Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Remarks

China Review News: Some officials in a handful of countries including the US have been trying to blame China for the pandemic outbreak, accusing China of covering up the actual caseload of the infected and disseminating disinformation on COVID-19. They also said that they will reckon with China after the pandemic passes. What is your response?

Hua Chunying: At present, COVID-19 is ravaging across the world, especially in Europe and the US. People of all countries have called for unity to fight the pandemic, but still some people have made jarring noises from time to time, quite discordant with the current atmosphere of unity against the pandemic. I want to stress a few points.

As the coronavirus is novel virus unseen in the past, its detection, research, testing and confirmation naturally requires time. According to reports, on December 27, 2019, Zhang Jixian, director of the Department of Respiratory and Critical Care at Hubei Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, reported the first three suspected cases. On December 29, Hubei and Wuhan health committees instructed related centers for disease control and prevention and hospitals to carry out epidemiological investigation. On December 30 Wuhan Municipal Health Committee issued an "urgent notice on the treatment of pneumonia of unknown cause". On December 31, the NHS sent an expert group to Wuhan to investigate on site. On January 3, 2020, China started to send timely updates to WHO and other countries, including the US. On January 11, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention put online five whole genome sequences of the novel coronavirus and shared data with the world and WHO. On January 23, Wuhan was put under lockdown and unprecedented comprehensive, thorough and rigorous measures were taken. The Chinese government took decisive and strong measures at the earliest time possible and the Chinese people have been united as one in this fight against the pandemic, which ensured the life, safety and health of the Chinese people to the highest extent.

WHO estimates that the decisive, effective and timely measures taken by the Chinese government prevented the infection of tens of thousands of people. Many countries also think China's practice offers explicable precedence. Our open, transparent and responsible attitude has been highly acclaimed by the international community.

We have no intention to judge other countries' response to the pandemic. But while China set an example and bought precious time for the world with huge efforts and sacrifice, as WHO, foreign leaders, experts and media say, did a certain country make full use of the time to enhance preparedness? I think its government knows that very well, and its people can feel it too.

Since January 3 China has been notifying the US of epidemic-related information on a regular basis. On January 7, the US CDC and its embassy in China issued warnings on traveling to Wuhan. On January 25, the US announced the decision to close its consulate in Wuhan and withdraw all staff. On February 2, the US government banned entry of all Chinese nationals and foreigners who had been to China in the past 14 days. Now so many days have passed, and some in the US still claim China should be held responsible for the COVID-19 in the US. Don't they feel guilty or ashamed? They are trying to shift the biggest blame of the century to China and make it the biggest scapegoat. However, such an attempt is just impossible as the blame is too heavy to be shifted. Sorry, it won't work.

The pandemic is in some way like a magical mirror that exposes a person's morality and character to the fullest extent. The virus knows no ideology, border or race. The destinies of all countries are closely intertwined. No one can make up for lost time by slandering others or shifting the blame. The only way to defeat the virus is through solidarity and cooperation.

At the G20 virtual summit last week, President Xi put forward propositions on overcoming the difficulties hand in hand. Upholding the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, China would like to share our experience on COVID-19, conduct international cooperation, and provide as much help as we can to countries in need. That is what we say and what we do. We hope certain individuals will, like the CPC and the Chinese government, put people's life, health and safety first, abandon political bias and arrogance, and focus on international cooperation in pandemic response.


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