|Building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind Is the Right Response to the Call of Our Times|
Speech by H.E. Ambassador Zhou Jian at the Celebration of the
71st Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China
Your Excellency Jassim al-Sulaiti, Minister of Transport and Communications,
Ladies and gentlemen,
We are holding a unique celebration, both online and offline, to celebrate the 71st birthday of the People's Republic of China. Let me extend my warm welcome to all the guests present here and online, and my festive greetings to all Chinese living, working or studying in Qatar!
This year will make history, in that the unexpected COVID-19 outbreak is sweeping the world. In this major test for humanity, China, Qatar and other countries need to make the right choice and meet the expectation of their people.
As the first country confronted by COVID-19, what choices did China make and how did China respond?
Firstly, China took on the tough job with great resolve. With President Xi Jinping as its core, the Communist Party of China made comprehensive plans and followed the guidance of science, locking down Hubei Province and its capital city Wuhan, deploying more than 340 medical teams and over 40,000 medical staff from across the country, and building two hospitals in merely 10 days. Over 52 million members of the CPC devoted themselves to this struggle, about 400 of them gave their lives. Led by the CPC, China acted fast to bring the epidemic under control, which not only built a strong defense to stem the spread of the virus, but also gained valuable experiences for the global response.
Secondly, China considered the safety and health of its people as the top priority. Nothing is more precious than human life. Thanks to the 76-day lockdown of Wuhan, at least 700,000 cases have been prevented. We treated patients with utmost care. In Hubei Province alone, more than 3,000 patients over the age of 80 were cured, and their medical expenses were all covered by the government. According to The Lancet, the Chinese government's experience of saving tens of thousands of lives is worth learning for other countries.
Thirdly, China made comprehensive plans, striking a balance between epidemic control and economic recovery. With the steady improvement of the situation, China worked hard to bring back work and life, its GDP increased by 3.2% in the second quarter of this year, and is the first major economy to register positive growth. At present, students have returned to school, tourists have flocked to scenic spots, cinemas have reopened, and Chinese society is again beeming with vitality. Thanks to the economic recovery, China is expected to meet the poverty reduction goal in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years in advance, and the world economy has a better chance of recovery.
Fourthly, China has contributed to international cooperation. China, guided by the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, acted in an open, transparent and responsible manner. It informed the WHO of the virus and released the genome sequence at the earliest possible time. President Xi Jinping called for international cooperation against the pandemic, and announced that China would provide US$2 billion in international assistance over the coming two years. The COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, once available, will be made a global public good. China sent 34 expert teams to 32 countries, offered 283 shipments of anti-epidemic supplies to 150 nations and four international organizations. China provided or exported PPEs to over 200 nations and regions. In short, China shared ideas, experience and proposals with the world in fighting the pandemic.
Ladies and gentlemen,
China and Qatar are strategic partners. We are together, both in joys and sorrows. What choices have we made together in the face of COVID-19? The answer lies in four "C's":
The first C is "confidence". At the height of China's fight against COVID-19, His Highness the Amir called President Xi Jinping, stressing Qatar's full confidence in China's capability to beat the virus and Qatar's readiness to help China. At a critical moment in Qatar's fight against the virus, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke with His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed on the phone. Minister Wang Yi expressed his confidence in Qatar achieving an ultimate victory against the outbreak, and reaffirmed that China would do its best to help Qatar.
The second "C" is "consolidation". The Qatari government, along with some Qatari corporations, has donated 300 tons of medical supplies including surgical masks and disinfectant to China. Qatar Airways transported PPEs to China through its global network for free. We have provided convenience for Qatar to urgently purchase four million surgical masks and 640,000 bottles of disinfectant from China. Dr. Zhong Nanshan, the doctor leading China's fight against COVID-19, shared experience with his Qatari counterparts without any reservation. Chinese companies in Qatar donated one million pairs of surgical gloves and 7,000 sets of protective gowns, making contributions to Qatar's triumph over the epidemic.
