He Yafei deeply interprets lengthy White Paper on chronicling COVID-19 response


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He Yafei deeply interprets lengthy White Paper on chronicling COVID-19 response


Source: China Review Studio    Published:2020-6-8

Editor's note: On June 7, China issued a white paper entitled "Fighting COVID-19: China in Action", which chronicles the battle against COVID-19 epidemic with a length of about 37000 words. He Yafei, former vice minister of foreign affairs and senior fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, accepted an exclusive interview with the China Review Studio to talk about China's anti-epidemic action.

After the outbreak of coronavirus, or we call it COVID-19, under the leadership of CPC, with President Xi Jinping at its core, China quickly made a firm decision. That is the closure of Wuhan and Hubei and also quite severe and restrictive measures all over China.

That is for the protection of lives, security, and public health of the Chinese people and particularly, of course, for people in Wuhan and Hubei. In addition, they are also in the interests of the people of the world as large.

We are very sad to hear the news that more than 3,000 medical people have been affected and many doctors and nurses died from the exposure to the disease.

These people know they are facing a great danger because they have to be at the front line, taking care of those people with the severe symptoms of the virus. But they have put aside their concern for their own personal safety. They have put aside even the dangers to their lives. Their dedication, their devotion, their sacrifices are so admirable.

There have been so far 1,205 confirmed cases of the infection of the virus in Zhejiang, but there is not a single case of confirmed infection in Anji city.

One is it shows the resilience and effectiveness of China’s governance system. The governance system is solid at every level.

Secondly, I’ve been in contact with people in Anji at the village level, township level too. People in Anji are fully supportive of the government’s decisions.

The last point I think is even more important is what President Xi was saying when he served as Party Secretary in Zhejiang, a famous saying that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets. We have seen those stone carvings with these words. Anji people in Zhejiang have taken his words very seriously. And wherever you go, you can have a try, there is not a single village where you can find any dirty street. The streets are always clean. People are very careful about the place they live and there is no pollution.

China’s political system, economic system, China’s political setup is correct, is the right one, because it has the capacity to correct itself. If there are any shortcomings, any setbacks, it is very capable of correcting these things by itself, because it has the wide support of the people and has a very strong down-to-the-grassroots, a very strong governance system in place, including a comprehensive emergency response system in public health.

We have to realize, not only we China, but other countries too for that matter, that in today’s world what threats we face more, what threats are more serious.

We are less concerned, unfortunately, about a non-traditional security threat, that is any threat arisen from communicable diseases. That will, if not dealt with properly and in time and in a concerted effort all over the world, it will kill more people normally than a war.

I think the current round of crisis in public health has reawakened that spirit of togetherness. We are together. We are of the same humankind living in the only available global village to us.