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Is China's Stringent Virus Approach Too Pricey?

Source:Xinhua Published:2021-08-14 20:30

The recent resurgence of the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant worldwide has once again put the different anti-virus strategies of various countries under the spotlight.

In China, the united efforts of the government and society have boosted the country's ability to bring its recent surge of COVID-19 cases under control.

However, some Western media outlets, describing China's virus-control efforts as a "zero-tolerance strategy," have argued that such an approach is too expensive and hardly sustainable.

Such allegations not only treat the health and safety of the people lightly, but also underestimate China's ability to juggle the epidemic battle and economic development.

China's leaders have repeatedly stressed that the people are the "supreme and ultimate judge" of the work of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The effectiveness of the CPC's work should ultimately be measured by the real benefits the people have reaped, by the improvements in their lives and by how well their rights and interests are protected.

Every single life is treasured. China has launched a protracted war against the virus. The Chinese approach to taming the virus prioritizes the right to life, the most fundamental human right. For the Chinese policymakers, people's lives are not a tradable option. They are invaluable.

The approach, featuring quick lockdowns, massive screening and large-scale inoculation, has proved effective in containing the epidemic. It has kept China's casualties low since the start of the epidemic and propelled its economic recovery faster than that of other countries.

The approach has also gained strong public support. The Chinese public have complied with stringent control measures that required personal sacrifices for the sake of collective safety.

It should also be noted that the country has always stressed targeted responses to the epidemic to keep the impact on production and social lives at a minimum. For instance, local authorities have precisely identified the areas of risk, to the level of villages, sub-districts and residential compounds.

China has never believed that protecting health and wealth during a pandemic situation is a zero-sum game. As a matter of fact, China's quick and precise response to the virus explains why the world's second largest economy has been able to continue securing solid growth momentum as it emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Its economic performance offered much-needed hope for the world's post-pandemic growth and development. The country's trade with three major trading partners -- the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the European Union and the United States -- all increased in the first seven months this year. The World Bank has estimated that China's contribution to global economic growth will exceed 25 percent in 2021.

In an era of looming uncertainties, one thing is certain in China: All the policy-making should and will center on the people.

As long as people are there and life is there, there is a chance to create a good life. For those who have failed to appreciate China's approach, one question must be asked: What is the use of the blind pursuit of wealth when the people who are supposed to benefit from that wealth are gone?

Editor:Zhao Hanqing