According to the website of the State Council Information Office (SCIO), on 5 March, a SCIO press briefing was held on China’s participation in international cooperation to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.
Ma Zhaoxu, China’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, noted that since the beginning of the outbreak, President Xi Jinping has placed high importance on international cooperation, and given important instructions on China’s communication and coordination with foreign countries and on closer cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), which has pointed the direction for China’s participation in international cooperation on the epidemic. President Xi had telephone conversations with leaders of over ten countries and held meetings or talks with Prime Minister of Cambodia, President of Mongolia and WHO Director-General, who visited China during the outbreak. President Xi noted that, guided by the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, China is doing everything possible to protect the life and health of its people, and making its due contribution to global public health security. These powerful words have demonstrated China’s full confidence in winning this all-out, people’s war against the epidemic. WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros commended on multiple occasions President Xi’s extraordinary leadership in overseeing the country’s response to the outbreak.
＃True friends stand by each other through thick and thin. The Chinese people will always cherish the kind support we have received from countries around the world.＃ True friends stand by each other through thick and thin, said Vice Minister Ma. The Chinese people are not alone in fighting the outbreak. Instead, we have received valuable support through various means from the international community. The leaders of more than 170 countries and the heads of over 40 regional and international organizations have extended messages of sympathies and support to China. The United Nations, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, African Union, Arab League, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the G77 have also issued statements to show confidence and support for China. We have also received in-kind assistance from the governments and peoples of foreign countries as well as international organizations. China is grateful for the support from the world. While relying mainly on our own efforts to combat the outbreak, we do appreciate these generous assistance from the international community. As we often say, the outbreak is only temporary, but friendship and cooperation are here to stay. The Chinese people will always cherish the kind support we have received from countries around the world.
＃China is working hand-in-glove with the world to tide over difficulties. China will work closely with other countries to defeat the epidemic.＃ Vice Minister Ma said that the global epidemic situation is now rapidly evolving. While making every effort to control the outbreak at home, China is also working actively with other countries in the spirit of openness, transparency and responsibility. China will share its experience and good practices, including containment measures and therapeutic solutions, and explore the mechanism of joint epidemic prevention and control. China will step up communication and coordination on the sharing of epidemic information as well as containment practices and technologies. We will also seek cooperation in areas such as diagnostics, therapeutics, drugs and vaccine development. Major public health emergencies pose a formidable challenge to mankind. Members of the international community must all join this global fight against the COVID-19 outbreak in the spirit of solidarity and mutual assistance. China will continue to promote the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, strengthen international coordination and collaboration, and work with all countries to seek victory over the epidemic. Going forward, China will also advance international public health cooperation for greater progress in global health.
＃China has taken as its duty to protect the health and safety of both Chinese and foreign nationals, and treated them alike in the application of epidemic control measures.＃ Vice Minister Ma said, under the current circumstances, local authorities in China have introduced various screening, quarantine and epidemic control measures for new arrivals from severely affected countries and regions. These measures, taken in accordance with China’s laws and regulations, are necessary for containing the epidemic and have proved effective against cross-border transmission. They have been adopted to protect the health and safety of both Chinese and foreign nationals. They are also conducive to epidemic control in the world as a whole. In applying these measures, China treats foreign nationals in the same way as its own citizens. We take into full account their legitimate concerns, and do our best to meet their basic needs with all necessary assistance. The relevant containment measures will be adjusted in light of the evolving epidemic situation. We also call upon travelers arriving from severely affected countries to give their understanding and support for the local outbreak control measures. This will help us fend off potential risks, while also serving the health and safety of themselves as well as others.
＃For every kindness it has received, China will return many times more. We will work to extend help to countries in urgent need.＃ Vice Minister Ma said that as the outbreak develops in other parts of the world, some countries have asked us to help. Their needs mainly fall into four categories: first, virus testing kits; second, protective suits, face masks, thermometers and other medical supplies; third, medicines; and fourth, epidemic control and medical treatment experience. We have already provided testing kits to a number of countries, and China’s Red Cross Society, private organizations, businesses and local governments have also donated supplies through their own channels. We have dispatched to Iran a volunteer team of medical experts. We are preparing necessary assistance to countries in urgent need, including the ROK, Iraq, Cambodia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. We are also considering answering WHO’s call for funding support. Many of the countries that need our assistance have helped us in the first place. We want to return their kindness by helping them defeat the outbreak, as we in China often say, “You give me a peach and I give you a white jade for friendship.”
(The full text is available at: http://www.scio.gov.cn/xwfbh/xwbfbh/wqfbh/42311/42642/index.htm)