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Ambassador Song Yumin's Signed Article "Together We Fight COVID-19 and Promote Cooperation"
 On 1 June 2020, Ambassador Song Yumin's signed article titled "Together We Fight COVID-19 and Promote Cooperation" was published by Guardian in Trinidad and Tobago. Here is the full text of the article:


All civilizations have fought to overcome life-threatening diseases and tide over disasters. In 2020, the human race faces the most serious global public health emergency since the end of the Second World War in 1945.

Catching the world by surprise, COVID-19 has hit over 210 countries and regions, affected more than seven billion people on the planet, and claimed over 300,000 precious lives. To make matters worse, the global economy is on the brink of another recession, which is already rippling through industrial and supply-demand chains.

With the world now again at the crossroads, President Xi Jinping made a deeply resonant statement at the Virtual Event of Opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly about the path we must take to emerge triumphant from this challenging time. "Mankind is a community with a shared future. Solidarity and cooperation is our most powerful weapon for defeating the virus...and is a sure way by which we, the people of the world, can defeat this coronavirus," he told the representatives.

These inspiring words have been best manifested in actions taken by China along with its true friend and close partner, Trinidad and Tobago. Together, our two countries have been fighting side by side in this battle against COVID-19, while simultaneously preparing for the pressures of economic contraction.

In China, after painstaking efforts and enormous sacrifice, and with ongoing moral support and medical donations from Trinidad and Tobago and other friendly countries, we have turned the tide on the virus and protected the life and health of our people. All along, we have acted with openness, transparency and responsibility. We have provided information to the World Health Organization (WHO) and relevant countries in a most timely fashion. All control and treatment experiences have been shared without reservation.

Since the coronavirus reached the shores of Trinidad and Tobago, China has been doing everything within our power to reciprocate and assist our friends – the people of Trinidad and Tobago. The Chinese government together with the private sector in China have donated the following to Trinidad and Tobago: fifteen heat image thermo-scanners, over 5,000 test kits and around 100,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items, including N95/KN95 masks and protective overalls.

Virtual events on COVID-19 control and treatment experiences were also held to facilitate the fight here, such as the Special Vice-Ministerial Meeting on COVID-19 between China and the Caribbean Countries Having Diplomatic Relations with China, COVID-19 Control and the Treatment Experience Sharing Seminar with the Ministry of Health, as well as continual consultations with leading medical teams in China.

China stands for a vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind. China takes responsibility for ensuring, not just the life and health of its own citizens, but also global public health. In line with the goal of boosting international cooperation against COVID-19, President Xi Jinping promised that "COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, will be made a global public good."

This will be China's contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries. China will also provide US$2 billion over two years to help with COVID-19 response along with economic and social development in affected countries, especially developing nations.

In this regard, it is heartening to see that Trinidad and Tobago has effectively contained this pandemic, with no new cases over the past few weeks. This beautiful twin-island country is now carefully returning to normal life and revitalizing its economy to create a better future for its people, as is the Chinese government.

While instituting regular COVID-19 controls, the Chinese government continues to step up efforts to ensure stability on and maintain security in six areas: (1) job creation; (2) basic living needs; (3) operation of market entities; (4) food and energy security; (5) industrial and supply chains and (6) normal functioning of primary-level governments to build a prosperous society in all respects. To achieve these goals, China will stay committed to opening our doors to the wider world and remain focused on quality in the joint pursuit of the Belt and Road Initiative. We will keep our industrial and supply chains stable, and make opening up a catalyst for reform and development.  

Trinidad and Tobago was the first country in the English-speaking Caribbean region to join the Belt and Road Initiative. Major projects like the Phoenix Industrial Park and National Forensic Science Centre are gaining momentum. We should take the full advantage of the economic stimulus plans of both our countries to expand cooperation in traditional and emerging new areas such as infrastructure, health care, finance, agriculture, tourism, education, and so on.

This approach will better serve the bilateral trade, and help hedge the uncertainty of the international financial markets. We must also strongly express our support for multilateralism and free trade, in order to maintain the stability of global industrial production and supply chains, while fostering the healthy development of globalization.

In the face of the public health crisis, severe economic recession and other global challenges, all countries must work together. China will continue to pursue peaceful development, and pursue friendship and cooperation with other countries, as it expands relations with the rest of the world.

China stands ready to work with Trinidad and Tobago and other countries to strengthen international cooperation on COVID-19 control, promote stability in the world economy, advance global governance, and uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core and a global order based on international law.

Together we can win this fight against COVID-19 and build a human community with a shared future of peace, development and prosperity.

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