Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Remarks

The Paper: Reports say the Australian Prime Minister expressed support for an independent review into COVID-19 response and lobbied leaders of France, Germany and New Zealand, among others, to support the review. On April 22, Australian Foreign Minister Payne said in a signed article that Australia will play a leading role in such international review. I wonder if China has any comment?

Geng Shuang: I have noticed relevant reports. If they are truthful, then I have to say that the so-called independent review proposed by the Australian side is political maneuvering in essence. It will disrupt international cooperation in fighting the pandemic and goes against people's shared aspiration.

Currently, with the pandemic still spreading across the world, the most pressing task is to put people's life and health first and work together to defeat the virus. At such a critical juncture, it is highly irresponsible to resort to politically-motivated suspicion and accusation.

We advise the Australian side to put aside ideological bias and political games, focus on the welfare of the Australian people and global public health security, follow the international community's collective will for cooperation, and contribute to the global cooperation in fighting the virus, instead of doing things to the contrary.

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