MEXICO CITY, July 23 (Xinhua) — China has played a decisive role in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic globally, providing concrete aid and a road map for other countries to follow, according to officials and observers in Latin America.
“We recognize the cooperation China provided to 27 countries in our region in the fight against COVID-19,” Cuba’s Deputy Foreign Minister Rogelio Sierra said on Thursday at a video conference gathering the foreign ministers of China and Latin American and Caribbean countries.
Most countries in Latin America have struggled and failed to effectively contain the pandemic, but there’s still time to adopt a more Chinese strategy to limit the damage, said German sociologist Heinz Dieterich, who is now residing in Mexico.
The expert said Latin America dragged its feet and lacked the coordination to stop the virus from spreading, in contrast to the successful work of the Chinese government.
However, “it can still do it and it must do it, if it is to prevent economic collapse. But it has to make a coordinated effort, like China did,” said Dieterich.
Except for Cuba, Uruguay and other small countries, Latin America bungled its response to the pandemic, “because what was done in China is not being done,” said the co-author, along with Noam Chomsky, of the book “Global Village.”
The region’s largest and second-largest economies, Brazil and Mexico, are both grappling with still-growing epidemics.
The situation in the region could be worse, said Sierra, recalling that in recent months, Chinese and Latin American authorities held more than 30 exchanges on the best practices for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
“Politically motivated campaigns and stigmatization, with a xenophobic and discriminatory bias, have not been able to discredit the achievements made by China in controlling and recovering from the devastating effects of this disease,” said Sierra.
“Stronger ties with China, which is best reflected by the China-CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) Forum, will contribute to the sustainable development of our peoples,” Sierra added.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Mexican Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard co-chaired the conference which also focused on consolidating political trust, safeguarding multilateralism and deepening cooperation.
The conference came at a time when Latin America has become an epicenter of the pandemic, with growing cases and climbing death tolls. Enditem