By Lyu Jian, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Thailand
At present, the Chinese government and people are fighting an all-out battle against the epidemic of novel coronavirus pneumonia. President Xi Jinping has personally planned for, instructed, and the Chinese people have quickly launched the nationwide combat to prevent and control the epidemic.
As a friendly neighbor and a partner of comprehensive strategic cooperation, Thailand has given strong support and sincere assistance to China, vividly demonstrating the sincere kinship between China and Thailand and the great spirit of “a community with a shared future for mankind”.
Thailand is the first country with confirmed cases of novel coronavirus pneumonia outside China, and also one of the countries with the most confirmed cases of novel coronavirus pneumonia.
As a big tourist country and an export-oriented economy, especially when some western countries overreacted to China’s epidemic situation and exaggerated the atmosphere of panic, the Thai government and people have all along maintained close communication and coordination with China and firmly supported China in its fight against the epidemic.
On 31 Jan, HM the King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand sent a telegram of sympathy to President Xi Jinping of China, highly applauding the thorough diligence and determination of the Chinese authorities and the comprehensive measures adopted to combat the scourge, and affirming his solidarity with the Chinese people and wishing them every success in overcoming the grave situation, in the hope of fullest rapid recovery.
H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand and H.E. Mr. Chuan Leekpai, President of the National Assembly of Thailand also sent letters of sympathy to Chinese leaders respectively.
Prime Minister Prayut also delivered a video speech to cheer for China and the world to fight against the epidemic. Thailand’s Privy Councilors, members of cabinet and members of parliament also expressed their firm confidence in and sincere wishes for China’s victory over the epidemic in different ways.
In terms of the entry of Chinese citizens, which is of high concern by all parties, Thailand not only has not imposed travel restrictions on Chinese citizens coming to Thailand, but also has announced exemption of fines for Chinese citizens from Hubei and other places who are stranded in Thailand due to flight cancellation, and also assisted and facilitated them to extend their visas.
Thailand also allocated a high-level medical team to treat the Chinese compatriots who were diagnosed with novel coronavirus pneumonia in Thailand free of charge. So far, many people have been cured and returned to China with no case of fatality.
People from all walks of life in Thailand have also taken action and contributed generously to help. The epidemic relief materials provided in the name of Their Majesties the King and Queen have arrived in Wuhan recently.
The Thai government, overseas Chinese, business and other sectors donated a large number of money and epidemic prevention materials.
In Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai and other places, you can hear the warm wishes: “Wuhan Su Su! China Su Su!” Newspapers, TV Channels and Internet are full of articles, videos and messages cheering for China. Every day, I can receive blessing calls and videos from my Thai friends.
Unity between brothers makes them stronger. The successful cooperation between China and Thailand in fighting against the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic makes the two countries unite with infinite strength.
Thailand’s positive view and strong supports for China in fighting against the epidemic make us feel keenly the deep political mutual trust between the leaders of China and Thailand. Under the current situation, this kind of mutual trust has become the guidance and stabilizer for Thailand to respond rationally to the epidemic of novel coronavirus pneumonia.
We also deeply feel that the enduring friendship between China and Thailand has been injected with new impetus and renewed with new momentum.
Looking back, China and Thailand have shared true friendship as revealed during times of hardship. Both countries worked together to overcome major challenges such as the Asian financial crisis, the Indian Ocean tsunami, the SARS epidemic and the Wenchuan earthquake.
At present, China and Thailand are working together to fight against the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic with resolute, positive and effective actions instead of panic or overreaction, setting an example for the international community to cooperate in major public health emergency response and fully reflecting the uniqueness of China-Thailand comprehensive strategic partnership.
The two countries, in jointly overcoming challenges, are bonding together as a unity of common future that shares weal and woe.
No cross, no crown. This year marks the 45th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Thailand. We have reason to believe that the brotherly cooperation and efforts of China and Thailand will not only help us win the battle of prevention and control against the epidemic as soon as possible, but also promote the further development of China-Thailand relations, and more vividly explain the practical connotation and global significance of building a community of shared future for Asian and for mankind.