Open Governance
Revelations on Sichuan's Fight Against COVID-19


  COVID-19 is a major public health emergency with the fastest transmission speed, the widest infection scope, and the greatest difficulty of prevention and control since the founding of our country.

  Sichuan has withstood a crucible in the past few months: from the report of the first suspected case in Chengdu on January 16, to the activation of first-level public health emergency response in the province on January 24, and the seven-month regular efforts on preventing imported cases and domestic epidemic rebound. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, Sichuan, like the whole country, has made major strategic results in the fight against the epidemic, and positive outcomes in boosting epidemic prevention and control as well as economic and social development. We will hold dear these hard-won achievements. Instead of hugging ourselves on the results obtained, we should pay a tribute to those compatriots whose lives are claimed by the epidemic, and pay our respects to those heroes who are still working on the frontline. Instead of casting these efforts behind our back, we should cling to the details in this fight and bear in mind the thought-provoking lessons that come at heavy price. Instead of slacking off, we should be highly vigilant of the upcoming "black swans" in this once-in-a-century crisis, and do our best to prevent "gray rhinos" that come out of the blue.

  Disasters cannot naturally turn into a boost to the progress of civilization. Only by constantly summing up experience and learning in disasters can the glory of reason always illuminate the way forward and the warmth of humanity lastingly encourage people to pursue their dreams.


  China's institution provides a fundamental guarantee to reckon with the epidemic.

  The epidemic comes out of the blue and grows like a weed. Directed and planned by General Secretary Xi Jinping, the CPC Central Committee makes overall plans and resolute decisions, and a fight against the epidemic is thus launched across the country. Sichuan carries out general mobilization covering all walks of life, with rapid and strict enforcement of orders and prohibitions. Sichuan, with practical actions, endeavors to "uphold General Secretary Xi Jinping's core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole, and uphold the Party Central Committee's authority and its centralized, unified leadership". Apart from that, strategic thinking and tactical measures are accurately implemented in urban and rural areas at a furious rate. Stressed by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, "I have never seen, in my life, this kind of mobilization." With advantages in leadership, organization, mobilization, and execution, the socialism with Chinese characteristics enables all sides to pool their efforts in dealing with major emergencies and to achieve a hard-won victory.

  The greatest advantage of a country lies in its institutional strength, and its rise is best embodied by its institutional development. In the coming days, we should more strongly pride ourselves on the great vitality and superiority of the socialism with Chinese characteristics, and never underestimate our own capabilities. We should grasp and confront frankly the problems and deficiencies of national public health governance system and capacity. Additionally, we should have a deeper understanding of the overall, fundamental and urgent institutional innovation and capacity building of grassroots governance. Only when the "bottom end" of governance system is rendered flexible and adaptable can the entire state run smoothly. Only when the "forefront" of service is unobstructed can the masses bask in greater sense of gain, happiness, and security.


  Support of the people is the key to triumphing over the epidemic.

  COVID-19 is an infectious disease characterized by human-to-human transmission. The safety and health of human beings have always been the top priority in the province‘s fight against the epidemic. For potential sources of infection, the province underscores tracing, control and medical service, and for confirmed and suspected cases, the most adequate and thorough preparations as well as the most timely and appropriate medical treatment are put in place. As a result, the role of people has been brought into full play in this process. A slew of people with a big-picture view have contributed to conquering the epidemic. They stick to their positions and exert an irreplaceable role, making every effort to advance epidemic prevention and control. We should extend our gratitude to those compatriots who have tenaciously survived the deadly virus.

  People always take a decisive position in historical development and social reform. After the outbreak, we have come to understand that it is not only a political requirement but also a practical ability to always think and take action from the people's point of view. Only by standing unswervingly on the people's side can the people and the Party join hands to make constant headway. People’s mastery of their country is not only the power given to everyone by the institution, but also the responsibility entrusted to everyone by the state and the nation. The great cause of building socialism with Chinese characteristics should be shouldered by every Chinese. No one can stand aloof from a national crisis. Only when we all bend over backwards as the masters of our country can we create a better life.


  Material results offer practical support to grapple with the epidemic.

  Confronted by the invisible and intangible epidemic, we have to sharpen and enhance our tools to end the crisis in short order with minimal loss.
Such articles as personal protective equipment, virus detection reagents, and medical treatment devices should be put into use at a tremendous rate and on a large scale. This is an all-round test of China' and Sichuan's outcomes of development since the founding of our country over 70 years ago and the launch of reform and opening-up over 40 years ago. As the most centralized embodiment of development outcomes, science and technology has yielded fruitful results, ranging from accelerated development of drugs and vaccines to extensive application of big data and cloud computing. Science and technology has speeded up the epidemic control in the frontline, and propped up the establishment of a special social pattern in this particular case.

