China Reopen its Door to the World

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By H.E. LU Kun, Chinese Ambassador to Ghana

H.E. LU Kun, Chinese Ambassador to Ghana

Put People and Life First

Over the past three years, the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc around the globe and posed enormous challenges to all countries including China. The Communist Party of China and the Chinese government, putting the people and their lives first, have made every effort to protect the lives, safety and health of the Chinese people. Though China accounts for 18.32% of the world’s population, its total COVID-19 deaths are equivalent to 0.08% as of the worldwide. Over the past three years, China has effectively responded to five global COVID waves and avoided widespread infections with the original strain and the Delta variant. The life expectancy in China has increased steadily, with the average lifespan rising from 77.93 years in 2020 to 78.2 years in 2021. China was the only major economy to achieve positive growth in 2020. Its total economic output exceeded 17 trillion US Dollars in 2021 and accounted for 18.5% of the world economy.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, China, upholding the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, has made significant contribution to protect global public health. China shared the genome sequence of the virus at the earliest opportunity, making important contribution to the drug and vaccine research and development in countries around the world. We shared pandemic control and treatment information with over 180 countries and more than 10 international and regional organizations, dispatched 38 medical expert teams to 34 countries and has provided hundreds of billions of pandemic control supplies to 153 countries and 15 international organizations and provided over 2.2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to over 120 countries and international organizations. The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed thanks to China for its important contributions to the international cooperation in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in achieving a fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in developing countries.

Adjusting and Optimizing COVID-19 Policies

In the light of the marked decline of the pathogenicity and virulence in Omicron and the steady rise of China’s capacity for medical treatment, pathogen detection and vaccination, China has refined its COVID-19 response measures, shifting focus from stemming infection to protecting health and preventing severe cases. According to the recently released Notice on Provisional Measures on Cross-border Travel, starting from January 8, 2023, inbound travelers will no longer conduct nucleic acid testing on arrival, outbound travel of Chinese citizens will resume in an orderly manner. The purpose is to better coordinate COVID-19 response with economic and social development, and ensure the normalcy of people’s life and work.

All countries go through a period of adaptation when shifting gear in their COVID-19 policies and China is no exception. China’s COVID-19 policy adjustment is science-based, timely and necessary. The fight against COVID-19 in the past three years has laid the foundation and created necessary conditions for the latest round of policy adjustment. Relevant Chinese authorities have shared the genome data of the virus from COVID cases in China via the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID). China will continue to closely monitor the mutation of the virus, release epidemic information in a timely, open and transparent manner in accordance with the law, and work with the international community to meet the challenges of the epidemic. The overall COVID-19 situation in China is within expectation and under control. We are confident that we will have an accelerated return of normal economic and social life and secure a complete and final victory against COVID-19.

Reinvigorate the World Economy

China’s latest policy adjustment will create new conditions for stronger international exchanges and cooperation. As the economic recovery gathers steam after China continues to refine COVID-19 policies, China’s adjustment of its strategy has been well-received and supported by the international society. Foreign firms hold optimistic expectations for their performance in the Chinese market in the coming year. The WHO is pleased to see China loosening some of its COVID-19 restrictions. Foreign business communities in China, including the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, are optimistic about China’s recovery as they see the ability to revive from hurdles is rooted in the nation’s culture. A senior executive of Henkel stated that the continuous optimization of pandemic control measures in China speaks to China’s commitments to safeguard economic and social development amid the pandemic. A representative from the China-Britain Business Council said China’s decision to ease border restrictions is extremely welcomed. Tourist destinations across the world can’t wait to welcome Chinese tourists as cross-border travel searches soar in China. According to J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s forecast, China’s GDP growth may rebound to over 5 percent in 2023.

China and Ghana Fighting the COVID Together

China attaches great importance to medical and health cooperation with Ghana, and has sent eleven medical expert teams to Ghana, making great contributions in helping Ghana fight against malaria, AIDS, cholera and typhoid. After the COVID -19 outbreak, China sent a charted flight to deliver medical supplies to Africa via Ghana. The adjustment of China’s COVID response measures provides new opportunities for closer economic and cultural exchanges between the two countries . We will continue to pull together with Ghana in the trying times, and deepen cooperation with Ghana in the field of medical and health. We are confident that economic, trade and people-to-people exchanges and cooperation will become even closer and robust in the coming days.

The global pandemic is not yet over. China stands ready to make concerted efforts with the rest of the world to fight the pandemic together and protect the health and safety of the people, promote world peace and development, and advance the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

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