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Concerted Efforts to Navigate through Difficulties for a Shared Future
By CG Lin Jing, published on Cape Times, September 30

October 1 this year marks the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. In the past 71 years, under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese people have struggled through thorns and thistles, the new China has developed increasingly and integrated deeply into the world, and the Chinese nation has achieved the historical leap from standing up, growing rich to becoming strong.

Over the past 71 years, China has created the remarkable "China miracle". China has grown from a poor country with few resources to the world's second largest economy; its per capita GDP has grown from less than US$100 at the beginning of its early days to more than US$10,000 today, and 850 million people have been lifted out of poverty; over the more than 4 decades since its reform and opening up in 1978, China has contributed an average of 30% to the world economic growth, becoming the world's largest trading partner of more than 100 countries and economies; and China has moved much closer to the center of the world stage.

At the beginning of this year, when the COVID-19, a major global public health crisis not seen in a century broke out, the Communist Party of China and the Chinese Government, adhering to the principles of putting people first and life above all else, led the Chinese people, with resolute courage and steadfast determination, to wage a swift battle to prevent and control the COVID-19, effectively controlling the spread of the epidemic in a relatively short period of time and achieving major strategic gains in the national fight against it. On this basis, China has pushed forward the prevention and control of the COVID-19 and economic and social development work in ancoordinated manner, and restored the order of economic production and people's life. With the economic growth by 3.2% in the second quarter compared to the same period last year, and according to OECD forecasts, China will be the only major economy in the world to achieve positive economic growth for the whole year.

This year will also be an extremely extraordinary year in the history of the new China's development, a decisive year for lifting all rural poor people out of poverty under China's current standards and building a moderately prosperous society on all fronts. In the face of the pandemic that continues to spread around the world, China has the confidence and ability to coordinate COVID-19 prevention and control with economic and social development to ensure that the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, winning the battle against poverty and eradicating absolute poverty for the first time in the history of the Chinese nation will be achieved as scheduled.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has pointed out on multiple occasions that solidarity and cooperation is our most powerful weapon in this fight against COVID-19. Only by standing together can we defeat the virus, an enemy to all mankind. The sudden onslaught of COVID-19 reminds us once again that our interests are closely intertwined and interconnected and so are our futures. In this context, the relevance of the concept of "building a community of a shared future for mankind" advocated by China becomes more prominent.

In the face of COVID-19, China has actively responded to the UN-initiated Global Humanitarian Response Plan: a cash donation of US$50 million to WHO, assistance in kind to over 150 countries and international organizations, and medical supplies to more than 200 countries and regions, and pledges that another US$50 million will be further provided to the above Plan. China will provide US$50 million to the China-FAO South-South Cooperation Trust Fund (Phase III) as well as US$2 billion in international assistance over two years, work with the UN to set up a global humanitarian response depot and hub in China, establish a cooperation mechanism for its hospitals to pair up with 30 African hospitals, make China's COVID-19 vaccine, when available, a global public good and contribute to the building of a global community of health for all.

In the face of the economic and social development challenges brought about by the pandemic, China will continue to pursue a win-win strategy of opening-up and share its development experience and opportunities with countries around the world. China's effective COVID-19 response and head start in economic recovery gives us a good opportunity to promote an open world economy at a higher level and foster a new, dual-circulation development pattern which takes domestic market as the mainstay, while letting domestic and external markets boost each other. By hosting major international economic and trade promotion activities, such as 2020 China International Fair For Trade In Services and the 3rd China International Import Expo, China will contribute to global economic recovery and share new development opportunities with the rest of the world.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa, cooperation between China and South Africa in fighting against the virus has become the main theme of bilateral relationship in the consular district of the Chinese Consulate General in Cape Town, namely the three Cape Provinces.

In the Western Cape, the Chinese Consulate General and local Chinese have been working together to render a helping hand to the "southern end of the African Continent". The Chinese Consulate General, together with local Chinese enterprises and communities, carried out multiple rounds of donations to the South African Parliament, the Western Cape Provincial Government, the City of Cape Town, front-line medical staff, and children welfare houses, etc. in the province. PPE and relief supplies with cash donations, worth of a few million rand, have been handed over to local governments and communities. Taking this opportunity, the Chinese Consulate General has established the "China-South Africa Health Science Scholarship" at the University of the Western Cape, combining anti-pandemic cooperation and educational collaboration, further deepening people to people exchanges between our two countries in the long run.

In the Eastern Cape, the anti-pandemic exchanges and cooperation between sister provinces and cities from China and South Africa has resonated with the community donation by the Chinese Consulate General, in which the "Chinese speed" has brought profound friendship along. During the peak of the pandemic in South Africa, Zhejiang Province and Ningbo City in China delivered PPE supplies urgently to the Eastern Cape Province. Jincheng City in northern China held a remote experience sharing session with Sarah Baartman Municipality to fight against the COVID- 19 together with South African friends.

In the Northern Cape, local Chinese enterprises and communities have been coordinating actively to support local COVID-19 prevention and control, in which the "Chinese warmth" drives the chill of the virus away. Longyuan Renewable Energy South Africa, which is a Chinese-invested enterprise and operating a large-scale wind power project in De Aar, the Northern Cape, worked closely with local Chinese communities to actively back epidemic prevention efforts by the local governments, police, and communities, donating anti-epidemic and relief supplies worth of more than 2 million rand.

The Ubantu philosophy in South Africa advocates the idea "I am because we are", which is highly compatible with the vision of win-win cooperation advocated by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Solidarity and cooperation is the key for us to emerge out of the haze of the pandemic and usher in economic recovery and rebound. Up to now, South Africa has achieved positive outcomes in the prevention and control of the pandemic. The comprehensive strategic partnership between China and South Africa and the friendship between the two peoples, which have withstood the test of the pandemic, will surely take the time-honored, traditional friendship forward.

The year 2020 also marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. China will continue to make new contributions to the development of the United Nations and world peace and prosperity with its commitments, responsibilities and actions. China looks forward to working with South Africa and other countries to uphold multilateralism, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, reject unilateralism, hegemonism, resolutely safeguard the WTO-centered international trade system, the core status of the United Nations and the authority of international law, jointly promote the construction of a community with a shared future for mankind!

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