BEIJING : China shifts its focus outward. With domestic cases dwindling, Beijing mounts aid blitz to help world fight virus.

China's leader, Xi Jinping, pledged to send more medical experts to Italy this week, on the same day Beijing send 2,000 rapid diagnostic tests to the Philippines.

Serbia's president pleaded for assistance - not from the country's neighbors in Europe, which have restricted the export of needed medical equipment, but from China.

''European solidarity does not exist,'' the Serbian leader, Aleksandar Vucic, said when he announced a state of emergency in televised remarks. ''That was a fairy tale on paper. I believe in my brother and friend Xi Jinping, and I believe in Chinese help.''

Only a few weeks ago, China was overwhelmed by the coronavirus epidemic, which began in central Chinese-city of Wuhan, accepting donations of masks and other medical supplies of from nearly 80 nations and 10 international organizations.

Now, with daily cases at home dwindling, China is mounting a diplomatic offensive to help, as the rest of the world struggles to get the virus under control. From Japan to Peru, it has provided or pledged humanitarian assistance in the form of donations or medical expertise - an aid blitz that is China the chance to reposition itself not as the authoritarian incubator of a pandemic but as a responsible global leader at a moment of world crisis.

In doing so, it has stepped into a role that the West once dominated in times of natural disasters or public health emergency and that President Trump has increasingly ceded into his ''America First'' retreat from international engagement.

This could be the first major global crisis in decades without meaningful U.S. leadership and with significant Chinese leadership,'' said Rush Doshi, director of the China Strategy Initiative at Brookings Institution in Washington.

He noted that only a few years ago, the United States led the fight against Ebola.

The honor and serving of the latest global operational research on the state-of the- world, continues. The World Students Society thanks authors, Steven Lee Myers and Alissa J Rubin.


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