A Global Challenge Needs a Global Response

Source: Spiegel

Serbian President Aleksander Vučić threw a tantrum this week of a kind that should give us pause for thought. “European solidarity does not exist,” he raged. “That was a fairy tale on paper.” He complained that recently, Europe had sought to force Serbia to reduce its reliance on goods from China and import from Europe instead. Now that Serbia needs goods from Europe, though, “Serbian money is worth nothing.”

Serbia, which isn’t yet a member of the European Union club, would like to purchase protective suits and face masks from Europe to prepare for the coronavirus pandemic. But Europe isn’t selling because “medical goods can only be exported to non-EU countries with the explicit authorization of the EU governments,” as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced earlier this week. “This is the right thing to do, because we need that equipment for our health-care systems.”

So Vučić wrote a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping, certain that Beijing would jump in to fill the void. “I believe in my brother and friend Xi Jinping, and I believe in China’s help,” he wrote.

“A Friend In Need Is a Friend Indeed”

It’s a crazy situation: The government that initially tried to cover up the coronavirus outbreak, then implemented radical measures to fight it and slowly got it under control at great cost, is now being seen by a European leader as the savior in the corona crisis. And Beijing was more than happy to accept the compliment. “A friend in need is a friend indeed,” wrote Chinese state news agency Xinhua. “When handshakes are no longer encouraged in Europe, China’s helping hand could make a difference.”

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Dr. Zia H Shah, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times and in charge of all health related themes for the blog

Suggested reading by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

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1 reply

  1. You nailed it in an excellent manner. South Eastern countries have never been taken at par with Western European countries. Routine needs of Western Europe inhabitants are more important relative to the lives of SE European residents. Unfortunately it is a hard fact on ground.When one visits KSA or other oil rich Gulf countries a very common but derogatory terminology “Ya Rafiki” is used for people coming  from India, Pakistan, Bengla Desh and few other Asian countries. It means a lower class of human being who are born to serve the rich Arabs.  Same term “From East Block” is common for SE Europeans residing in Western Europe.  Even common Germans stemming from Eastern Part are very much looked down by their Western Germans.The proverb “A Friend in need is Friend in Deed” for the time being has proved true at least for China. (May be in the long run it does not remain so). Hats Off for Serbian President who has the courage to call Goat a Goat. Sooner when Crises will be over one will see many societal and friendship changes engulfing the Europe.

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