How do overseas Chinese students stand out in virus battle
By Wang Mengjie

A virus knows no boundaries, neither does the human heart. As the coronavirus spreads, China government has offered help to 82 countries, the World Health Organization and the African Union in the fight against COVID-19.

Besides aid at the governmental and institutional level, Chinese students studying abroad are also offering help at the grassroots level.

Overseas Chinese students provide donated masks in U.S.. /The Paper

Overseas Chinese students provide donated masks in U.S.. /The Paper

Donation organizers 

"Along with other students, I started to organize donated medical items to send to virus-hit Wuhan since the end of January," Cao Mingran, a Chinese student studying at the George Washington University in the United States, told The Paper

Individuals and organizations donated medical items like gloves, masks and lab protection coats through the students' donation drive when the outbreak ballooned in China. "But now the story is changed," Cao said. 

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As the infected cases surged in U.S., Cao and his compatriots resumed online donation campaign in early March to collect masks for universities in Washington. Four days later, they received a batch of 1,000 masks from companies based in China. 

"We used to send donated materials from U.S. to China, but the situation is totally different now, we collect donated masks from China and send them to U.S." Cao said.

A volunteer (R) helps the local public health bureau to carry packages containing protective suits in Heinsberg, Germany, March 6, 2020. /Xinhua

A volunteer (R) helps the local public health bureau to carry packages containing protective suits in Heinsberg, Germany, March 6, 2020. /Xinhua

The fast development of the COVID-19 situation was also seen in Germany, thus Chinese living in Frankfurt sent some 900 protective suits to Heinsberg, a German region heavily hit by the virus. 

In the name of several Chinese universities' alumni associations in Germany, the donors also previously collected medical supplies from Germany to Wuhan. 


During the past few days, Chen Xirui has been busy translating Chinese videos about coronavirus control into the Persian language. 

"Just want to do something for the Iranians in return for their kindness to me when I studied there," said Chen, who has finished her postgraduate program in ancient Persian history at the University of Tehran. 

She is now part of an online Chinese-Persian translation volunteers' group, recently initiated by a Chinese university student with the aim of sharing coronavirus-fighting knowledge with Iranians. 

The group has attracted some 200 volunteers from both China and Iran.


Friendship witness 

The only Chinese in her university, Wang Haohao, a Chinese student studying in Turin, also received messages from classmates saying they are very grateful to China for sending a medical team to Italy. 

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As a witness of the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, Wang recalled that Italy was one of the first countries to offer help to China at that time. "We are very grateful to Italy." 

Amid the virus, China has dispatched the second group of medical experts to Italy on Tuesday. 

"Therefore, I think this kind of friendship between the two countries should be expanded and carried forward," Wang said. 

When chatting with one of her classmates who lives in Bergamo, a hard-hit city of Italy, Wang said Italian students believe that China's medical team is humanitarian aid, which makes them feel very warm. 

"The friendship of the two countries has given us great encouragement and strength," Wang added. 

(With input from Xinhua)