The novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak has made people realize once again that this is an era in which traditional security and nontraditional security issues are interconnected, and local issues easily become global ones and vice versa, said State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Germany.
“No country can prosper in isolation or meet all challenges on its own, as our interests are closely interconnected,” he said. “Global governance and international coordination must be strengthened without any delay.”
Wang called for practicing multilateralism in his speech on Saturday at the 56th Munich Security Conference.
As the world has entered the age of globalization, Wang said people must transcend the East-West and North-South divides “to see our shared planet as a community for all”, and must go beyond the ideological gap and accommodate historical and cultural differences “to see the international community as one global family”.
Speaking on how to better translate multilateralism into action, Wang said countries should pursue shared development, major countries should set a good example, and nations should uphold international norms and see the world as one community.
In his speech, Wang also elaborated on the current situation of China’s fight against the outbreak under the leadership of President Xi Jinping.
The senior diplomat noted that China’s rigorous and thorough measures are paying off, and although the epidemic has posed a severe challenge to China’s economic and social development, “the difficulties will be temporary and short-lived”.
“With its strong resilience, potential and vitality, the Chinese economy is well positioned to overcome all risks and challenges. The fundamentals sustaining sound economic growth have not changed and will not change,” Wang said.
Quoting the Chinese saying that “after the storm comes the rainbow”, Wang said the country’s pent-up consumer demand and growth potential will be quickly unleashed and the country will enjoy sounder and more sustainable economic and social development.
The country has effectively curbed the spread of the outbreak beyond its borders, and “has made extraordinary efforts and a heavy sacrifice” for that, Wang said.
He added that China is not fighting alone, because the international community has given valuable moral and material support. This joint fight is strengthening the friendship between the Chinese people and peoples across the world, he said.
In an interview with Reuters on Friday, Wang said China has won the respect and recognition of the international community with its efforts and even sacrifice in the fight against the novel coronavirus pneumonia.
The country has introduced the most comprehensive, stringent and thorough prevention and control measures, such as setting up a nationwide mechanism to mobilize resources from across China, Wang said.
Many of the measures, he said, are well beyond what is required by the International Health Regulations and recommendations of the World Health Organization.
As a responsible major country, China has from the start acted in an open and transparent manner in releasing related information to the world and seeking international cooperation to prevent the spread of the epidemic worldwide, Wang said.
According to the released statistics, the number of confirmed cases outside China is less than 1 percent of the total.
“The virus respects no borders. It requires a collective response from the international community,” Wang said.
While some countries are implementing reasonable enhanced inspection measures, Wang said some “have overreacted” by adopting measures that have comprehensively stopped people-to-people exchanges or evacuating people from places with only isolated cases or where the epidemic is not severe.
“Their overreaction has caused unnecessary panic and is not consistent with the WHO recommendations,” said the diplomat, adding that there is a question mark on whether such measures contribute to a joint response to the epidemic.
“I believe as the epidemic is gradually brought under control, these countries may consider relaxing the restrictions. At the end of the day, normal exchanges and cooperation among countries must be maintained.”
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Wang at a meeting that Russia intends to continue supporting China in combating the outbreak by providing all forms of support, including sending humanitarian medical equipment.
“I would like to express once again our satisfaction with the consistent development of our strategic partnership agreement and confirm our solidarity with China’s people and leadership in connection with efforts to eliminate the epidemic,” Lavrov said.