China lays out role of political parties during the COVID-19 pandemic
The importance of effective national leadership during a crisis cannot be gainsaid. During times like the current coronavirus scourge, citizens look up to those in electoral office to steer them to safety. But while some countries seem to get it right, others have no clue about what to do.
But China seems to have a few hints that can be replicated as best practice for those without a proper strategy. On June 7, the country’s Information Office of the State Council released a white paper, Fighting COVID-19: China in Action, narrating her fight against the novel coronavirus.
The paper documents how over 300 foreign parties and political organisations pledged their support to China's anti-pandemic efforts through letters, phone calls and statements.
The paper also details the Communist Party of China's (CPC) joint-appeal with 240 parties of more than 110 countries calling on all countries to prioritise humanity's safety and health, uphold the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind, and join hands to strengthen international cooperation to combat the pandemic.
During the crisis, political parties have played an important role in fostering international cooperation, an area that used to be dominated by governments. First, support by parties boosts people's confidence.
When COVID-19 broke out in China, many political parties were moved by the nation's arduous struggle. They sent their support to the CPC and its leaders. China took unprecedented measures to curb the spread of the pandemic to protect everyone globally.
Secondly, the parties' joint appeal points to the direction of cooperation. There were two kinds of reactions to the pandemic. While some countries exposed their sadism, others opted to face up to the challenge and work together to address the pandemic.
The CPC made the right choice. Along with many other political parties, it stepped up international cooperation and pooled global resources and power to defeat mankind’s common enemy. Facing stigmatism and other "political viruses", some countries have tried to cover up their failed responses to the pandemic at home. China has said that it has always advocated for a professional probe into the source of the virus, based on science and fact, but opposes any attempt to politicise public health issues
Thirdly, political parties are obliged to keep global efforts on the right track. Political parties are subjects of the state's political life, sources of decision-making and representatives of the people's will. Therefore, they assume an indispensable role in uniting the people and pointing out the right direction.
It is their mission and duty to make the right choice and safeguard the development of human society at this crossroads of history.
Going forward, political parties must better fulfil their duties, and play a leading role in contributing to the construction of a community with a shared future for mankind in the post-pandemic era.