BRUSSELS, March 26 (Xinhua) -- As the coronavirus pandemic looms large, China and the European Union (EU) need to work together to champion and facilitate international solidarity, Zhang Ming, Head of the Chinese Mission to the EU, wrote in an article carried on Thursday by European media.
The two sides should also cooperate in strengthening the weak links and seeking a long-term solution to defend global health security, according to the signed article entitled "To fight the pandemic, put trust and cooperation before politics," which appeared in the Brussels Times as well as in Euractiv and EUobserver.
Zhang pointed out that "a friend in need is a friend indeed. When China's fight against the outbreak was in a most difficult stage, the EU, its member states and their citizens extended a warm and helping hand, for which China is deeply grateful. As the situation is getting more serious in Europe, we share your worries and woes as our own and extend our deep sympathies. We are also providing support in the best way we could, despite China's own high demand for medical supplies at home and production challenges."
According to the ambassador, the Chinese central government has provided to the EU and its member states medical protective equipment in large quantities, including respirators, face masks, goggles, protective gowns and ventilators. Chinese local governments, charity organizations and business communities are also making contributions through various channels, so are the Chinese communities living in Europe. Former Italian prime minister and former president of the European Commission Romano Prodi told China that "Your donation is a signal of friendship and solidarity that we will never forget. I do hope that the world will understand that we are really in the same boat."
Zhang wrote that "In fighting the virus, China has made huge sacrifices and gained valuable experience. Such experience is a common asset, which we hope could help save other countries from further sacrifices. Chinese and European health specialists are working closely together, both online and on the ground. The two sides share good practices via video conferences. Chinese medical teams are fighting the pandemic shoulder to shoulder with their European colleagues in Italy and other countries, offering their experience and expertise."
He argued that "viruses do not discriminate on the basis of race or nationality. The best way to help oneself is to help others. Any attempt to put a Chinese or European label on the coronavirus is to despise science and life. Our fight against the virus has nothing to do with social system or geopolitics."
According to the ambassador, "to politicize the outbreak or view China's efforts with suspicion is nothing but parochial and detrimental. When people's lives and health are at stake, the only right thing to do is to put politics and prejudice aside and join the global fight against the virus."
He also noted that "the response to the outbreak is like a mirror, which well reflects that China-EU relations are essentially about cooperation and partnership ... The mirror also reflects the global significance of China-EU relations. Both supporting and upholding multilateralism, China and the EU share the belief that, in face of global challenges at a trying time, it is important to rise to the occasion together rather than blame others, pass the buck or adopt beggar-thy-neighbor policies."