Slovak military personnel unload an Ukrainian cargo plane An-12 Ruslan shortly after it has arrived from China, loaded with 74 tons of face masks, respirators and.../ Lehtikuva


In the past few weeks, the COVID-19 epidemic has spread at an unexpected pace into a pandemic. Meanwhile, the situation in China is trending steadily towards a positive direction. At present, we are working around the clock to resume production, putting medical protective materials on the top of manufacturing list, and trying our best to support the world in the fight against the virus. However, China’s motives were questioned and politically interpreted recently.

Some kind of conspiracy theory applies here, saying that China is using its masks to gain geopolitical influence. Similar voices can also be heard in Finland. With full respect of the freedom of speech, I have to say that those people think too much. China’s motive is quite simple, to save lives.

COVID-19 is unknown, sly and fast spreading. The pandemic started all of a sudden and has swiftly turned into an invasion to mankind. Everyone is forced into the war, regardless of races and nationalities. The picture of a shared destiny of mankind has never been so clear. As the most affected country at the early stage, China sacrificed and suffered a lot. This experience makes us understand what the other countries are going through right now. Helping others is indeed helping ourselves. This is our logic and it should become a common ground of the international community. At this critical time, solidarity and cooperation is the priority. So let’s talk less politics and more humanity. Of course, it is understandable that some Europeans are still disputing over the harm of restrictive measures to human rights. But it is more important for us to realize that without restrictions at this moment, it will do harm to human beings. Just like what is in the TV series Game of Thrones, when the army of white walkers are marching south, lords in Westeros are still conspiring against each other for the Iron Throne, fully unaware of a much bigger crisis approaching. Similarly, all we need to think and do now, is how to fight against the virus, seize every minute to save lives and save mankind. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow, but we do know that everything we do now is to let tomorrow’s rising sun be seen by as many people as possible.

Last week, Finland decided to isolate Helsinki-Uusimaa region and opened the security of supply reserves for the first time ever in the history after World War II, marking a new phase in fighting against COVID-19. My colleagues and I, together with the Chinese community in Finland, are complying with the restrictive measures taken by the Finnish government. Coincidentally, we are standing with the happiest country in the world in this tough fight. I’m sure it will become a precious memory of our lives.      


Chen Li,

Ambassador of People's Republic of China in Finland


This is a "Viewpoint" opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or position of The Helsinki Times.