BEIJING, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- China's arduous virus battle and the country's recent decisive optimization of its COVID-19 policy deserve kudos.
Upholding the people-centered philosophy, China managed to contain rounds of outbreaks, made economic and social progress, supported the international community, and has been weaving a healthcare safety net and now strives for further economic recovery.
Facts and figures are impartial. They show some laudable "grade marks" of China's epidemic response over the past three years and offer a glimpse into certain outlooks on endeavors toward the upcoming normal life.
LIVES AND HEALTH
-- China's average life expectancy, a basic measure of national well-being, increased from 77.3 years in 2019 to 78.2 years in 2021, despite the gap in per capita medical resources and medical technology between the world's most populous country and developed ones.
-- A large quantity of the population, over 90 percent of the 1.4 billion Chinese people, has been fully vaccinated, with more than 3.46 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses having been administered.
-- The quality of inactivated vaccines developed by China was backed by data. Two doses of CoronaVac showed a nearly 70 percent effectiveness in preventing severe or fatal illness among people aged 60 years or older, and this rate increased to more than 95 percent after a booster shot, according to a study in the October issue of the Lancet Infectious Diseases.
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
-- China registered an average annual economic growth of around 4.5 percent for the past three years -- significantly higher than the world's average, revealing the economy's remarkable resilience and overall stability.
-- Global investors have cast votes of confidence in the world's second-largest economy. Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Chinese mainland, in actual use, hit a record high of nearly 1 trillion yuan in 2020, or 144.37 billion in U.S. dollar terms. That for 2022 exceeded 1 trillion yuan in just third quarters.
-- Amid the worldwide slump in shipments in 2020, China logged a 1.9 percent year-on-year growth of the foreign trade in goods. Behind the growth of 21.4 percent last year and 8.6 percent in the first 11 months this year, it was China's unceasing efforts to maintain a stable and smooth industrial and supply chain, and provide quality goods worldwide.
-- The world's largest developing country has been a staunch supporter of multilateralism. China has not only provided and exported anti-epidemic products to more than 200 countries and regions but also unreservedly aided over 120 countries and international organizations with 2.2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
-- China has sent 38 medical expert teams to 34 countries and supported more than 180 countries and international organizations in fighting the virus with its treatment protocols and containment strategies.
HEADING TO THE FUTURE
-- China does not shy away from acknowledging challenges. Coping with the current situation that only 86.6 percent of people aged 60 or above have been fully vaccinated and 66.4 percent of people aged 80 or older, China has vowed to ramp up vaccination efforts among the elderly.
-- China values the accessibility and capacity of grassroots medical services. Across the nation, over 19,400 fever clinics or consulting rooms have been set up in healthcare centers at the community or township level. It is expected that by March 2023, about 90 percent of township-level health centers will be equipped with fever clinics.
China's steadfast actions to protect people's health and wealth are by no means zero-sum games, and, no doubt, will stand the test of time. ■