Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai speaks at a gala dinner held by the U.S.-China Business Council in Washington D.C., the United States, on Dec. 4, 2019. (File Photo/Xinhua)
Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai has urged a new and effective global governance system, closer Sino-U.S. cooperation to better combat the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that all countries should also reject any attempts to politicize the rapidly-spreading disease.
A new and effective global governance system is yet to be built to cope with a crisis of the magnitude of the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Cui said in an interview on April 3 with Ian Bremmer at weekly digital and broadcast show Gzero World, which was aired nationally on Saturday by American Public Television.
"If we aim at a new system of international governance that is open, inclusive, that is based on mutual respect among all countries, on the full recognition of the diversity of culture, civilization, political system, economic system, if we can do this, then I think all the things are ready for us to build a new and effective international governance system. We have to make the right choice now," he noted.
The world have had a number of crises in this 21st century, maybe starting with the 9/11 terror attack , then the financial crisis, and now this COVID-19 virus, i.e. the security challenges, the financial instability and now public health, according to the ambassador.
"If we can still call this a wakeup call, I think we should have woken up long time ago, but still, if we have not started yet, we have to start real efforts to build a good international governance system for the 21st century, for the future," he said, adding big countries including the U.S. and China have great responsibilities in spearheading the efforts.
The United States and China have to facilitate bilateral cooperation on combating COVID-19 to save the future of the global community, the ambassador noted.
"Let's work together to respond to this global crisis, to save people's lives, to save the future of global economy, and to save the future of the global community. This is our paramount task," Cui said.
"This is the time for solidarity and cooperation," said Cui. "Let's concentrate on the positive things. Let's focus on our common interests and mutual needs," he noted.
The Chinese envoy listed three things to which the embassy gives priority "at this critical moment" as COVID-19 is ravaging the world.
The first is to facilitate cooperation between the two countries to combat the virus, in particular medical supplies and technical cooperation between governmental and research institutions.
Secondly, good efforts should be made to stabilize global market, boost global economic growth, and protect people's jobs and livelihood. The third is to ensure a supportive public opinion for cooperation between the two countries.
On the economic front, there is "an even greater need for closer and more effective global cooperation" as COVID-19 has disrupted the global supply chain, Cui stressed.
"This pandemic proves again this is a global challenge. The virus recognizes no national boundaries, no difference in political system, in culture, in religion whatsoever. It attacks all of us the same way. So there is an even greater need for closer and more effective global cooperation," said Cui, responding to a question concerning stability of the global supply chain under the threat of the virus.
"The process of globalization was driven by economic efficiency and technology," he said. "If there is anything wrong with the past process of globalization, I think we have to make it more open, inclusive, with more equitable distribution of benefits for everybody."
Cui noted that China has been doing its best to restore the supply chain and to resume production, especially medical supplies.
"We are also working with other countries to make sure the global supply chain will function again," he said. "
Moreover, the ambassador called on all countries to prioritize people's life and health, as well as reject any attempts to politicize the pandemic. "We really have to put people's lives and health first. This is the most important thing for us to do. And we should do it at any cost."
"We really have to reject any attempt at taking political advantage of other people's sufferings," he said, adding "unfortunately, there are still elements here, maybe elsewhere in the world, who are making such an attempt."
"I think people have to give serious thinking to what is a real threat for all of us. What is our real enemy? And where lies our common interest? How we should respond globally together to such global challenges?" Cui stressed.
Noting "this is a huge crisis for all of us," the ambassador dismissed the allegations of some Western politicians that China got a political agenda in helping other countries fight the virus.
"What is driving our action right now is our understanding that we're all part of the community," he said. "China cannot be safe from the virus if all the other countries are still struggling ... in a sense, we are also helping ourselves by helping others."
Cui also refuted the accusations by some U.S. politicians and media outlets that China concealed the extent of the COVID-19 outbreak.
"For the accusations that China is hiding the numbers, just think about it, we have such a huge population, such a big country, you cannot hide the cases of a very vicious virus, because if you have patients, they are just patients. If people are infected, they're just infected. How can you hide them?" Cui said.
The fact is that China started daily briefing to the press "in the very early stage of this crisis," he said, adding that China even publicized all the possible treatments.
"We keep updating it, from time to time, including how to use traditional Chinese medicine to treat the patients. We made it public, all this information, all our experience," he noted.