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Sunday, March 29, 2020, 20:22
Analysts: China's help shores up global fight against pandemic
By Yang Han
Sunday, March 29, 2020, 20:22 By Yang Han


Locals check documents on medical equipment donated by China at the Jakarta airport, Indonesia, March 28, 2020. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

HONG KONG – The medical assistance and information sharing provided by China will not only help shore up confidence of other countries effectively fight against the novel coronavirus, but deepen mutual trust and friendship in a community of shared public health, according to analysts from international organizations and research institutes. 

With the coordination of the Chinese embassy in Thailand, China’s Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation have donated medical supplies such as masks and protective garments to Thailand

“Considering that China is still going through a very rough period in her domestically, the donations to Thailand, in the form of various kinds of masks and other related apparatus, are truly felt in the hearts of every Thai,” said Korn Dabbaransi, president of the Thai-Chinese Friendship Association (TCFA) and former deputy prime minister of Thailand. TCFA was among the first in Thailand to donate medical materials to China weeks ago.  

With the coordination of the Chinese embassy in Thailand, China’s Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation have donated medical supplies such as masks and protective garments to Thailand. The supplies reached Bangkok on March 25, according to the embassy. 

“The precious medical gifts from China have arrived at the most auspicious time,” said Dabbaransi, noting the supplies from China arrived just in time to equip Thai organizations to be able to effectively fight the deadly virus. 

The mutual assistance over the past three months has only confirmed the cultural beliefs of Thai people as they have always regarded China as their deep-rooted relatives all along, said Dabbaransi. 

In Pakistan, officials from both Pakistan and China take a group photo to celebrate the arrival of donated materials from Shanghai, China, March 29, 2020. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

So far China has provided assistance to 89 countries and four international organizations to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the China International Development Cooperation Agency on March 26. 

Apart from professional medical groups to several countries, large groups of Chinese doctors are also sharing frontline experience with overseas doctors online. In Asia, medical supplies and medical workers from China have been sent to 28 countries across the region. 

“I appreciate China’s gestures in sending the assistance in terms of medical kits and other things at this challenging time,” said Abdul Majid Ahmad Khan, president of the Malaysia-China Friendship Association (MCFA). 

On March 26, MCFA received medical supplies, including 10,000 testing kits, masks and sanitizers, from a group of Chinese organizations and companies. The supplies have been handed to front-liners at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and local students. 

Abdul Majid said his organization is helping to arrange for more donations of medical supplies to arrive from China in the coming days. 

“I think China is showing the right way toward global cooperation,” said the former Malaysian ambassador to China. 

He said this is “clearly manifested in the last week or so when China has extended assistance to almost all countries (affected by the COVID-19), not just in Southeast Asia, but also in Europe”

Thai-Chinese Friendship Association President Korn Dabbaransi (6th left) led a group of members to the Chinese embassy in Bangkok to donate masks to Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei province, on January 30, 2020. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY) 

Noting the number of COVID-19 cases has been growing rapidly in Indonesia in the past few days, Jondras Kasrian, honorary president of The Chinese Indonesian Association, said China’s donation and its willingness to share its experience will provide guidance and confidence to the Southeast Asian nation in controlling and preventing the novel coronavirus. 

China has paid a lot of effort in the fight against the COVID-19, and now it is helping people in other countries to better know and deal with the virus 

Jondras Kasrian, honorary president of The Chinese Indonesian Association

Medical supplies, including testing kits, masks, protective garments, portable ventilators, arrived in Jakarta on March 28, according to the Chinese embassy in Indonesia. Besides donating needed supplies, the embassy said it will provide support for the Indonesian government and companies to procure supplies from China to combat the COVID-19 virus.  

“China has paid a lot of effort in the fight against the COVID-19, and now it is helping people in other countries to better know and deal with the virus,” said Kasrian. “People in the world should say thank you to China.”  

The assistance from China to Indonesia will be very meaningful in strengthening bilateral relations, said Veronika S Saraswati, head of China Study Unit at Jakarta-based think tank Centre for Strategic and International Studies. 

“Indonesia is currently facing its hardest time,” said Saraswati. “Giving help and assistance is actually not a responsibility but it is a choice. China chooses to give a hand to help, for sure this help is very valuable as a friendly country.”

More importantly, besides help with medical supplies and equipment, Saraswati said the country needs to learn from China how to counter the disease. “China has showed the effectiveness of their methods and it is important for these methods to be shared,” she added. 

In South Korea, after the first batch of masks donated by the Chinese government arrived on March 11, Chinese companies and organizations have continued to donate various medical supplies to the country. Many municipalities, including Wuhan in Hubei Province, have made donations of medical materials to South Korean cities as a gratitude to their previous help to China. 

China and South Korea have truly realized people-to-people connectivity with deepened mutual understanding, as seen from the mutual assistance from the governments and the society during the fight against the COVID-19, said Yu Wanying, senior researcher at Sungkyun Institute of China Studies at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul. 

ALSO READ: Beijing gives aid to 89 countries

Yu said the wide assistance provided by China will help convey the value of building a community with a shared future, while protecting the achievements and results that China had during its fight against the COVID-19. 

“The pandemic has shown the world that the level of globalization has developed far beyond our imagination,” said Yu. 

Countries have become so close and deeply related that when lives are facing challenges during pandemics like the COVID-19, the only choice for the world is to jointly fight against it, said Yu.

Noting the proverb “a friend in need is a friend indeed” best describes the relations between China and South Korea during the pandemic, he said the cooperation will help promote mutual trust and push the strategic cooperative partnership to a higher level. 

Yu also hopes the joint COVID-19 control mechanism between the two countries can set an example for international cooperation in fighting against the pandemic. 

The assistance from China to the international community showcased the virtue to repay goodwill with greater kindness and the country’s responsibility as a big country, said Yu.

READ MORE: Xi promises full support for WHO

The Chinese embassy in Pakistan said eight Chinese medical experts arrived in Islamabad, Pakistan on March 28, together with medical supplies including masks, protective garments, ventilators, defibrillator monitors and drugs for treating the COVID-19. This followed the first batch of nearly 2 tons of medical supplies from China on March 27.

Previously, China had sent medical experts to virus-hit countries such as Iran, Iraq, Serbia, Cambodia, Italy and Spain, according to the Chinese foreign ministry.

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