The COVID-19 pandemic is raging like wildfire across the globe as nation-states struggle to overcome the mounting health and security challenges it represents. In some nations, the coronavirus outbreaks are delegitimising the governance abilities of many governments as the mounting death count gives repeated shocks to the nation. Amidst the efforts to prevent the spread of the virus by shutting down whole countries and mass testing, the state of global public health and economy is taking a great toll.

On the front of medical assistance and support, the Chinese medical relief effort to Pakistan has been remarkably unparalleled in the history of bilateral nations. Globally, as countries adopt the ethnocentric approach in dealing with the pandemic and closing their borders and restricting support to other nations, the Chinese effort in assisting Pakistan as well as the world community in confronting the pandemic speaks of the Chinese faith in globalisation and an open world.

In the perspective of Pakistan, be it natural disasters or internal security crisis, from support at international forums to assistance in economic and social development, the all-weather friend, China, has been at the forefront in helping the state and society to surmount the insurmountable odds. To Pakistan’s far-flung mountainous areas such as those comprising Gilgit Baltistan, Balochistan, and interior Sindh, the support of China is crucial and laudable.

According to the spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry, China has by far provided medical support of 127 countries around the world including Pakistan to contain the spread of Covid-19. The global medical relief effort by China also hints its emerging global leadership role in world affairs in the aftermath of Covid-19.

However, unlike its strategic peers in global affairs, the Chinese approach toward international medical relief is not based on self-interest and hypernationalism. The contribution which China is making toward combating Covid-19 globally is based on a vision of a future of open borders, inter-state harmony, and shared prosperity.

Contemporarily, at this crucial junction in international affairs and global health, the international comity of nations is presented with two distinct sets of visions regarding the future, either they want to live in a brutal world where states only tend to care for themselves at the cost others or the future of international cooperation to combat emerging threats to global peace, health, and stability.

TEHZEEB HUSSAIN BERCHA,

Islamabad.