Chinese Embassy in South Korea announced that China would export face masks to South Korea to help the latter and its people fight the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The first batch has been sent to the destination on Tuesday, including surgical and N95 masks totaling 5 million pieces.
Humanity shines through the dark cloud of the epidemic. While overcoming difficulties at home, China is ready to render support to its neighbor South Korea, in an attempt to jointly defeat the virus.
Before the exports of masks, the Chinese government had already donated 1.1 million masks and 10,000 protective suits to South Korea.
Whether China will export masks and relevant raw materials is receiving huge attention from the international society as the epidemic exacerbates in the global context.
Li Xingqian, director of the Department of Foreign Trade of China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) explained on March 5 that masks are free trade products, and China has never imposed any restrictions on the export of masks and related raw materials, responding to certain foreign media agencies that had falsely blamed China for banning the export of such supplies.
Li noted the MOFCOM has never announced such bans even after the outbreak of the COVID-19, and enterprises can totally trade these products under market-oriented principles. China is willing to offer medical supplies including masks for relevant countries within its capacity, he added.
The international community has rendered China precious support in the latter’s battle against the epidemic. By March 2, a total of 62 countries and seven international organizations have donated medical supplies to China, such as masks and protective suits.
Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu introduced, behind these numbers are lots of touching stories. The Myanmar government provided China with rice, while Sri Lanka donated black tea, Ma said, adding Mongolia gifted 30,000 sheep to China and Pakistan donated masks from hospital inventory across the country. These timely and sincere donations at this difficult time will be remembered by China, he said.
The daily output and production capacity of masks nationwide have grown swiftly and exceeded 100 million pieces, respectively, announced the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on March 2.
“Many countries have lent a helping hand to China. So China will also offer help to them as much as it can since it has gradually controlled the epidemic and resumed production,” said Wang Yong, professor with the School of International Studies, Peking University, during an interview with the People’s Daily.
China, while facing a severe situation domestically, is reaching out to help others when the epidemic is exacerbating globally.
The country has dispatched experts from the Red Cross Society of China to Iran and Iraq to help them curb the disease, and offered medical supplies such as nucleic acid test kits and masks to Japan.
The timely assistance demonstrate the sense of responsibility of a major country, and also China’s determination to join hands with other countries to secure the final victory over the epidemic.
“China assistance differentiates according to the national conditions of the receivers,” said Jin Canrong, professor of the School of International Studies at Renmin University when receiving an interview from the People’s Daily.
He explained that China donated materials to developed countries like Japan and South Korea as they enjoy advanced medical technologies and are suffering only temporary short supplies, while for Iran, China has not only donated medical materials, but also dispatched medical experts and offered COVID-19 treatment plan in Farsi.
Moreover, China also shared multiple technical documents with over 100 countries and a dozen of international and regional organizations, such as plans on epidemic prevention and treatment. Besides, it conducted 20 technological exchanges with international and regional organizations and relevant countries through teleconference and other ways, sharing its experience on lab testing, epidemiological investigation as well as clinical diagnosis and treatment.
Epidemic knows no borders. China will continue to join hands with global countries to overcome the difficulties and actively support and participate in international cooperation to fight the epidemic, so as to make its contributions to safeguarding regional and international public health security and promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.