MNA | Lei Xiangping: After several months’ efforts, the Covid-19 pandemic situation in China now has been effectively contained, nationwide resumption of economic activities is in full swing and ordinary Chinese daily routines have almost returned to normalcy.
These victories are attributable to the good policies by the Chinese government, people’s close cooperation with the government, and the unremitting sacrifices by hundreds of thousands of medical staff, who had been working under the clock to save lives.
Thousands of miles away in Iran, there is also good news in the making. The upward trend of having rapidly newly confirmed coronavirus cases in the initial days of this outbreak has been controlled, more and more patients have been cured and discharged from hospitals, and economic productions of all kinds are gradually back on track in an orderly way. No doubt, Iran has flattened the curve and will soon embrace a turning point in this battle.
However, these achievements in the two countries never came easily. Both China and Iran have encountered lots of challenges when confronted with this pandemic, for example, strained by a shortage of protective equipment and devices and medical professionals, concerned with very limited know-how about how to tackle this pandemic, and more importantly bombarded by a deluge of exterior skepticism or even schadenfreude from some evil-minded politicians and media in the west. In Iran, in addition to battling the Covid-19, its government has to fight American sanctions, another virus dubbed by Iranian president Hassan Rouhani.
Despite all these challenges, the governments and people of the two countries have shown great solidarity, joined hands together and helped each other to fend off this common public health threat. Fortunately, our solidarity and cooperation have been rewarded by the alleviation of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the process of helping each other should be remembered forever.
During the days when China was confronted with severe virus situations, the Chinese government not only had to take timely measures to contain the virus but also was obliged to tackle mountains of criticism, deride, or even schadenfreude from the west. Back then it was really tough time for China. However, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted in Chinese language saying that “Iranian government and people are staying with China and Chinese people in the fight against coronavirus, and wish China can defeat the disease soon”, and he became the first foreign minister of another country to express support and sympathy to us.
Zarif’s good message was ensured by more friendly deeds. Iranian Health Ministry decided to donate 3 million surgical masks to help China alleviate its shortage of protective equipment and devices, and soon later Tehran city council organized a light show themed with “Stay Strong Wuhan, Stay Strong China” on Azadi Tower, the hallmark building of Iran. All these good deeds and gestures shown by Iran are of great encouragement to Chinese people and have resulted in a torrent of positive response from Chinese people to express our gratitude.
From late February onward, coronavirus case was also discovered in Iran and began to went increasingly viral. Back then, China had accumulated enough experience of battling this disease and China’s own situation became stable, so that it had extra resources and capability to help Iran. Slews of donations including surgical masks, ventilators, testing kits from the Chinese government and People’s Liberation Army were airlifted to Tehran, Chinese people donated about 570 thousand US dollars within 24 hours to the bank about of Iranian Embassy in Beijing, Chinese Billionaire Jack Ma donated one million masks and several Chinese cities like Beijing, Chongqing and Xi’an also donated medical equipment and materials to their Iranian sister cities like Tehran, Shiraz, and Isfahan. According to Iranian Ambassador in Beijing Mr. Mohammad Keshavarz-Zadeh, up to early April, China had sent 28 consignments of donations to Iran, including over 10 million face-masks, 500,000 test kits, 300,000 medical and isolation gowns 2,200,000 pairs of gloves and 350 ventilators.
Besides, the Chinese Red Cross Society in late February dispatched a medical team with five volunteers to Tehran, who are anti-virus experts and doctors with firsthand experiences in battling the coronavirus on the front line. Within almost one month, they visited several hospitals in Tehran and exchanged views on how to treat patients with local doctors, conferred with local anti-virus experts from the Ministry of Health and Iranian Red Crescent Society, and shared Chinese experiences of fighting the coronavirus, whose efficacy had been proved successful in China. Chinese experiences have been warmly welcomed by Iranian health officials, who were quoted as saying several times that China is the biggest foreign donator of medical equipment and resource to Iran, but Chinese experiences in the fight the disease are more valuable than physical donations.
On April 27th, Chinese President Xi Jinping had a telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart, President Hassan Rouhani. Xi said in this battle against coronavirus, China and Iran embark on the same boat and help each other, which fully shows the deep-rooted friendship between the government and people of the two countries. Rouhani said that Iran and China help each other when facing the common challenge, and the people-to-people friendship has been consolidated in this process.
When some European countries and America are still facing the virus challenge and struggling to put it under control, China and Iran have successfully contained it, although Iran still has several last miles to finish, it is closing to the point to see light at the end of a tunnel. The most important reason for our successes lies in good cooperation and helping each other. The virus battle will come to an end soon, but the invaluable friendship and solidarity between the two nations and people in fighting this virus will last and lay a solid base for further improvement in our comprehensive strategic ties.
Long live the over 2000 years old China-Iran relationship!