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China's innovation hub joins global war against COVID-19

(Xinhua)    15:16, March 27, 2020

SHENZHEN, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Shenzhen, one of China's most vibrant and innovative cities, has become an important source of anti-virus supplies in the global fight against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

At its international airport, tens of thousands of masks are about to be sent to Busan in the Republic of Korea. On the packing cases, a verse written by an ancient Korean poet says "sincere treatment with each other."

Meanwhile, the city's Baoan District had just assembled a batch of anti-coronavirus supplies for its sister city of Avignon in France. A household French saying meaning "victory belongs to the most persevering" was attached to each of the cases.

Test kits bearing the sentence "One World, One Fight" donated by alumni of Shenzhen-based Peking University HSBC Business School are on the way to hospitals in London.

The city has donated over 300,000 medical masks, thousands of test kits and protective suits to eight virus-hit cities in four countries so far, and planned to donate more supplies to its sister cities in 16 countries.

"The pandemic has temporarily blocked our physical contact, but not our friendship. Shenzhen and its sister cities will forge ahead together to win the anti-virus battle," said Sun Huaizhong, deputy head of Shenzhen's foreign affairs office.

Sun said the city's companies, industry associations and public organizations have been mobilized to pool funds and resources for the city's supplies to reach global battlefields.

"Our staff have been working around the clock to collect anti-virus supplies for European and American countries," said Zhu Shunhua, president of the city's watchmakers association, which has collected 70,000 single-use medical masks and over 6,000 N95 masks.

Shenzhen is located in Guangdong, a southern Chinese province known as the "world factory" for its complete categories of products and strong manufacturing capacities.

"We didn't stop our machines during the Lunar New Year holiday in a bid to meet the surging demands of respirators and patient monitors," said Li Xiting, president of Mindray medical devices company in Shenzhen.

"Italy ordered nearly 10,000 devices in early March, and the UK ordered several thousand units just recently," Li said. "We have added extra shifts for production."

The Shenzhen Airport Group has also opened green channels for anti-virus materials to ensure quick cargo handling, "zero-delay" clearance, and top priority aircraft release.

Statistics showed that the airport had provided support to eight chartered international cargo flights carrying over 300 tonnes of coronavirus prevention and control materials over the past week.

In addition to materials, Shenzhen is actively sharing its experience in combating the virus as well.

At 4 p.m. on Thursday, a video conference was held between government officials and medical experts of Shenzhen and their counterparts in the Polish city of Poznan. Shenzhen's actions on coronavirus control and prevention were shared at the conference.

As China's innovation hub, high-tech enterprises of Shenzhen have also contributed to the war.

BGI, a leading life science and genomics organization, is working together with dozens of foreign countries and regions on instant virus testing. Drone maker DJI is also carrying out anti-virus missions such as aerial disinfection and air delivery in countries including Italy and Spain.

"As a Chinese saying goes, a little help brings back much return. We're grateful for the help we received from the global community months back. Now we would do whatever we can to return the favor," Sun said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: He Zhuoyan, Liang Jun)

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