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Ambassador Xiao Qian delivered a speech on COVID-19 at the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia's Forum

On February 24, Ambassador China for Indonesia, Mr. Xiao Qian attended the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia’s Forum on COVID-19, delivered a speech entitled "China’s Governance and Global Cooperation-Answering to the challenge to Humanity", also held discussions with Dr. Paranietharan, the World Health Organization's Representative to Indonesia, Mr. Acep Somantri, Director General of the International Cooperation from the Ministry of Health of Indonesia, and Mr. Soemadi BrotodiningratIndonesian former Ambassador to the U.S.

Ambassador Xiao said that 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.

Ambassador Xiao emphasized that 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. Needless to say, COVID-19 deserves our utmost attention and efforts but we should not fear or panic. Director-General of WHO Dr. Tedros remarked that WHO does not recommend and actually opposes imposing travel or trade restrictions on China.

Ambassador Xiao said that 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, Macao, 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”.

Ambassador Xiao said that China does not stand alone in the fight against NCP outbreak. Instead, it has received the understanding and support from around the globe. 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.

Ambassador Xiao emphasized that 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.

Dr. Paranietharan, the World Health Organization's representative to Indonesia introduced the characteristics of the COVID-19 and its spread in various countries, saying that the COVID-19 has a lower death rate than Ebola, SARS, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, and the public should not panic. The WHO declared the epidemic as a"public health emergency of international concern" not for what’s happening di China, but concerns about countries with weak health systems. WHO does not recommend any travel or trade restrictions, and are cautioned against that promote stigma and discrimination. The WHO hopes that China will continue to do its utmost to fight the epidemic, and that all countries will attach importance to the prevention and control of the epidemic and take appropriate prevention and control measures.

Mr. Acep Somantri, Director of the International Cooperation of the Ministry of Health of Indonesia, thanked China for notifying Indonesia of the epidemic situation and sharing technical information. Acep said that it is very important for Indonesia to recognize the virus and take effective prevention and control measures. Indonesia has stepped up quarantine at all ports of entry throughout the country , opened a hot line to answer questions of the public, and will further enhance its response capabilities to the epidemic. Indonesia is willing to work with the international community to fight the epidemic.

Ambassador Xiao also answered questions from the audience and reporters. More than 140 audience, including diplomats of various Countries in Indonesia, Indonesian government officials, experts and scholars, and young students attended the event.

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