Interview: Oxford scholar sees COVID-19 pandemic as "wake-up call for collaboration"

Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-25 17:35:10|Editor: xuxin
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LONDON, March 25 (Xinhua) -- An Oxford University scholar has called upon the Group of 20 (G20) countries to be the "anchor in a storm" for the COVID-19 pandemic, which she described as a "wake-up call for collaboration."

Major governments should coordinate their policies and measures in the fight against the pandemic and promote economic stability and growth at the upcoming virtual G20 Summit, Fu Xiaolan, founding director of the Technology and Management Centre for Development (TMCD) of the University of Oxford, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

"Viruses have no nationality. They are the enemy of human community and no country. Nobody has the privilege to be exempted from their attacks," said Fu.

She noted that to cope with such challenges as this pandemic, the international community should focus on the "3-Cs" cooperation mode, namely, "cooperation in scientific research and knowledge sharing; coordination in non-medical intervention in combating the virus; cooperation in stabilizing markets, mitigating the negative impact of an economic recession, and prevention of a global economic crisis."

China's anti-epidemic measures, despite initial difficulties, are "effective, as well as widely recognized by experts and governments in many countries," she said, adding that "the sacrifice of the Chinese people and government in preventing the spread of COVID-19 epidemic has won the world one or two months' time."

By offering aid, dispatching medical teams, and holding video conferences, China's efforts to help other countries battle the epidemic and share its own experiences with them reflects its sincerity, she said.

The scholar praised the Chinese government and scientists for their timely sharing of medical data with other countries, saying that in the face of the unknown virus, China took swift and firm action and innovated treatment by applying both new and traditional methods to patients.

Meanwhile, she condemned xenophobia, emphasizing that stigmatizing other countries or communities will not save any lives, nor will it kill the virus.

She expects China to "appeal for and co-lead global collaboration with other countries to fight the pandemic, acting quickly and proactively, coordinating policies and strategies, and sharing knowledge and experience" at the G20 virtual meeting.

The professor expressed her hope that the World Health Organization (WHO) will play a critical role in "helping low-income countries in the prevention of the virus outbreak."

"This global health crisis needs global cooperation," she stressed, adding that this could also be an opportunity for all countries to put aside their differences and pull together.

Fu also warned of the risk of deglobalization and regionalism after the pandemic, saying "this is harmful to the global economy."

"Therefore, all G20 countries should reach a consensus and clearly declare their support for multilateralism and global cooperation, while reforming the global governance system to ensure a more balanced globalization process," she said.

The professor also suggested the G20 issue a joint declaration to show global solidarity in fighting the pandemic and promoting economic growth, protecting the stability of global supply chains and the jobs that depend on them.

The Saudi Arabian G20 Presidency will host the virtual G20 Summit in response to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 26.