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World needs to follow precedential leadership of China to fight the global pandemic

  • March 31, 2020
World needs to follow precedential leadership of China to fight the global pandemic
Image caption World needs to follow precedential leadership of China to fight the global pandemic

On March 30, 2020, the Academy of Contemporary China and World Studies has organized an International Think Tank Webinar on Combating COVID-19. Speakers from Brazil, Egypt France, China, Spain and Pakistan participated in web conference to discuss COVID-19, its implications and joint international responses to the crisis. From Pakistan, Executive Director of Pakistan China Institute (PCI) Mustafa Syed joined the discussion.

Speaking at the conference, Mustafa Syed said Pakistan is forefront on war against COVID -19 as the cases surged over 1000. With reference to national governance and societal economy, he said the Communist Party of China (CPC), a biggest political party in the world with over 90 million members, has shown precedential leadership in this time of crisis in China. Chinese people, state, and large enterprises like Ali Baba became united to confront this crisis. Their unity amid a difficult time is commendable.

There is a lot to learn from China, he added. The pandemic outbreak among 1.5 billion people was the highest risk globally and the disease could have the most adverse impact on China. But China has tackled this menace in the most efficient manner. Flying in 20,000 medical professionals in Wuhan and then containing it and ultimately eliminating it is a case study which think tanks can undertake and learn from and also replicate that in their own countries that are not familiar with the gravity of situation and still struggling to contain this virus. He stressed to look at the contemporary situation from globalization’s perspective.

Countries have been reaping the dividend and benefits of globalization but ignored the responsibility that comes with this very perspective. States and civil society members together needs to exercise the greater responsibility that comes with the benefits of globalization. They need to understand that globalization has multiplied the impact of COVID-19. He underlined the significance of humanity and empathy and suggested to look at the problem from humanitarian side. Everyone is equally vulnerable to the COVID-19 irrespective of their race, religion and nationality.

This is a time to put political interests’ aside and come together to win the war against the epidemic. He further said that think tanks can play a crucial role to deal with the current situation. They can mobilize the civil society. For instance, in China, the situation was tackled not by state only but the people played a commendable role in fight against the pandemic. Therefore, mobilizing people and resources of individuals of private sector is very important. Also, a global network of think tanks to address issues like COVID-19 is the need of the hour. He suggested that a task force of think tanks from different countries should immediately start working on coordinated research and webinars.

The global proactive coordinated approach is no choice but the necessity of this situation. Moreover, crisis management techniques are needed in some of the counties. This is a time when the regular governance structure has to be rebutted. That has been done in China. In collaboration with China, sharing their knowledge and medical expertise as they came out a winner in the fight against COVID-19, will be of immense help to the rest of the world including Pakistan.

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