  Material civilization, the uppermost part of a country's comprehensive strength, comprises the material achievements of mankind's transformation of nature. This epidemic will not slow down our trek toward the future. On the contrary, the results made in the fight against the disaster will underpin our progress toward new material civilization. Only by unswervingly bolstering development can we make our country stronger. With greater wealth accumulation, stronger production and innovation capabilities, we will be able to cope with all kinds of unexpected risks. This crisis allows us to reflect upon our development strategy. Only by catalyzing development in a comprehensive and systematic manner, resolutely rejecting "to take GDP statistics as the uppermost or even the only indicator to assess the government performance", and filling in the gaps in social construction and ecological conservation can we expedite the healthy development of our country, eliminate all kinds of viruses, and nip all risks in the bud.


  Heroism is the source of strength to conquer the epidemic.

  COVID-19 is an emerging infectious disease with unascertainable source of infection, route of transmission and susceptible population. This epidemic mounts a sudden attack against the mankind. From the perspective of human nature, the most rational choice is to avoid and give way. But in fact, a slew of warriors, represented by medical workers, resolutely march forward at the risk of infection or even death. They light up our way in the depths of darkness by furnishing us with great confidence and strength. We are testing the virus while in a sense, the virus is also "testing" us. Like a range of disasters occurred, this epidemic has witnessed a large number of heroes who will be remembered forever, and heroism will stand out even more dazzlingly in Chinese national spirit.

  Spiritual civilization pools the spiritual achievements of transforming the subjective world. It stems from and goes beyond material civilization, which has led mankind to complete scores of seemingly impossible tasks. After the outbreak, we realize that disasters cannot destroy us. On the contrary, copping with disasters will temper our will, strengthen our skills, inspire our heroism, and help us achieve our great heroic dreams in ordinary positions. Today's China requires the presence of heroes and heroic spirit more than any period in history. We will hammer at enabling heroes an encouraging spiritual symbol, and making the trend of advocating, learning and striving to be heroes sweep across the country, thus accelerating the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.


  The more stable external conditions are, the more we need to strengthen our risk awareness.

  Risk is not an abstract concept. The epidemic has given us a lesson about risk as we strive to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Ranging from the rapid spread in Wuhan and other places in the early days, to the latter strict control measures across the country, and to the current coordinated promotion of epidemic prevention and control as well as economic and social development, we ought to analyze and review the risk identification, risk signal transmission, risk emergency response and routine risk management at all stages. Ten days after the first-level response to major public emergencies was launched, Sichuan pioneered the implementation of differentiated prevention and control strategy in various regions and at varied levels. Based on circumstances, Sichuan has rendered the situation stable, which embodies the insightful view and precise control of risks of this storm-beaten province.

  In the process of development, we are going to deal with increasing risks, with greater impact of risks turning into emergencies or even crises. We have to always keep in mind that we cannot speculate on future trends based on our good wishes. The tangible and intangible dangers are always lurking around us, and may strike a fatal blow at any time, for which we have to be prepared. We have to remind ourselves from time to time that we cannot ignore the seemingly insignificant risk signs for fear of dangers. Instead, we should find out more details to grasp the whole situation through perfect mechanisms and advanced technologies. In this way, we can adjust the course in time, avoid the crisis, and set sail safely.


  The more urgent the situation is, the more important it is to adhere to the rule of law.

  The epidemic prevention and control is an extremely special battle with exceptionally limited time, arduous task, and large scale. But even when prevention and control is at its most strenuous, we still resolutely prohibit self-willed practices such as tyrannically intercepting vehicles, forcibly detaining materials, and arbitrarily interrupting traffic. Even when the work on "carrying out epidemic prevention and control as well as economic and social development" is at its most intense, we still stoutly reject opinionated practices such as ceasing all business activities. Facts have proved that those violations of law often mire the prevention and control work, and result in frequent changes in policy measures, which contribute little to solving the immediate problems, and may lay hidden troubles to people's life and social stability.

  The rule of law is our Party's basic way of governing the country and a helpful tool to deal with major emergencies. To uphold the rule of law means that we must abide by the rules. We cannot push the boundaries of the rule of law even in an emergency. On the contrary, it is a test for the leading cadres at all levels of whether they have a firm concept of rule of law and the ability to deal with difficulties by the rule of law. We must uphold the rule of law under all circumstances. To uphold the rule of law means that we must keep to our original intention. The rule of law provides the most solid guarantee for the people to share in the development results and pursue a better life. Any behavior at the cost of breaking the rule of law runs counter to our original intention and goes against our goal.


  The more complex the situation, the more transparent information must be maintained.

  The COVID-19 epidemic is a typical event in which the "gray rhino" and the "black swan" are intertwined and overlapped, triggering an unprecedentedly huge impact in scope and degree, and a wide-ranging chain effect on all sides. At such times, truth and insight are especially required to counter fear and inspire courage. A range of press conferences, authoritative interpretations, and heart-warming stories keep us away from rumors, worries, and uplift our spirits. We are neither panic nor reckless, but realize the orderly "transition" of personal life in the unified national action. Digital technology has yielded extraordinary results in the information war against the epidemic, which greatly facilitates the government and ordinary people to obtain and analyze information, allowing them to make more scientific decisions.

