People First

2020-05-21 10:04:55 Beijing Review 2020年21期

As of May 14, there were 82,929 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus disease(COVID-19) in China, with 4,633 deaths. In contrast, at that time, there were more than 1.39 million confirmed cases in the United States and over 84,000 deaths, the highest in the world on both counts.

The huge difference has led to many U.S. politicians alleging that China underreported the numbers. However, other unbiased voices around the world have acknowledged that China has been transparent about the statistics and the numbers could not have been fudged. The difference occurred because though the U.S. has a better developed healthcare system, China was able to control the epidemic more effectively as the Chinese Government put the people fi rst in the epidemic prevention and control work.

Putting people first is a basic principle of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in governance. Key CPC documents and communiqués stress that peoples interests should be put above everything else and that the Party and government should be of one mind with the people, share a common destiny with them and rely on them to propel Chinas history forward.

When COVID-19 occurred, the Chinese Government put the life and safety of the people first and implemented the most comprehensive, rigorous and thorough measures to safeguard public life and health, regardless of the cost to the economy. Also, the government and people were united as one to wage an all-out peoples war against the virus and the arduous efforts led to strategic outcomes.

Even after the virus was brought under control and factories and offices resumed work across the country, peoples safety still remains the priority. The central as well as local governments and medical institutions have been providing guidance to ensure safety at the workplace with preventive measures such as checking employeestemperature, providing free masks to them and educating them on epidemic prevention.

Measures are still in place to quarantine those showing signs of the disease, ensure their treatment, and facilitate their return to work after they are confi rmed to have been cured.

This people-fi rst orientation of the government has won the trust of the Chinese. Two market research agencies, Blackbox Research and Toluna, conducted a survey in April covering 23 countries, asking about 12,500 people to rate their governments COVID-19 containment measures.

China ranked highest in the citizens survey, scoring 85 out of 100. Also, 85 percent of the Chinese respondents said they believe their country will come out of the crisis stronger, while just 41 percent U.S. respondents thought the same thing about their country.

The U.S., which has the most advanced medical technology in the world, would have fared better if it had put its people and their lives fi rst, as the Chinese Government did.