The Coronavirus Pandemic has taught the world many lessons. The Governments have been drawing conclusions based on their experiences. While some countries have shown passivity, China, under great pressure from the West, has emerged as a shining example of solidarity, reaching out to its many friends and partners in the fight against COVID-19.
China has provided support to countries several times during the Pandemic. One of these countries is Azerbaijan, with which China has a long-standing friendship and partnership within the framework of the Belt & Road Initiative.
The Chinese government sent a group of medical experts to Baku on August 4 to fight the COVID-19 pandemic at the invitation of the Azerbaijani government. Baku will also receive the last batch of medical protective equipment donated on behalf of the Chinese government.
The team comprises 10 specialists from multiple fields, such as epidemiology, respiratory medicine, intensive care, infectious diseases and laboratory medicine. They are expected to work in Azerbaijan for 15 days, during which they will also conduct training and consultation sessions for the medical staff and personnel involved in epidemic prevention and control.
In the future, China and Azerbaijan may expand cooperation in the field of healthcare, which may involve the construction of modular hospitals, application of technologies used in intensive care units as well as use of Chinese treatment methods.
With the unfolding of the pandemic, transport corridors, ports and logistics centres of countries along the Belt & Road are already being used to provide medical assistance to partner countries in need.
And the dawn of a new area of cooperation among these countries will rise in the post-pandemic period on what can be referred to as the “Silk Road of Health.” In this context, China is playing its part by sharing its medical experience and technologies with partner countries.
China has the precious experience of building a hospital for COVID-19 patients in just 10 days. This experience can be shared with partner countries. Many countries are interested in the construction of modular hospitals these days. Azerbaijan has already built several such medical institutions and is planning to build more.
If we look at the history of Chinese support to Azerbaijan during the pandemic, it is worth noting that in early April, China shipped a large consignment of medicines and medical supplies to Azerbaijan.
In addition, a number of Chinese entities donated humanitarian aid to Azerbaijan in the form of medical supplies to fight against the pandemic. These entities include Xi’an City of Shaanxi Province, Mianyang of Sichuan Province, Quzhou of Zhejiang Province, Jiangjin District of Chongqing City, Huawei Azerbaijan Technology Co., Ltd., Ma Yun Foundation, Alibaba Foundation and several other enterprises and non-governmental organisations.
Similarly, in China’s hour of need, the government and people of Azerbaijan provided significant support in various ways. In the fight against the pandemic, China and Azerbaijan support each other and cooperate on both bilateral and multilateral levels, making significant contributions to the development of international cooperation.
On the bilateral level, the leaders of the two countries sent each other letters of condolences, exchanged experiences on pandemic containment and provided material assistance. This demonstrates a high level of mutual political trust, time-honoured friendship and aptitude for common development.
As the curtain falls on the pandemic, China’s friendship with Azerbaijan and other countries will become even stronger and the Belt & Road Initiative will acquire a completely new meaning and significance.
China has always adhered to the concept of building a community with a shared future for all mankind, and by rendering help to Azerbaijan and many other countries, it has once again proved its commitment.