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Transcript of Consul General Mme. LU Xu's interview with OMNI

Recently, Consul General Mme.Lu Xu had an interview with OMNI, here is the full transcript:

OMNI: More cases of COVID-19 infection were confirmed in Alberta. What is your comment on the situation in the region?

Hope those infected to recover quickly.

Alberta has long been free from the cases of Covid-19, but the virus knows no boundaries. We are going to expect more cases confirmed in the coming weeks. It is very different to observe the evolving of the outbreak in distance from where you are placed in. However, there is still no need to be fearful. Actually, the disease is preventable, manageable, and treatable.

Recently, I had the chance to talk with Minister of Health Mr. Shandro, and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hinshaw. I also paid a visit to the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology at the University of Alberta. I have full confidence in their expertise and capability to fight against the outbreak.

A friend in need is a friend indeed. We highly appreciate the sooth given by the Canadian Government and people to China and Chinese people when China was in hot water. Now it is our turn to help back.

My office and I are willing to work with local authorities concerned for updates, lessons, experience, and technological applications. Besides, if the medical supplies are needed here, we are more than happy to arrange shipments from China, since most of the production lines have been resumed.

OMNI: As we all know, China has made positive achievements in tackling the outbreak. What experiences do you think China can share with the international community including Canada?

When the world witnessed the sharp drop in new confirmed cases in China and the rapid rise of the cases elsewhere, what the Chinese Government implemented in the early months has been followed by many countries hit by the outbreak.

OMNI: Speaking of experiences, people may immediately think of "Wuhan lockdown" or "restricted movement". How would you interpret this?

I couldn't agree more with Dr. Bruce Aylward that “you are missing the point if you think in this way”. He said the measures China has taken in Wuhan and across China are no more and no less than the approaches taken by other countries for infectious disease control, including identifying, tracing, and isolating. The only difference is they have to take the massive and intensive population into consideration. In this case, "China speed" has played a crucial role in controlling the outbreak. Speed is a very impotant element to control the spread of the virus.

In addition, I would like to use three "T"s to generalize other experiences.

The first "T" refers to Teamwork. It’s not only on the municipal level, not only on the provincial level, but also on the national level. In the face of the outbreak in Wuhan, 1.4 billion Chinese people have been united to respond under President XI Jinping’s command, whose personal inputs went beyond the WHO’s expectation. Highly coordinated, 30,000 medical professionals from 29 provinces came to a quick rescue. Over 10,000 people worked around the clock to set up the temporary hospitals of Huoshenshan and Leishenshan in around 10 days.

The second "T" means Transparency. Transparency keeps the spreading of rumors at bay. To minimize public fear, the Chinese Government put a real-time update system in place. The public has direct access to the statistics of the infected, dead, and discharged.

Furthermore, China rapidly shared the complete genome sequences and developed virus test kits. It is not exaggerated to say China was setting a new standard for outbreak control.

The third "T" is Technology. China quickly established a 5-pillar research framework, including drug selection, diagnostic technology, viral etiology, vaccine development, and animal model construction and saw initial progress. Some robots were used to help medics as well as deliver groceries to the household. I believe the wheeler dealers will find a new money-spinner after the end of the virus war.

Dr. Aylward said "there is no question that China's bold approach has changed the course of the epidemic". When he referred to people in Wuhan that "The world is in your debt", the interpreter burst into tears.

I don't think Chinese people are expecting any repaying from the world. Instead, we do expect those who constantly attack China by making an issue of the virus to look into their hearts and feel sorry about it.

OMNI: Does the outbreak have an impact on China's economy? What are your opinions about China's economic outlook for 2020 and prospects on cooperation with your consular jurisdictions this year?

Great question. Now many people are concerned about the impact of the outbreak on the world economy, however we can't predict the future without taking China into account.

According to the International Monetary Fund, the most likely pattern for China's economic growth affected by the outbreak will be a "tick-shape", namely, the economic activity would rebound rapidly after the decline, and the overall impact of the epidemic on China's economy is relatively manageable.

I think the falling stroke of the “tick” is short-term, while the rising is long-term.

In the short term, industries like catering, entertainment, tourism, accommodation, and transportation are mostly hit. However, temporary supply chain disruption has minimal impact on medium and long-term orders. Supply capability will quickly catch up once routine production is restored. Currently, all industries are gradually back on track. By the end of February, China's top 500 manufacturers have restored production at a rate of 97%, the resumption rates for industries like communication, electric power, and transportation are nearly 100%.

The outbreak brought about both challenges and opportunities to industries. In the medium and long run, traditional industries were more impacted, while innovative industries, such as 5G intelligent manufacturing, unmanned distribution, online shopping, and remote health care, are showing the strong potential of growth. According to the e-commerce giant JD, during the outbreak in the Chinese New Year, their sales have increased by 540% compared to the same period last year. The series of measures by the Chinese Government is playing a positive role. The International Monetary Fund and other international institutions have all predicted that China's economy will be back to normal in the second quarter.

Recently, I received letters from many local business people showing their confidence in China's economy and bilateral cooperation. Messages reassured that we are resilient enough to convert challenges into chances and bring our collaboration to a new height.

OMNI: What would you like to say to the Chinese here and the Chinese community in the face of the increasing number of cases?

The Chinese Consulate is following closely the local situation of the outbreak of Covid-19. I encourage all members of Chinese citizens and local Chinese communities to seek updates regularly from local governments and health authorities. Follow professional advice on infection prevention. Stay vigilant and rational. Do not buy or sell rumors.

Currently, the local authorities are less likely to take the massive quarantine measures as China has. It means we have to take necessary measures at the individual level, to be mentally and physically prepared. We should not only know how to protect ourselves, but also try not to be potential spreaders of the virus. It will probably take more efforts to get to this point, for example, avoiding going to mass gatherings, avoiding staying in an enclosed space, or avoiding unnecessary long-time travelling by plane or cruise ship. Report immediately when you have a symptom.

In recent months, my fellow citizens and the local Chinese community have set great examples by restraining themselves to protect the public and mobilized via social media to deliver food and necessities to those in self-isolation. I encourage them to keep on doing so if necessary.

We strongly oppose any racism-driven comments or actions. No country is immune to such a global issue. The necessity to acquire the global-scale response to the outbreak has once again echoed the concept of "the shared future for mankind".

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