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Cooperation, solidarity and wisdom needed to defeat COVID-19: former FM

(Xinhua)    09:52, May 03, 2020

ISLAMABAD, May 2 (Xinhua) -- The world needs cooperation, solidarity and wisdom to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic -- a common challenge facing mankind, instead of blame-shifting or smearing China, former Pakistani Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry has said.

"China was the first country to wage a heroic fight against this virus and defeated it. There are lessons for every country to learn from the Chinese experience," Chaudhry told Xinhua in a recent interview, adding that "the United States is an important global power; if it indulges in a competition or rivalry with China, the whole world can suffer."

The U.S. administration is facing tremendous pressure on the domestic front, owing to a deep political polarization in the country and challenges caused by the coronavirus, said Chaudhry, who also served as the Pakistani ambassador to the United States from March 2017 to May 2018.

Noting that some analysts have seen Washington's sudden spike in rhetoric against China as an alibi to hide the White House's failure to tackle the coronavirus promptly and effectively, Chaudhry suggested that attempts to smear China might also be part of political campaign tactics in this election year.

"As the virus is playing havoc in the United States as indeed in other countries ... instead of deflecting the attention of the people from the real issue by blaming China, it would be better for the two major powers to be in a cooperative mode and fight together to stop the spread of the disease and losses of lives and businesses," he said.

"At the moment, any attempt to politicize this pandemic is highly condemnable; humanity needs cooperation at this time more than ever," he said.

It is pointless to attribute the spread of COVID-19 to China as the country itself suffered greatly as a result of the disease, Chaudhry said, adding that it would be extremely undiplomatic to level charges against China.

Now, the world is in dire need of unity to make collective efforts in the development of vaccines to protect the world from the virus, he said.

"We ought to understand that it is an issue of human lives across the world. We need to know that the virus attacks irrespective of geographic location or nationality," he said, adding "China performed a tremendous job to contain the rapid spread of the virus amid mammoth psychological pressure."

Chaudhry said the Chinese leadership seems unperturbed by the smearing tactics and is continuing to fight the disease in the country and beyond, providing generous assistance to many countries affected by the virus.

"After successfully dealing with the epidemic at home, China is focusing on assisting the severely affected countries through medical support, including masks, medicines and ventilators," he said.

Combating the pandemic also requires that the world support multilateral efforts, he said, describing the U.S. threat to cut funding for the World Health Organization as untimely and ill-advised.

The former diplomat said that "it is self-evident truth that in present conditions the rich countries ought to practice magnanimity rather than indulge in a blame game."

"Keeping in view the contemporary conditions, the world must set aside all those differences and formulate policies to come up with a unified agenda," he said.

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

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