Ambassador Zhang Lizhong Published An Article “Putting the People’s Lives First, Welcoming the Dawn of Victory” in the New Vision
2023-01-06 21:35

On 6th January 2023, Ambassador Zhang Lizhong published an article titled Putting the People’s Lives First, Welcoming the Dawn of Victory in New Vision, full text of which is as follows:

With the New Year approaching, shopping centers and cinemas in Beijing are welcoming a steady increase in shopper foot traffic. Beijing has become the first city to go through the infection peak, and life and work are returning to normal in the capital. The Covid-19 situation in China is generally stable and controllable, and people are making plans to work, study and travel.

That’s why the Chinese government has announced that, starting from 8 January, Covid-19 will be managed with measures against Class B instead of the more serious Class A infectious diseases in accordance with the law. There will also be new cross-border travel rules. For visitors to China, no Covid test will be mandatory upon arrival and no centralized quarantine will be required if someone tests positive while in the country.

With the mutation of the virus, the change of the epidemic situation, the popularization of vaccination and the accumulation of experience in prevention and control, China's epidemic prevention and control has entered a new stage. Shifting from infection prevention to medical treatment, China is making efforts to ensure a smooth, orderly transition of its measures.

In the past three years, China has always put people first and give top priority to people's lives in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the onset of the virus, the Chinese government has effectively safeguarded the lives and health of the people during the most harmful period of the virus. Our response policies have been effective, science-based and in line with China’s national conditions. China has withstood the impact of five infection waves around the world, successfully avoided the widespread prevalence of the original strain and the Delta variant, and greatly reduced severe cases and mortality.

China has raced against time to roll out vaccines, rapid test kits, and medication and expanded the capacity of fever clinics. China has developed effective COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment expertise and medicines and kept improving its capacities in terms of medical treatment, pathogen detection, and epidemiological investigation. China’s vaccine production capacity is 7bn doses a year and has administered 3.4bn doses of the vaccine. To date, 90% of people are fully vaccinated and 86% of those aged 60 and above are fully vaccinated. We have been vigorously promoting the booster shot, with a focus on strengthening the vaccination and health management of older people. more than 90 percent of its population has been vaccinated. As the anti-virus focus shifts to treating cases, China has taken a combination of measures to boost access to medical treatment and drugs, improve health services for the elderly and other key groups, accelerate COVID-19 vaccination, and strengthen epidemic prevention and control in rural areas.

Recently, as the number of infections increases, some people have hoarded medicines as a precaution, resulting in some temporary shortages in certain locations. But generally speaking, supply is not an issue because of China’s strong production capacity. For example, the daily production capacity of both paracetamol and ibuprofen has reached more than 75m tablets, and the daily production capacity of antigen testing reagents has exceeded 100m doses. Active efforts are also being made to ensure the supply of relevant medicines by increasing market supply and encouraging reasonable, orderly and targeted delivery.

In the past three years, China has also done what it can to help other countries. Facing the global epidemic, China launched the largest global emergency humanitarian operation since the founding of New China, making contributions to global public health endeavors. China has not only provided and exported anti-epidemic products to more than 200 countries and regions but also unreservedly aided over 120 countries and international organizations with 2.2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines.It has sent 38 medical expert teams to 34 countries and supported more than 180 countries and international organizations in fighting the COVID-19 with its treatment protocols and containment strategies. Chinese aid has helped save thousands of lives around the world and honored its commitment to building a community with a shared future for humanity.

In the past three years, China has blazed a righteous path of coordinating epidemic prevention and control and economic and social development in a highly efficient way. Despite global headwinds in 2020, China was the first major economy across the globe that registered growth. The average annual growth rate for 2020 and 2021 reached 5.1 percent. The country has also successfully eradicated absolute poverty, a hard-won feat considering the disruptions caused by the pandemic. In 2022, the Chinese economy is continuing to pursue recovery. China's GDP increased by 3 percent year on year in the first three quarters of this year. On the basis of 2.5-percent year-on-year growth in the first half of the year, it continued to consolidate its upward trend. As various policies are carried out, the economic prospects for the next year are sound.

As the Covid-19 situation in China continues to improve, the effects of policies to stabilize economic growth continue to emerge, and the exchange of Chinese and foreign personnel becomes easier, China’s long-subdued consumer demand will be released, investor confidence will be boosted and the economy will rebound strongly. This is good news for not just China but the entire global economy.

Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and guided by the philosophy of putting the people and their lives first, China has protected people's lives and health to the greatest extent and minimized the impact of the epidemic on the country's economic and social development. China on a new journey of the new era, represents stability, certainty and opportunities and will continue to inject positive energy into world development.

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