Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Remarks

CCTV: According to media reports, Australia has planted several "consultants" in the national epidemic prevention center in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and proactively tried to set up hurdles to delay and thwart the authorization of and access to China-assisted vaccines, even blocking PNG leaders who want to welcome the Chinese vaccines. Does China have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: Those in Australia who take advantage of vaccine issues to engage in political manipulation and bullying coercion are being callous to the life and health of the people in PNG. What they've done is a breach of the basic humanitarian spirit and gravely undermines global anti-pandemic cooperation. China voices its deep concern over and firm opposition to such irresponsible behavior.

China is committed to forging a community of health for all. We always see vaccines as a global public good and do our utmost to help developing countries save more innocent lives. We have no geopolitical agenda and attach no political strings. We urge the Australian side to stop disrupting and undermining vaccine cooperation between China and Pacific island countries and work together with us to help protect the health and wellbeing of people in island countries and advance international anti-pandemic cooperation with concrete actions.

The Paper: According to media reports, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee announced on June 22 that it's considering to put Australia's Great Barrier Reef on a list of world heritage in danger. Australia's Environment Minister claimed "there were politics behind it". Australian media believed the Australian government was pointing the finger at China, as it chairs the committee. Do you have any response?

Wang Wenbin: The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recently recommended that the Great Barrier Reef be listed as a world heritage site "in danger", which represents a recommendation made by this professional advisory body of the World Heritage Committee based on long-term evaluation.

As a party to the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, and especially a member of the World Heritage Committee, Australia should lead by example and respect the opinion of the professional evaluation institution. It should face up to its serious failings in world heritage protection and earnestly step up preservation efforts instead of politicizing technical issues, wantonly hurling unfounded accusations at UNESCO and its professional evaluation body and shifting the blame to others. Still less should it pressure the World Heritage Committee through innuendo and sensational media reports to sway the Committee's impartial and just decision.

We urge the Australian side to earnestly fulfill its obligations under the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, take seriously the opinion of the professional body, take concrete measures to preserve the Great Barrier Reef world heritage site and take care of the treasure of the whole mankind.

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