Misfortune reveals true friends

Gabit Koishibayev

The campaign launched in China to combat the novel coronavirus epidemic is striking in its unprecedented scale and efficiency. It is gratifying that the decisive, timely, and comprehensive measures undertaken by the Chinese government, and supported by the Chinese people and the international community, are bearing fruit: the number of new infections has been significantly reduced in the country, and the number of recovered people has for many days already exceeded the number of seriously ill patients.
I am confident that the epidemic will not have long-term negative consequences for the Chinese economy, as the government has ample room to maneuver in order to reach its economic targets for 2020, and the epidemic has shown the ability of Chinese society to quickly mobilize in the face of a common threat; and helped create a “new reality” in which people can work and study without leaving home. It has opened up new opportunities for the rapid development of the digital economy, through diversification and optimization of work processes and the expansion of online services, including distance learning and “contactless “delivery. Moreover, timely reporting by China of the outbreak of the new type of coronavirus to the World Health Organization raised countries’ awareness of this new public health threat. In today’s world, which is characterized by close trade links, constantly improving global transportation networks, and huge-and ever increasing-flows of international travel, timely information sharing between countries regarding the occurrences of potentially dangerous diseases and coordinated and targeted measures to combat them are of paramount importance to prevent an epidemic from spreading around the world.
Unfortunately, not all countries and regions have prepared for the spread of the novel coronavirus, and there is no certainty that all countries will be able to organize the same decisive measures that China has taken, the effectiveness of which have actually been proved and recognized by WHO as the only correct ones to take.
Therefore, given that the situation in almost all regions of China has stabilized, with the exception of Hubei province, although even there the situation seems to be improving, the growing spread of the coronavirus epidemic in other countries and its transformation into a global problem is of increasing concern.
As history has shown, it is very difficult and unproductive for countries to fight epidemiological diseases independently. We must understand that we live in a truly “global village”. The virus is rapidly spreading, and it can “knock on any door”.
It is only through the combined efforts of the international community that the desired results can be obtained. States, politicians and ordinary people should put aside any disagreements, shun disunity and xenophobia and stand shoulder to shoulder in the fight against the threat which hangs over humanity.
In this context, the WHO’s operational role is growing. This includes managing and coordinating health-related responses to assist countries, conducting risk assessments, prioritizing and developing strategies, providing critical technical guidance, providing stocks and financial resources, and monitoring the situation in the field of health. In addition, this authoritative organization acts as a global guardian of reliable health information and works with countries to strengthen mechanisms for creating, sharing and using high-quality information resources.
Of course, having learned about the outbreak of the new dangerous infection in China, Kazakhstan could not remain an indifferent bystander. As you know, our countries are united by a common border, with a length of more than 1,700 kilometers. We have centuries-old close trade, economic and cultural ties. At present, Kazakh-Chinese cooperation is at the high level of a comprehensive strategic partnership and is an example of close and mutually beneficial relations between neighboring countries. Therefore, it is not surprising that Kazakhstan was among the first to express support for friendly China and a willingness to provide all possible assistance in the fight against the coronavirus.
The Kazakhstan government immediately decided to send humanitarian aid to China in the form of medical devices. In addition, at the request of Chinese friends, assistance was provided to facilitate the return of Chinese citizens and non-commercial cargo to Beijing.
Along with this, thanks to the active assistance of Chinese partners from the city of Wuhan, Kazakhstanis, most of whom are students at Wuhan universities, were safely returned to their homeland. A timely information exchange and a high level of mutual trust between the two countries allowed Kazakhstan to implement effective preventive measures to curb the penetration of fatal infections into its territory. I would like to note that the good tradition of mutual support and mutual assistance has been supported by our countries almost since the establishment of official relations 28 years ago. Today, our good neighborly relations have evolved to the level of an “eternal and comprehensive strategic partnership”. China is Kazakhstan’s largest foreign trade partner. Kazakhstan, in turn, is one of the key and most active participants in the Belt and Road Initiative, which Chinese President Xi Jinping first proposed in Kazakhstan.
In this regard, having such close good neighborly ties with China, ordinary Kazakhstanis could not remain indifferent to the calamity that befell the friendly Chinese people. Reports in the Kazakh media and social media posts in support of the residents of Wuhan, and the organizing of fund raising by volunteers to assist them and provide medical supplies reflect the high degree of empathy among the wide layers of Kazakhstani society. -The Daily Mail-China Daily news exchange item