As a highly contagious virus, COVID-19 has spread from the city of Wuhan to all China and further to more than 20 countries in just 2 months or so, posing a serious challenge to China and the world.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,

Right after the outbreak of COVID-19, under the strong leadership and personal commitment of President Xi Jinping, China acted resolutely with the most comprehensive, rigorous and thorough measures, with the concerted efforts of all 1.4 billion Chinese people. China has launched a people's war against the epidemic, and we are determined to fight and win this battle.

On the first day of China's lunar new year, President Xi Jinping hosted a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, where a Central Leading Group was established and an overall plan was sketched for the prevention and control of the epidemic. The Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council was put in place swiftly, and decisive actions have been taken, such as extending national holiday for the Spring Festival, suspending public transportation and activities, and concentrating medical workers and supplies across the country to support hospitals in Wuhan. Now the whole country has been mobilized, and plans have covered all sectors and actions have been taken in every corner of the country to combat the outbreak.

Sectors across the country have answered to this challenge with their actions and contribution. Many medial workers volunteered to be sent to the battlefront and have been fighting courageously against the virus. Many factories producing medical supplies are seizing every minute to re-open from the Spring Festival holiday, and their efforts have been joined by many big companies who even switched their production capacity from other areas to manufacturing medial supplies. Many communities and villages have voluntarily shut down themselves and conducted blanket screening for potential cases. During the Spring Festival, which is the most important traditional holiday in China, Chinese people voluntarily stayed at home instead of traveling or visiting families and friends in order to stop the virus from spreading. The 1.4 billion Chinese people all took part and our concerted efforts serve as a defense line itself against the virus.

Our arduous efforts are paying off as the situation is getting better. The spread is contained at this moment, and epidemic control efforts have achieved success for now. The number of newly confirmed cases and suspected cases are both declining, the number of cases of patients cured and discharged from hospital is growing fairly quickly, and the recovery rate is rising as well. Noticeably, there is a drastic drop of newly confirmed cases outside of Hubei Province. Now some clinical drugs have begun clinical trial, demonstrating encouraging effect. Some vaccines have begun animal testing, and will be applied for clinical trail as soon as later April. The epidemic is aggressive, yet all these encouraging news testify to the fact that China's decisive actions are right and effective. All things considered, the epidemic can be mitigated and overcome.

Comparatively speaking, despite the large number of infected patients, the mortality rate within China, which now stands at around 3.3%, is much lower than that of Ebola (40.4%), MERS (34.4%), SARS (10%) and H1N1 Flu in the United States(17.4%). According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu virus has infected at least 29 million Americans across the country and killed at least 14,000 people this season alone, much higher than the number of deaths from NCP outbreak. Needless to say, COVID-19 deserves our utmost attention and efforts but we should not panic or overact. Director-General of WHO Dr. Tedros remarked that WHO does not recommend and actually opposes imposing travel or trade restrictions on China.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,

Since the epidemic outbreak, the Chinese government, acting in an open, transparent and responsible manner, has promoted stronger global cooperation on epidemic control, provided timely information with WHO, relevant countries, as well as the Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan regions, quickly identified and shared the genetic sequence of COVID-19, welcomed field visits by WHO world experts, and tightened control of overseas travel by its citizens, all in an effort to prevent the virus from spreading overseas. Until now, more than 97% of the confirmed cases are within China's borders. Cases outside China account for only 2.6%, which proves the epidemic has been confined within China. China has not only done its best to ensure the health and safety of its own citizens, but also worked together to safeguard global public health security. Dr. Tedros highly commends China's efforts to contain the outbreak, as it has "set a new standard for outbreak response for other countries".

China does not stand alone in the fight against NCP outbreak. Instead, it has received the understanding and support from around the globe. Until now, more than 170 world leaders and 40 heads of international organizations have sent letters expressing firm support for China. The governments and people of dozens of countries have reached out to China. A few days ago, China and ASEAN held a Special Foreign Ministers' Meeting on COVID-19 in Vientiane, Laos. The statement reiterates that all sides are "determined to continue working together to deal with this dangerous disease and to address the adverse impacts of COVID-19", which reflects the shared commitment to help and support each other, strengthen confidence and overcome the current difficulties together.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,

As two friendly neighbors, China and Indonesia have always come to each other's aid, when faced with such emergencies and challenges as the Indian Ocean Tsunami, Wenchuan Earthquake and SARS. To carry each other's burden and go through hardship together has become part of our tradition. Since the epidemic outbreak, we have maintained sound communication. When President Joko Widodo spoke on the phone with Chinese President Xi Jinping, he noted that Indonesia would stand firmly by the Chinese people as a sincere partner. The charted flight dispatched to evacuate Indonesian

citizens in Wuhan, carried loads of medical supplies donated by the Indonesian Government. Several cabinet ministers and senior politicians have extend sympathies to me in their own ways. Various sectors of the Indonesian society offered their support for China's efforts through donations, letters, video messages and signatures, which is really touching and heartwarming. Meanwhile, we noted that some prevention and control measures were undertaken by the Indonesian side. As good friends and good partners, we are exploring ways with Indonesia, based on professional and authoritative advice from WHO, to maintain people-to-people exchanges and practical cooperation while enhancing epidemic control and prevention.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,

The virus is our common enemy as the epidemic respects no borders and its outbreak leaves no one out. The fight against COVID-19 is not only a test to the governance of China but the rest of the world. China is ready to work with the international community, Indonesia included, to help and support each other, jointly response to the challenge, prevent global spread of the virus and contribute to the public health of our region and beyond. The Chinese are a resilient nation that has emerged stronger from numerous trials and tribulations. The history of mankind is a history of fight against diseases. I believe so long as we commit ourselves to the cause and stand by each other's side, we will certainly prevail over this epidemic.

Terima Kasih.

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