I cannot imagine richer nutrients for the novel coronavirus to reproduce and spread, to flourish globally, than the United States and China to descend into unabashed and undisguised rivalry, with accusations each against the other.


  Nourish the virus with US-China competition, or starve the virus with US-China cooperation.


  It is good that President Xi and President Trump spoke and agreed. Never has such cooperation been needed more urgently to battle and contain the pandemic and to sustain and bolster the world economy. Containing the global pandemic, like bolstering the global economy, depends on US-China cooperation.

  我最爱的两个国家面临着一个选择:要么合作对抗疫情,一同研发药物、 疫苗,阻止新冠病毒;要么让疫情席卷全球,并进一步导致全球经济大萧条。

  My two favorite countries have a choice: either work together to fight the pandemic, developing drugs and vaccines to kill and stop Covid-19, or suffer an out-of-control global pandemic and a chain-reaction cratering of the global economy.


  Truly, nations will fight the virus and collectively win, or fight each other and collectively lose.



  I take it seriously when the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China, China's highest authority, called the epidemic "a major test of China's system and capacity for governance" - a phrase of such significance that in my 30-plus years of watching China, I do not recall the like.


  Let me explain why I was confident that China would overcome the epidemic. Three reasons: China's commitment, China's competence, and readiness to change and improve.


  China's commitment to fight the coronavirus was exemplified by the country's astonishing mobilization to stop the spread. The government issued strict and resolute directives and the whole country marched to this music.


  This is China's monumental "whole of society" commitment. China's mobilization is unprecedented in global health history. Nowhere could it work like it works in China.


  And the reason it works relates to how the Party system works. It is the same commitment and mobilization that the Party has been using to win the battle against poverty, since around 2012, lifting the final 100 million poor people out of absolute poverty.


  China's competence to fight the virus is exemplified by the country's implementation of its commitment: locking down Wuhan, a metropolis of 11 million people, and other cities, perhaps 60 million or more people in Hubei province and other places; constructed hospitals of 1000 beds, literally on green fields and literally in just days; house-to-house temperature checks; the Party's grid management system of social control; postponing the return to work after the Lunar New Year break of hundreds of millions of travelers.


  China's readiness to change and improve is a critical part of its governance system.


  When I discuss the five or so primary reasons for China's remarkable development over the past four decades, I always include the Party's willingness, albeit sometimes out of necessity, to admit and correct errors. I admire leadership's forthright acknowledgement of "shortcomings and deficiencies".


  To stop the spread of virulent diseases, early action is essential. But how to develop an early warning system? The challenge is handling an avalanche of information, from diverse public and private sources and of variegated and uncertain quality.

  习主席呼吁,“以公开透明的方式抗击疫情” 。透明是关键。

  President Xi called for "fighting the outbreak in an open and transparent manner". Transparency is the key.



  Apropos of the pandemic, President Xi's repeated call to build "a community with a shared future for all humanity" is a grand vision with multiple applications. For seven years, it has driven foreign policy, especially the Belt and Road Initiative, helping to rectify global imbalances.


  While fighting disease or controlling pandemics have always been a "shared future" benefit, it was always tucked within lists of other benefits, such as climate control, preventing terrorism, interdicting drugs, and the like.


  Few ever imagined that a real pandemic could become so grave so fast. But as the pandemic has burst into planetary consciousness, it demonstrates viscerally the global criticality of "shared future" thinking.


  By sending "battle-tested"medical teams to countries suffering under the siege of contagion, China brings to bear experts with contemporary, front line, epidemic experience.


  China's evolved know-how in fighting and containing the novel coronavirus, especially the selfless work of dedicated Chinese healthcare and logistics professionals, can enable other countries to benefit from China's experience.



  There is a problem, though. Emotions worldwide are frayed, rubbed raw by the pandemic's daily-life disruptions, with economic devastation threatening to exceed that of the 2008 global financial crisis.


  In this toxic psychological environment, when non-stop news, especially in social media, amplifies scurrilous, unsubstantiated rumors by insensitive officials or block-brained conspiracy theorists, attitudes harden and antagonisms ossify. Indigenous nationalism flares in vicious circles.


  It takes no cleverness to inflame feelings with glib rhetoric or political insults. Rational people must work together, not allow fringe invective to erode the capacity to fight a common enemy.


  Containment of the polemic will be more challenging than containment of the coronavirus. If so, Chinese views of America, and American views of China, are only going to deteriorate further, to the detriment of all.


  Enlightened leadership should temper, not inflame, indigenous nationalism. We cannot allow mutual exhaustion to be our last hope. This is why the recent Xi-Trump phone call was so important.



  China's vision of "a community with a shared future for humanity", exhorting all nations to act for the common good, fits our turbulent times.


  China's vision is a universal message shared by many cultures. China's challenge is to express the vision in language with which other cultures can identify and feel comfortable supporting.

  客观公正地解读, “人类命运共同体”这个呼吁十分有力,而且能让全世界受益。因此要保护、发扬好这个理念,同时用多样的英语翻译表达中文原本的意思。

  To be clear, read literally and without bias, a "community with a shared future for humanity" is a powerful exhortation that should benefit the world. This is why the phrase should be protected and enriched by also allowing other, diverse English phases to represent the original Chinese.


  The objective is to enable the global community to take collective ownership of the grand vision. Given the global pandemic, the global community must take collective ownership. What China seeks is what humanity seeks, especially with the pandemic, and it behooves people of goodwill everywhere to work together to transform rhetoric into reality.


  Future historians may well look upon China's fight against the coronavirus as a turning point in worldwide efforts to contain outbreaks of novel diseases and stop their spread, which globalization and ubiquitous air travel has made vital.


  History may well thank China for pioneering how to deal with virulent contagions in a globalized world.