Xi declares strategic victory against coronavirus

Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced a “strategic achievement” against the coronavirus pandemic, but has asked the authorities not to lower their guards even as the country starts to resume normal activities.

The arduous efforts to contain the virus, particularly in Hubei and its capital Wuhan, have brought a decisive outcome, but they should continue strengthening community-level epidemic prevention and control, President Xi told a Central Committee meeting of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) on April 29. He said that the battle against the epidemic has gained major strategic achievements.

The ruling Communist Party is set to hold the delayed Parliament session on May 22 as the pandemic situation gradually improves. The National Health Commission (NHC) has said the country reported only four new confirmed COVID-19 cases on April 29, taking the total number to 82,862, while no death due to the disease was registered. The virus has claimed 4,633 lives in the country.

Referring to the threat from the imported cases, the Chinese leader asked the officials to make efforts to contain the virus at Heilongjiang Province bordering Russia, where a large number of Chinese returning from Russian cities were tested positive for coronavirus. According to the NHC, all the four COVID-19 patients reported on April 29 were imported cases, whose number rose to 1,664 till date.

The meeting emphasized the need to accelerate the resumption of work and businesses, help companies, especially micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, address difficulties, and promote the recovery of pillar industries such as auto manufacturing, electronic information, new materials, and bio-medicine, the report said.

The meeting stressed accelerating farm production and expanding sales channels for agricultural products to boost income for farmers.
President Xi demanded no relaxation in epidemic control to safeguard the hard-earned achievements. The pandemic continues its explosive growth overseas, and China must be prepared to handle any future recurrence, Xinhua quoted Xi as saying.

The CPC Central Committee meet was held amid mounting pressure for an international inquiry into the origin of coronavirus and the allegations that the deadly virus was originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) before it spread across the world and wreaked havoc.

Transparency Issue 

China has come under increasing global pressure over alleged lack of transparency in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. State-run CGTN TV reported that American scientists are working with their Chinese counterparts to investigate the origin of the novel coronavirus, a prime demand of US President Donald Trump and several other countries. Besides the US, the UK, Australia and Germany have also called for more transparency from Beijing on the COVID-19 origin.

China on April 29 announced to hold the annual meeting of its Parliament — National People’s Congress (NPC), which was postponed in March due to COVID-19, from May 22, signalling that the pandemic which paralyzed the country for over three months is finally under control. Official media said the meeting period of the NPC, which has over 3,000 deputies, could be shortened and held through video link. However, no official announcement has been made so far. The annual session of the national advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), is also expected to be held in Beijing on May 21, official media reported.

Dubbed as the annual political season, the NPC and CPPCC sessions – which together have over 5,000 members, are held every year in early March during which the CPC unveils its national agenda for the year, including the annual budget and formulates new laws.

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