Scholar urges U.S., China to work together in fighting COVID-19

Apr 7, 2020 by

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CHICAGO, April 6 (Xinhua) — A U.S. scholar urged the United States and China to work together in the fight against COVID-19 in an interview with Xinhua, saying “we are in this world together and we will only survive and prosper together.”

Tom Watkins, an advisor to the Michigan-China Innovation Center, told Xinhua that the world needs China and the United States to lead right now.

“We need the United States and China to ramp up the sharing of scientific and health information and research to find a vaccine for this deadly virus … Together we will defeat this scourge on earth,” Watkins said.

“We must beat back this war without bombs together,” he said. “Our collective health and welfare is quite literally dependent not just on what our individual governments do to keep us safe, but what each nation and each individual does around the globe.”

Watkins noted that even before the emergence of the virus, the United States and China have been at a crossroads in their historic relationship, a relationship that he claims is the most important bilateral relationship in the world today.

“The latest global health crisis presents the two nations with an important opportunity,” he said. “How our respective leaders address these issues will impact the people of China, the United States and all of humanity.”

The Chinese word for “crisis” consists of two characters meaning “danger” and “opportunity.” “With the emergence of the novel coronavirus, we face both today,” Watkins said.

He said a geopolitical tug of war and blame game, throwing tit-for-tat barbs between the two nations is “disruptive and could well prove catastrophic.”

“‘Blame’ is ill relevant and should not be for the entire world at this point and time. All energy, physically and mentally should be focused on solving this public health pandemic and the global economic tsunami it has unleashed,” he stressed.

Facing COVID-19, “no nation is an island unto itself,” Watkins said. “Simply complaining and blaming China is not a plan that will pay dividends to the American people.”

Real leadership should find ways to strengthen the relationship rather “using this crisis to drive us apart”, he added. “We should be building even more bridges rather than erecting walls and digging moats.”

Watkins holds that now is the opportunity for the two countries to turn the crisis of today into an opportunity that benefits the peoples of China, America, and all humanity, “if the remainder of the 21st century is to be healthy.”

Watkins was once Michigan state superintendent of schools. His lifelong interest in China led to his extensive travel and work in China from 1989. “My focus has been on building cultural, educational, economic and person-to-person bridges between our two great and proud nations,” he said.

“Together, we are truly better.”

Source: Scholar urges U.S., China to work together in fighting COVID-19 – Xinhua | English.news.cn

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