The third "C" is "collaboration". Both China and Qatar have actively participated in international cooperation. Together we support the WHO in playing a lead role in the global fight. Together we oppose politicizing the pandemic or attaching a geographic label to the virus. Together we provide support to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). Together we saw that the 9th ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum reached a joint statement of solidarity. Qatar provided more than 20 nations with medical supplies, donated 140 million dollars to multilateral medical institutions, and helped overseas nationals return home safely. We sincerely applaud the Qatari government for its concern for the wellbeing of its people.
The fourth "C" is "cooperation". Cooperation between China and Qatar under the Belt and Road framework made progress despite the pandemic. The two countries signed a contract for building LNG ships, which will further expand Qatar's LNG fleet. China Railway Construction Corporation worked on the construction of Lusail Stadium without stop. The green, intelligent and water-saving technology developed by China has been adopted in Qatar, contributing to Qatar's sustainable development. The pandemic has given prominence to the "contactless economy", expanding space for China-Qatar cooperation in the new industries and business formats. We firmly believe that our collective fight against the pandemic will deepen the friendship between China and Qatar, and our bilateral cooperation will embrace brighter prospects.
As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates the transformation of the world on a scale unseen in a century, we are seeing much turbulence and change around us. Human society is at a crossroads. What choice should the world make? China's answer is to establish a community with a shared future for mankind.
In the first place, we should oppose a new "Cold War" and insist on peace and development. The Cold War and many hot conflicts during that period brought people all over the world immeasurable trauma and misery. We shall not allow history repeat itself. President Xi Jinping pointed out at the High-level Meeting to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations: Cold War mentality, ideological lines or zero-sum game are no solution to a country's own problem, still less an answer to mankind's common challenges. The trend of our times remains toward peace and development. China will adhere to the path of peaceful development. We never seek hegemony or territorial expansion, and will always be a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of international order.
In the second place, we should oppose unilateralism and insist on multilateralism. A handful of countries are obsessed with making unilateral moves, withdrawing from international bodies and treaties, and blaming others for their own woes, which severely undermines the existing international order and the system of global governance. President Xi Jinping pointed that Unilateralism is a dead end. All need to follow the approach of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. All need to come together to uphold universal security, share the fruits of development, and jointly decide on the future of the world. His Highness The Amir reaffirmed the State of Qatar's steadfast position in supporting and embodying the principles and objectives of the United Nations charter, and stressed the need to implement the political declaration adopted today by promoting multilateralism and preventive diplomacy, We highly commend this position, and are willing to work with Qatar in order to safeguard multilateralism with the UN as its center and the international order based on international law.
In the third place, we should oppose hegemony and insist on the democratization of international relations. Putting one's own interest first at the expense of others, or fully imposing blockade and sanctions on others, grossly interfering in other nations' internal affairs: these acts have no regard for international justice and are doomed to fail. With the virus raging, the death toll mounting to a new high, social and ethnic division erupting a particular major country, how can it have the confidence to point fingers at others? We are firmly against any foreign interference in China's domestic affairs such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang or human rights. China will work with other countries to safeguard the UN Charter, adhere to the basic principles of international relations including respect for sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and non-interference in each other's internal affairs.
Last but not the least, we should oppose protectionism and insist on openness and benefit-for-all. President Xi Jinping has said, "Pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room. While wind and rain may be kept outside, that dark room will also block light and air." We firmly support the multilateral trading system with the WTO as its foundation and promote the building of an open world economy. We will improve the level of opening-up in a comprehensive way, unleash the enormous potential of our domestic market and demand, pursue high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and expand mutually beneficial cooperation with international partners to boost global economic growth.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Camels are the symbol of the ancient Silk Road, also the closest friend of the Arab people. Being resilient and tenacious, camels always carry loads and hopes. The great changes and the global pandemic affect human society with wide-ranging impacts. China and Qatar should carry forward the spirit of camels, work together toward the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation and the Qatari Dream of National Vision 2030. In this way, China and Qatar can jointly build a community with a shared future, create an "oasis" of development and renewal, and embrace the bright future of a common community for mankind.
To conclude, may China be strong and prosperous,
May China and Qatar enjoy permanent friendship,
May the people of the two nations be healthy and wealthy,
May all of you have the best of luck!