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After the storm comes the rainbow-epidemic challenges will be temporary: Chinese Ambassador to Samoa

(People's Daily Online)    13:43, February 24, 2020

Apia, February 24 (People’s Daily Online) Samoa Observer published a signed article on coping with the novel coronavirus by China’s Ambassador to Samoa Chao Xiaoliang.

Shock of the epidemic will be temporary and short-lived. With its strong resilience, potential and vitality, the Chinese economy is well positioned to overcome all risks and challenges. What the virus has done is cruel and will not last. What friends have done is warm and will be remembered forever, writes the Chinese Ambassador.

The full text is as follows:

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP), China has mobilized itself and adopted the most comprehensive and rigorous preventive and control measures. Our medical professionals and people from all walks of life are fighting this epidemic with all might, demonstrating a spirit of fearlessness and sacrifice. Through arduous efforts, the epidemic is generally under control, and the dawn has begun to appear. As of February 19th, outside Hubei province, the number of confirmed cases has been declining for 16 consecutive days and the cured cases across China is rising significantly to more than 16,000.

There have been apprehensions about negative impact of the epidemic on China’s economy. It is inevitable that the outbreak will pose a short-term blow to consumption and affect certain industries. However, shock of the epidemic will be temporary and short-lived. With its strong resilience, potential and vitality, the Chinese economy is well positioned to overcome all risks and challenges.

At present, the Chinese government is actively supporting and promoting the resumption of work nationwide. According to the statistics released by State Council Information Office, the work resumption rate for industries such as petroleum, petrochemicals, communications, power grid and transportation has exceeded 95%. China’s central and local governments are making targeted efforts to help relevant industries, especially the small and medium-sized enterprises deal with problems in investment, production and business operation with the goal of minimizing the impact of the epidemic. After experiencing a short-term fluctuation, China's stock market has come back to normalcy and the flagship Shanghai Composite Index has jumped by more than 10% since February 4th, which fully demonstrated investors' confidence in China's future economic growth.

The fundamentals sustaining sound economic growth have not changed and will not change. China is a market with a population of 1.4 billion and 400 million middle-income earners. Consumption that had been constrained or delayed by the epidemic will surely be restored. It is reasonable to expect a rebound in some hard-hit sectors, such as tourism, film and television, entertainment, catering, and retail industries once the outbreak is over. What is more, the outbreak is providing opportunities for the emerging industries such as online entertainment, online medical care, distance learning and etc, which will foster new growth points for the high-quality development of the Chinese economy.

Philosopher McLuhan famously says, we look at the present through a rear-view mirror. In retrospect of the year 2003 when SARS broke out, China’s economic growth in the second quarter was affected, but it rebounded in the third quarter as soon as the pandemic disappeared and the annual economic development targets were well achieved. Now, the foundations of the Chinese economy are more solid than those in 2003, with its GDP totaled more than 14 trillion USD and GDP per capita more than 10,000 USD. China has become the only country in the world to host all industrial categories of the United Nations industry classification system. Therefore, we have every reason to believe that after the epidemic eases, China's economy will again return to stable growth.

In an era of economic globalization, the Chinese and world economies are highly integrated. In 2019, China is expected to account for more than 16% of the world's GDP and contribute more than 30% to world economic growth, being the biggest contributor for 14 years in a row. If the Chinese economy is severely damaged, there will inevitably be spillover effects on other countries. In face of the epidemic,the urgent task for the international community is to make concerted efforts to fight the NCP, resume normal state-to-state exchange and cooperation as soon as possible, and boost international trade and global economic growth.

In recent days, Samoan government and friends have expressed understanding, support and compassion for China, we feel deeply touched. What the virus has done is cruel and will not last. What friends have done is warm and will be remembered forever. Although people exchanges between China and Samoa have been affected due to the epidemic, which has also led to the suspension of some cooperation projects between the two countries, we believe that as the situation evolves, these projects will gradually resume work in an orderly manner.

Currently, Samoa is being buffeted by heavy rain and damaging winds, but we all know that the tropical depression will finally get over and after the storm comes the rainbow. Likewise, just as the Samoan saying "O le tele o lima e mama ai se avega" goes, with the strong support of the international community including Samoa, the Chinese people will definitely win the battle against the epidemic and enjoy more sound and sustainable economic and social development.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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