By He Yin

Human rights are safeguarded when China races against time to combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and does everything it can to save the lives and protect the health of the people.

By upholding the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind and carrying out international cooperation in the spirit of openness, transparency and responsibility, China has practically protected the lives and health of the Chinese people, including foreigners within its territory, and people in the rest of the world, and made huge sacrifice and contributions to safeguarding global public health security.

Life is of paramount importance. China has manifested its responsibility to protect people’s right to life in the battle against COVID-19. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, required Party committees and governments at all levels to always put people’s lives and health in the first place.

With firm confidence, China has charted clear directions and fully implemented tasks, drawing a vivid picture of human rights protection during the special period.

The country has demanded all-out efforts to treat patients, pooled resources and expertise for centralized treatment of patients at centralized locations, and made sure treatment is covered by medical insurance so that it is timely and not delayed due to cost.

China espouses a people-centered view of human rights, always puts the interests of the people above all else, and regards the rights to subsistence and development as its primary and basic human rights.

As a Chinese saying goes, “Genuine gold stands the test of fire,” and China has withstood the test in the battle against the epidemic. The country has implemented comprehensive and strict control over population outflows from Hubei Province, mobilized nationwide efforts to support Hubei, promptly built makeshift hospitals for centralized treatment and the ones receiving patients with mild symptoms.

Chinese provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions have successively activated highest-level emergency response to contain the spread of the virus, and continuously delivered medical and living materials to the front line of epidemic resistance, including Wuhan – in an effort to defended people’s right to life as much as possible.

Human rights are concrete rather than abstract, and to observe human rights calls for dialectical thinking. What China enlightens the world in its battle against the COVID-19 sheds a new light on the world’s thinking over human rights.

With a profound understanding of the value of life, the Chinese people have actively responded to the call of the country, sacrificed individual interests for public good, and implemented various prevention and control measures through active cooperation.

Medical workers fight day and night with the resolve to defeat the virus; the masses follow epidemic prevention and control rules for the general interests of the country; community staff work around the clock to fulfill their duties. They are risking their lives and going all out to protect the health and safety of the people with the respect to people’s right to life and health, and their hard work earned high appraisal from the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who noted that the Chinese people are sacrificing many aspects of their normal lives to prevent the virus from spreading to others.

Some Westerners perceive China’s epidemic prevention and control measures with a narrow view of human rights and distort the great contributions made by the Chinese government and people. Such practices deviate from the facts and should be despised.

Any one respecting the facts would admit that China has done everything to protect human rights, from saving a centenarian patient, to curing months-old infants, and to bringing back a patient who had struggled 21 days on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

Bruce Aylward, Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), said if he had novel coronavirus, he’d want to be treated in China. The sincere remarks, which are based on what he saw personally in China, reflect high confidence in China’s actions to save lives.

The novel coronavirus knows no border, and so do the love and efforts to safeguard people’s lives and health. On March 14 local time, the Chinese national anthem was played at a residential community in Rome, Italy where people also shouted “Thank you, China!” In recent days, Spanish netizens also took it to social media to thank China with relevant hashtags. What made the Europeans grateful are the donations of supplies and experts dispatched from China.

While doing its best to prevent and control the epidemic at home, China has actively cooperated with the international community, maintained close communication with international organizations, shared virus curbing experiences with countries in East Asia, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and ASEAN members. It has also sent medical experts to Iran, Iraq and Italy, showing its care for the community with a shared future for mankind.

Life is the most precious. As COVID-19 has spread to more than 140 countries and regions, all countries should be responsible for the safety and health of their people, as well as the people in the rest of the world. China will stand together with global countries, fight the virus on the front line with determination and bravery, and fulfill its responsibilities.