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The Jerusalem Post Publishes Ambassador Du Wei's Op-ed

On 13 March, 2020, the Jerusalem Post, Israel's largest-circulating English newspaper, published Ambassador Du Wei's op-ed in its print edition and on the website. The title given by the newspaper is "A belief in the resilience of China and Israel" (the original title is "The entire community sits under the same star"). The full text is as follows:

As the new Chinese Ambassador to Israel, I assumed my post in an extraordinary time when China and the world are fighting against the COVID-19 epidemic. And my job kicked off with a special start. Immediately after my arrival, I went into the 14-day home quarantine. During which, I had not taken a single step out of my residence nor had any contact with my Embassy colleagues. With myself as an example, I want to send a message to all Israeli friends that China is a responsible, rule-abiding and trustworthy country.

Since the outbreak of the epidemic, the whole Chinese nation was mobilized under the leadership of President Xi Jinping. Our purpose is to protect ourselves and the rest of the world. Without China's resolute actions, transparent cooperation and the huge sacrifice of its people, the epidemic would have been far more disastrous.

The WHO-China Joint Mission, an expert group with members from Canada, United States, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Russia and ect., concludes after their field study in China that "China has changed the course of a rapidly escalating and deadly epidemic...creating a stronger first line of defence against the international spread".

Indeed, the situation in China is improving. As of March 11, the daily number of new cases has plummeted from over 2000 to 15. Almost all provinces, including all the Hubei cities other than Wuhan, are reporting ZERO new cases. As patients get discharged or transferred, all the temporary hospitals have been closed. It will be a matter of time before China claim victory over the epidemic.

Moreover, China, the World Factory, is steaming back into full power. In major export provinces like Guangdong, Zhejiang and Jiangsu, over 95% of factories have restarted. iPhone's Chinese makers are all back to work. 18 out of Honeywell's 21 plants across China have fully resumed manufacturing. Tesla Shanghai factory has started to deliver new cars to their customers. The Managing Director of International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva expressed her confidence that China's economy remains resilient.

We have no doubt that the challenges of the epidemic will be overcome and China's growth target, as well as the plan to building a moderately prosperous society, will be achieved as scheduled within the year of 2020.

"The entire community sits under the same star" (Pesahim 94a). At the critical moment of China's fight against the epidemic, President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israelis from all walks of life extended their sympathy and support to China. We're deeply moved and will never forget.

Now, the virus has emerged in many countries, and Israel is impacted. The Israeli government has taken a series of measures to safeguard public health and security,and China is ready to work with Israel and all the other countries to cope with the epidemic. The Chinese government has decided to donate 20 million U.S. dollars to the WHO to support international cooperation against the outbreak. Nonetheless, China has also dispatched medical equipment and medical teams to the countries that are struggling with the epidemic.

While everyone is engaged in the fight of the epidemic, we should also deal with another common enemy- "infodemic". For example, someone keeps questioning the transparency of China's data. China is a responsible stakeholder, and it is not afraid of telling the truth. The empty hospital beds, the closing of quarantine sites, the steaming factories and the lively shopping malls are corroborating China's data. By cross-checking with the situation in hospitals and the recounts of medical staff, the WHO-China Joint Mission concludes that they are not seeing anything that suggested manipulation of numbers.

Some media are still using words like "China Virus" or "Wuhan Pneumonia",and someone is even selling the conspiracy theory that the virus is made in a Chinese laboratory. Experts have pointed it out that the epidemic first breaks out in China does not necessarily mean the virus is originated from China. And no lab in the world is capable of manufacturing this virus.

The attempts of sowing discord or stigmatizing a nation will severely compromise the sense of unity,hurt the sentiments of the Chinese people and undercut the global cooperation to cope with the epidemic. China has proven with its efforts that we must work together on the base of science and firmly reject panic and prejudice.

The Chinese and the Jewish nations have endured profound sufferings in history, but we have all risen after setbacks and are marching toward national rejuvenation. The fight against the epidemic will only showcase and enhance the resilience in our national characters and bring us to an even broader future. I sincerely hope the epidemic would soon be prevailed in Israel and around the world. By that time, I look forward to having more opportunities to work with Israeli friends to open a new page of the Innovative Comprehensive Partnership between China and Israel.

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