Xi's 'cloud diplomacy' in the first half of 2020 instills global confidence

The world is undergoing profound changes and facing increased instability in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

China has played a key role as a stabilizer in uncertain times. Through "cloud diplomacy" in the form of phone calls, correspondences and video conferences, Chinese President Xi Jinping has shared and exchanged anti-pandemic experiences with the world, advocated unity and cooperation to boost the world economy, and promoted the building of a community of common health for mankind. 

In the first half of 2020, Xi participated in three international conferences and delivered speeches via video. He also sent or replied to letters to people at home and abroad over 20 times and discussed COVID-19 with 60 foreign leaders or heads of international organizations by phone. 

The president's busy "online" international interactions have demonstrated China's responsible leadership and helped the country be an important force in the global fight against COVID-19 and a mainstay in maintaining the stability and development of the world. 

China's action: Communication and sharing 

At the Extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit on March 26, Xi put forward a series of cooperation initiatives including anti-pandemic experience sharing with all countries, joint research and development of drugs and vaccines, and increased supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients, daily necessities and anti-epidemic goods to the international market.  

Facing the most serious global public health emergency since the end of World War II, Xi emphasized an "open, transparent and responsible" Chinese attitude.

While safeguarding the safety and health of its people, China has shared its prevention and treatment experiences internationally while providing support and assistance to countries in need. 

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted in a letter to Xi on March 17 that under the president's leadership, China made incredible efforts to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. 

"Thanks to the Chinese government's firm determination and the Chinese people's diligence and dedication," he wrote, the COVID-19 epidemic was met with a comprehensive and rapid response in China. 

China's attitude and actions have injected confidence and strength into global anti-pandemic cooperation. 

China's principle: Joining hands 

The virus knows no boundaries, and neither do efforts to combat it. Only with solidarity and cooperation can the international community overcome the pandemic, stabilize the economy and restore order. 

Xi reiterated calls for unity during his keynote speeches at three important international conferences: The Extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit, the 73rd World Health Assembly and the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19. 

"We must always put our people and their lives front and center. We must mobilize necessary resources, stick together in collaboration, and do whatever it takes to protect people's lives and health and minimize the fallout of COVID-19," Xi told the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit, highlighting the importance of strength of friendship, solidarity and cooperation. 

China's initiative: Pragmatic cooperation 

Xi has repeatedly urged pragmatic cooperation to prevent the world economy from falling into recession as a result of the disruption to production and demand across the globe.  

As the second largest economy in the world, Xi said China will contribute to a stable world economy by continuing to adopt a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy, advance opening-up, widen market access, optimize the business environment, and expand imports and outbound investment. 

During a meeting via video link with European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on June 22, Xi said: "Our two major economies should play the role as dual engines of the world economy, drive the recovery of the global economy, jointly support a scientific and orderly resumption of work and production, strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination, and keep global industrial and supply chains stable and smooth."  

The Chinese president has injected confidence into a global economy which is facing downward pressure. 

China's proposal: Multilateralism  

No matter how the international situation changes, China will uphold multilateralism and a vision of global governance featuring extensive consultation, joint contributions and shared benefits. 

Xi announced China's five major measures to support global anti-pandemic efforts in his speech at the opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly video conference. These measures are designed to deal with the current and future focuses and difficulties in the fight against the virus, and highlight China's responsibility for global public health. 

Mankind will eventually overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, but it will not be the last major public health emergency. 

China's commitment: Shared destiny  

Xi highlighted "the building of a community with a shared future for mankind" on many occasions in the first half of 2020, a concept which has won worldwide praise. 

In a letter to Tedros on March 26, Xi stressed that the coronavirus outbreak has once again proved that mankind shares a common destiny and the international community should work together.  

"We are willing to work with the WHO and other countries to contribute to the maintenance of global public health security," Xi said. 

"China has always upheld the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind." This is the consistent stance Xi has expressed in his exchanges with foreign leaders and heads of international organizations. 

In the past six months, China has actively participated in the global fight against the pandemic and provided assistance to other countries and international organizations within its capacity. It has interpreted the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind via concrete actions. 

2020 is an extraordinary year. President Xi's busy "cloud diplomacy" has injected Chinese confidence and Chinese power into the development of an unstable and uncertain world.