Cong Peiwu is the Chinese ambassador to Canada.
A friend in need is a friend indeed.
In the 1930s, Dr. Norman Bethune served in the Chinese battlefield thousands of miles away from his homeland and sacrificed his own life to support Chinese people in the World’s Anti-Fascism War. In 2008, when Wenchuan county in southwest China’s Sichuan province was struck by a big earthquake, the Canadian government and its people provided the Chinese side with aid. In the present fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Canadian government and its people offered valuable support and assistance to Chinese people again.
Ever since the outbreak of the epidemic, the Canadian government has been following the professional advice given by the World Health Organization (WHO) and upholding a scientific and rational attitude. The Canadian government has supported the Chinese response to the epidemic, publicly opposed discrimination and stigmatization against Chinese-Canadians, and donated urgently needed medical supplies to China; people from all sectors of Canadian life have also played an active part by donating money and supplies. Presidents of various Canadian universities expressed their support for the Chinese government and people in the fight against the epidemic as well as their welcome for Chinese students and scholars for further study in Canada.
It is inspired by Dr. Bethune’s legacy. As Lee Errett, the president of Bethune Medical Association of Canada and professor of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine who started a fundraising campaign for medical workers in Wuhan, said: "We are doing this on behalf of Dr. Bethune and we care for the people living on this planet.” Murray Sherk, a Canadian teacher of the University of Science and Technology of China who was spending his holiday in Thailand, chose to come back to China after the outbreak of the epidemic and has been giving lectures to students online. Slogans – “United By Love, Together We Stand”, “Be Strong, China”, “Be Strong, Wuhan” – have appeared at some screens in some Canadian city squares, and the Chinese people have been touched by the kindness and actions of the Canadian government and its people, once again.
Canada understands that we now live in a global village – we are a community with a shared future sharing weal and woe. There are no national boundaries in solving public health issues. This is why humanity should join hands to cope with it together.
In the face of this sudden epidemic outbreak, the Chinese government has adopted the most comprehensive, strict and thorough prevention and control measures, setting a good example in the fight against the epidemic. The measures adopted by China not only help control the spread of the epidemic within China but also contain its spread to other countries, which help create a precious window of time for the prevention and control of the epidemic all over the world. China is being responsible to the well-being of all Chinese people and also contributing to global public health.
China and Canada are working closely with each other to win the battle against this epidemic. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has exchanged opinions with Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne on the prevention and control of the epidemic through phone calls and meetings. The Chinese government pursues openness, transparency and responsibility, sharing epidemic-related information and genetic sequences of the virus with the WHO and other relevant countries and regions, including Canada. And the famous Canadian epidemiologist Bruce Aylward led a group of WHO experts in the field in Wuhan to provide valuable advice to better help China and the global community fight against the epidemic. China also provided as much convenience and assistance as possible when Ottawa was evacuating Canadians from Wuhan. China is willing to share more information and experience with Canada in the fight against the epidemic.
No winter lasts forever, and spring is sure to follow. We have faith that we will win the battle against COVID-19 and we are also fully convinced that with efforts made by countries around the world, the international community will definitely achieve the final victory against the epidemic.
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