Accusations Targeting China’s COVID Response Are Completely Political Manipulation

By H.E. CONG Peiwu, Chinese Ambassador to Canada

Not long ago, I published an article on Ottawa Life Magazine. Some readers were very interested in it and hoped to know further information about China’s COVID response. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce more.

Recently, China has been optimized prevention and control protocols of COVID in accordance with the evolving situation, which is welcomed by many countries. But the US and a few other Western countries have groundlessly accused China and impose restrictions targeting travelers from China. That is totally for political purposes and does not stand up to scrutiny.

First, the effectiveness of China’s COVID response is beyond doubt. Since COVID began three years ago, the Chinese government has always put the people and their lives above all else, effectively coordinated COVID response with economic and social development, protected the lives and health of the people and reduced the impact of the epidemic on economic and social development to the maximum extent. Globally speaking, China has had the lowest rates of severe cases and mortality. The average annual economic growth rate for the past three years stood at around 4.5%, higher than the global average. At present, China’s COVID situation on the whole remains steady and under control. Life and work are gradually coming back to normal, travel around the country is warming up. The new travel measures will better facilitate the safe and orderly cross-border travel of Chinese and foreign nationals, and prove to be a boon for the global economy. Many countries warmly welcome Chinese tourists. Senior government officials of some countries greeted passengers from China at the airport. We also noted that some experts believe that restriction measures targeting travelers from China are absolutely political moves without scientific basis. And quite many people have said if the US had not politicized the epidemic, and had treated it responsibly and put people’s life first like the Chinese government, perhaps the COVID situation in the US and the whole world would not have become what it is today.

Second, China’s COVID response is scientific and precise. Over the past three years, the Chinese government has, based on facts, the evolving situation and its national realities, formulated science-based and targeted COVID policy that serves the interests of the vast majority of the Chinese people. China has won three valuable “window periods”, in which the toxicity of the new COVID variant continued to decline, the capacity for drugs research and development and medical treatment further improved, and the population got widely vaccinated. China now issued steps to shift the focus from stemming infection to caring for health and preventing severe cases. The COVID situation in China is predictable and under control. In contrast, The open-access data of the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID) has shown that over the past three years, almost all COVID variants and sub-variants have spread widely in the US, making it one of the countries with more COVID variants than others.

Third, China’s epidemic information is open and transparent. Since COVID began, China has been sharing information and data with the international community in an open and transparent manner. We reported the spread of the virus to the WHO at the earliest opportunity. We immediately sequenced and published the genome of the virus, we shared China’s protocols for diagnostics, treatment and containment with the world. Those efforts marked an important contribution to global vaccine and drugs research and development. We have been in close communication with the WHO. In the past month alone, we had five technical exchanges with the organization. Relevant Chinese departments and institutions continue to share the genomic sequencing data on infections in China via GISAID. All these have received recognition from the WHO and the international community.

We truly hope the focus of every member of international community will be on tackling the virus rather than politicizing the COVID issue, so as to step up solidarity and make joint efforts to defeat the pandemic at an early date.