The Daily Mail, Pakistan
It's time to revive concept of border based security
By Wang Wen  ·  2020-07-09  ·   Source: Daily Mail

If we regard the January 23 lockdown of Wuhan, the city in central China with a population of over 11 million where the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak was first reported, as the start of China’s combat against the epidemic, it took three weeks for the infection to peak. Then in early March, the number of daily new cases dropped to under 100. Today, most industrial production has been back on track across the country. This is a miracle achieved by the 1.4-billion Chinese through efficient measures and concerted efforts. It might seem odd for the freedom-comes-first Western culture, but China did what it took to succeed.

Therefore it is regrettable to see the people who defeated the once-in-a-century epidemic get bombarded with misinterpretations, attacks and distortions by some U.S. media and politicians. This is arousing indignation across the country.

Some of them allege that China cooked the books about the epidemic statistics and its policies are not transparent. They should know that China has entered the 5G era, a period when everyone can get all the information about the epidemic on their mobile phones. Data such as the number of new confirmed cases, imported cases, recovered cases and active cases in different provinces are updated daily. Even the case numbers in each neighborhood can be clearly identified. In these circumstances, who would dare to falsify data concerning people's lives?

There are also insinuations that the virus not only originated in China but was actually created by China in a laboratory. The origin of the virus is an issue to be resolved by scientists. It is despicable to create such excuses to shift the blame for the West's own failure.

Let's compare the situations of Beijing and New York. Beijing, which is far closer to Wuhan than New York City—just 2,000 km away—recorded nine deaths due to COVID-19. However, New York, 20,000 km away from Wuhan, recorded 20,000-plus deaths. Who should therefore be held responsible for what is happening in New York?

What is more, a small group of people are even attempting to claim compensation from China, arguing that it was China's covering up of the epidemic that led to such a serious situation in the U.S. However, facts speak louder than words. China notified the U.S. of the situation on January 3. The news of Wuhan's lockdown was reported worldwide. U.S. President Donald Trump posted at least three tweets in February, praising the efficiency and transparency of the Chinese Government. Have those U.S. politicians forgotten this? Not to mention that the 2008 financial crisis, totally created by the Americans, caused millions of families worldwide to go bankrupt. Anybody around the world received any compensation from the U.S.? AIDS was first discovered in the US. We did not name it "America virus."

Indeed, most Chinese are aware of the real purpose of some U.S. politicians' and U.S. media's blame game. They simply want to distract public opinion from the United States' own failure to deal with the epidemic in order to evade responsibility for becoming the country with the highest numbers of infections and fatalities in the world.

Most Chinese believe that the best choice for us is to do a good job in our own affairs and in our own way, and together with other countries usher in a new chapter of human civilization. It will feature a new vision prioritizing life, the environment as well as common security and benefits and discourage selfish interests in safeguarding national security. This transformation of civilization will echo the change that occurred after the Black Death in the 14th century, a plague that killed millions in Eurasia and North Africa. It inspired reflection on the relationship between human beings and the world, nurtured the Renaissance and midwifed the modern civilization.

During the 20th century, defined by British historian Eric John Ernest Hobsbawm as the "Age of Extremes," wars claimed 110 million lives and epidemics killed 1.4 billion. COVID-19 should be a wake-up call for us to regain our veneration of nature and the ecological system, even microorganisms. It should also redefine the paradigm of research so that the best brains study the impact of epidemics on the economy of various countries and the world as a whole.

What human society needs is a thorough change in the state administrative capability, transforming and changing the practices and administration at different levels of governments for greater preparedness to address public health crises. And in addition, it needs an active commitment to prevent poverty-stricken regions from becoming virus hotbeds. And finally, we need conceptual rethinking of the global governance philosophy.

To focus solely on border security is narrow-minded. Finger pointing in a global crisis is shortsighted. Infectious diseases constitute challenges far beyond the realm of medical science and the borders of any single country. They test our global conceptions and mindset. This is the painful lesson that we have learned from COVID-19.

What worries me is the possibility of a third wave of COVID-19. With the first wave in East Asia basically under control and the second wave in Europe and the U.S. about to peak, Africa and South Asia, with a total population of more than 3 billion people, may become the next epicenters. In an effort to curb this possible third wave, the Chinese Government has sent medical teams and donated medical supplies to more than 150 countries and international organizations.

I sincerely hope that COVID-19 will soon be overcome, and that all countries, cities and people will return to normality. 
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