From the tough times expats emerge upbeat about the future

By Yan Wei
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Beijing Review, June 16, 2020
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Australian pilot Myles Bernard Weston on a Wuhan-bound Xiamen Airlines flight on February 13 (CNSPHOTO)

In February, when Xiamen Airlines was chartered to deliver supplies to Wuhan, the city hardest hit by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in central China, Australian pilot Myles Bernard Weston was up for the task.

"It is our responsibility to work together to improve the situation," Weston said in an interview with the local media. "I just felt that if I can do this to help the people of Wuhan, I can help China fight the virus."

He is one of the many foreigners who stayed on in China during that difficult period and contributed to the country's COVID-19 response. They also witnessed firsthand how China managed to contain the outbreak and is now bringing life back to normal.

Hailing from Brisbane, Weston has worked with Xiamen Airlines for nearly two years. The February 13 flight made him the first foreign pilot with a Chinese airline to fly to Wuhan following the outbreak.

He and his crew shipped more than 11 tons of supplies from Xiamen in Fujian Province in southeast China to Wuhan. They were badly needed for the hundreds of medical workers from Fujian who had joined containment efforts in the epidemic-ridden city.

"I am very privileged to be able to help, to be the captain of this flight," Weston said. "It is fantastic to watch the Chinese stick together and rise to the challenge together."

Weston has been going about his work routine as usual, though with a lighter workload, saying he has never felt unsafe. In his eyes, readiness to support each other with a sense of solidarity during crisis is one of the reasons why China has turned the tide in just a couple of months.

He calls Xiamen home and looks forward to being reunited with his wife and daughters, who are now overseas, in the coastal Chinese metropolis.

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