By Wu Jiaju
(ECNS)--"My view on China’s contribution to fighting COVID-19 globally in the past three years is very positive," said Professor Rui Lourido, president of the Observatory for China in Portugal during an online interview with China News Network.
Prof. Lourido noticed that figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that since the beginning of the pandemic in January 2020 until February 2022, China's “zero-COVID policy” saved the lives of many thousands of Chinese, especially the lives of the most vulnerable. The WHO considers that the value of the life of all citizens was poised by the Chinese government above the value of the economy.
"I don't think China has ended its 'zero-COVID policy' too quickly or too fast," he said.
"After February 2022, with the arrival of new variants of the virus imported from abroad, China was able to face several localized outbreaks, control them and progressively reduce their impact and morbidity," said Lourido.
In his opinion, vaccination was widespread and reinforced with new doses and proven effective drugs, which enhanced the population's ability to protect themselves autonomously to resist the disease, thus making it less dangerous. That helps explain the reason why China adjusted its COVID policy scientifically, he said.
He criticized that fake news is an instrument used by some countries and economic groups to try to control, discredit and obstruct the development of China and other competitor countries.
In his point of view, fake news tries to forget China's responsible contribution, such as decoding the genome of the novel coronavirus and sharing that information with the WHO and the world, together with the scientific and technical knowledge that it has investigated and produced.
Lourido emphasized that China has managed to continue to support the world's distribution networks of medicines and medical materials, essentially for developing countries, part of them offered benevolently.
"In the West, there is an attempt to convey the idea, which we have already seen to be false, that Chinese vaccines are worse than those in the West, or that China has failed to vaccinate its population. The reality is that in a country with a population of 1.4 billion inhabitants, China administered over 3.4 billion doses of vaccines, with a vaccination rate of over 90 percent," he said.
He also mentioned that through the support of China’s health system, China has been dedicated to strengthening public health systems across countries in Africa and Asia.
"For instance, China aided the headquarters building project of the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the African Union, which was officially inaugurated on January 11, 2023," Lourido gave an example.
Lourido pointed out that the elite of the main western countries has to strike a balance between admiration for the sophisticated Chinese civilization and submission to the interests of the U.S. government, without the capacity for strategic autonomy.
"The ruling elite assumes a manipulative behavior of the public opinion through the media, which helps hide that the West generally treated the pandemic less efficiently than China, which may explain the biased view towards China," he concluded.