  The further the development goes, the more events will be interwoven and superimposed by various factors. We must be more vigilant against the "Tacitus Trap", which means if a government lies to the people or even conceals the truth when it encounters a problem, it will lose the trust of the people. Not only will it fail to solve the immediate problem, but the subsequent governance will be in a dilemma. Only by establishing a more transparent information disclosure system can we gain the support of the people and unite the whole society. We will put more emphasis on the value of information as a strategic resource. Under the premise of protecting personal privacy, and grounded on more advanced digital technology, we will establish an all-around mechanism of information collection, sharing and release. This mechanism will meet the demands of government departments, professional institutions and individuals, which will greatly improve the efficiency of social resource allocation.


  The more difficult the situation is, the more it is necessary to consolidate the enterprise transformation.

  Under the macro-economic situation, a large number of enterprises are already facing serious troubles in their production and operation, which are worsened by this epidemic. However, in addition to a range of supporting policies and measures rolled out by the central and local governments, many companies revive themselves through transformation after the initial stalemate. Specifically, they re-discover the new consumption needs and patterns of target customers, comprehensively seek digital transformation opportunities in all aspects of the enterprise value chain, and make every endeavor to tap the potential of reducing costs. There is no denying that many companies will be crushed by the epidemic, but there are more companies that actively respond to the epidemic will turn this crisis into an opportunity, and get rid of the shackles of the old driving force and old path. They will survive this crisis and even lead the field in the new round of competition.

  The human development never roses all the way as the severer tests are always round the corner. After the outbreak, entrepreneurs should have a deeper understanding of the uncertainty of our times. Myriad unpredictable risks will disrupt set plans and trigger unexpected difficulties. Only by facing the challenge and actively seeking new changes can we turn the tide. Civil servants should continue to cultivate their ability to cope with uncertainty, and timely study and estimate the major possible changes in the national and global industrial chains and industrial ecology. They should also accurately find the different "pain points" of SMEs, state-owned enterprises and private enterprises, thereby making coordinated efforts with enterprises to tide over the hard times.


  The greater the challenges, the more we need to seek openness and cooperation.

  Public health security is a common challenge confronting mankind, and major infectious diseases are the common enemy facing human beings. After the outbreak, China immediately informs the world of relevant information, shares the entire genome sequence of the virus and its experience in prevention, control and treatment, and provides possible assistance for some affected countries. Sichuan has also overcome its own difficulties, actively donated and transported urgently needed anti-epidemic materials to friendly provinces and autonomous prefectures that are plagued by severe epidemics, and sent top medical experts to join the assistance teams organized by the state to help other countries. In doing so, China not only makes contributions to global public health, but also ensures the safety and health of Chinese people. The virus has spread across the globe. Since all mankind has long been a community with a shared future, no one can stand aloof from this global crisis.

  This global epidemic may trigger more huge challenges to mankind. The global supply chains have suffered huge blows, and the factor flow and external exchange have been severely impeded. As a response, we should pool our efforts to address the economic and social crisis caused by public health security crisis. We should gain a deeper understanding of globalization and the unprecedentedly deep interconnection and interdependence among countries. All countries should enhance their mutual trust and cooperation to lay a foundation for tackling global issues. We should also have a clearer understanding of the underlying trend of reverse globalization, unswervingly persevere in opening up, and formulate and implement "backup plans" to ensure national security.


  The COVID-19 epidemic once again sounds the alarm for the relationship between man and nature.

  Two centuries ago, Friedrich Engels urged in the Dialectics of Nature: "We should not be over enjoyed our victory on the nature. For each such victory, the nature will take revenge on us." Looking back on the history of human development, nature periodically issues warnings to humans in a special way. Since the beginning of the 21st century, these alarms sound harsher than ever. In response to this, China has completely banned illegal wildlife trade, and Sichuan is carrying out legislative research on the "Implementation Measures of the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Wildlife (Revised)". But more profound changes should be made. These painful lessons over the years have led us to chew over the everlasting topic of how to deal with the relationship between man and nature.

  People can transform and make use of nature, but cannot vandalize it. We must hold in awe and veneration for nature. Since human beings, like animals and microbes, are part of nature, we should coexist in harmony with all lives in nature, including wild animals, to advance human civilization progress. Through respecting, conforming to and protecting nature, human beings can reap the benefits. We should learn how to keep the balance between man and nature. The more oppressive man's conquest of nature, the stronger the reaction of nature to man will be. Every seeming advance may lay underlying dangers of retrogression. Only by taking conformity with the laws of nature as the yardstick and bottom line to measure all behaviors, can human beings go further and steadily.


  The disaster will eventually come to an end, and the sun will rise as usual.

  We hope that after this crisis, our people will have a more indomitable spirit, a more passionate attitude toward life, greater expectations for the future, a stronger belief, and a stronger sense of responsibility.

  We hope that our nation will grow stronger, rise up from tribulations, and realize rejuvenation in the new era.

  We also hope that our country will emerge stronger from the crisis. With General Secretary Xi Jinping at the helm, the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee, and the scientific guidance of the Party's innovative theories, we will be ever-victorious in our forward march.

  We will dig into the approach of coexisting with nature, the ways of coping with disasters, and the ability to integrate into the world. We will enable firmer beliefs to the people, higher expectations to the nation, and stronger strength to the country, whereby we learn from disasters and further the historical progress.

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