By DUAN JIELONG
China and Hungary show that the pandemic and its effects can be overcome with solidarity and collaboration
In the smokeless war against the novel coronavirus, all countries have a stake in a community with a shared future for mankind. As comprehensive strategic partners, China and Hungary have provided each other with assistance, worked closely together to tide over the difficulties and written a new chapter of friendly cooperation.
At the beginning of the outbreak in China, the Hungarian government was one of the first to provide assistance to China, donating medical supplies such as surgical masks and protective suits. The Hungarian government and people from all walks of life also employed a variety of ways to send messages of encouragement to China in its fight against the virus. When Europe became the epicenter of the outbreak, the situation in Hungary became more and more severe. But the Hungarian government was one of the European countries to take early corresponding measures. It took strict control at home, declared a state of emergency, strictly guarded its borders with the outside world and suspended personnel exchanges, which effectively slowed down the spread of the virus within the country. Currently, there are about 3,100 confirmed cases in Hungary, making it the fourth-safest country in Europe.
The Chinese government and people are sympathetic to the difficulties and pressures faced by Hungary in its fight against the virus. The Chinese side invited health officials and experts from Hungary to attend the China-Central and East Europe videoconference of experts on pandemic prevention and control of COVID-19. At the same time, China has tried its best to meet Hungary's demand for materials to fight against the pandemic.
Some local authorities in China, Chinese-funded enterprises and overseas Chinese organizations in Hungary have also played an active role in making generous donations and contributions. So far, dozens of charter flights carrying pandemic prevention supplies have arrived in Hungary from China.
Hungary has expressed its appreciation for China's help. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban went to the airport to welcome the first batch of goods and materials arriving from China, and wrote a letter to Chinese-funded enterprises in person, saying that "I am truly grateful that the Chinese and Hungarian people have stood together in these difficult times". Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto wrote a thank-you message on his personal Facebook account. The Hungarian people commented that the Hungarian government's policy of opening to the East is wise and they felt lucky to have maintained good relations with China.
Mutual trust and cooperation are the cornerstone of China-Hungary relations. In this special period to prevent and control the spread of the virus, it is crucial to enhance mutual trust and cooperation. Yet some people with ulterior motives in the United States and other Western countries have used the pandemic to smear China, and a few Hungarian media outlets have followed suit.
Our embassy has clarified China's actual situation and the measures taken by the Chinese government and presented the transparency and responsibility of the Chinese government, actively shared the stories of the Chinese government and people fighting the pandemic united as one. These efforts have gained understanding and praise. We have also strengthened mutual trust and dispelled doubts through interviews with Hungarian media, making clear that any words and deeds contrary to the facts are intended to tarnish China's image.
At present, thanks to a series of effective measures taken by the Hungarian government, remarkable achievements have been made in controlling the spread of the virus in Hungary. However, the pandemic situation in the neighboring countries is generally severe, and the external pressure on prevention is huge. The Chinese government and the Chinese embassy in Hungary will continue to maintain close communication with Hungary and provide support within our capacity to support and help Hungary overcome the difficulties at the earliest date.
The rapid spread of the novel coronavirus around the world has made us realize, as never before, that countries are closely linked, and that it is important and urgent to accelerate the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. In the face of this grave and common challenge, no member of the international community can afford to be left without a final victory.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, China has always attached importance to and actively carried out international cooperation. It has been working closely with the World Health Organization and the countries concerned, and donated $50 million to the WHO. It provided immediate information on the outbreak, quickly identified the genetic sequence of the virus and shared it with other countries, enabling them to detect the virus and combat the outbreak as soon as possible.
China has also taken the initiative to carry out anti-pandemic cooperation with a number of countries and regions. "China's assistance" and "made in China" are injecting a steady stream of impetus into the global pandemic prevention and control efforts, and contributing Chinese strength to the global defense against the pandemic.
Hungarian poet Sandor Pedofi said: "Friendship unseen in the day lights up the night like fireflies." The cooperation between China and Hungary in fighting the pandemic has fully proved that the international community needs confidence rather than panic, unity rather than division, and cooperation rather than buck-passing to overcome the pandemic. I firmly believe that with the joint efforts of both sides, the friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership between our two countries will be further deepened and mutual trust and cooperation will reach a new height after the pandemic.
The author is the Chinese ambassador to Hungary. The author contributed this article to China Watch, a think tank powered by China Daily.The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Military Online.