SCIO briefing on white paper 'Fighting COVID-19: China in Action'

​The State Council Information Office (SCIO) held a press conference on June 7 to brief the media on its new white paper: "Fighting COVID-19: China in Action." June 10, 2020

The Times:

I have one question regarding China's relationship with the rest of the world, which has been negatively affected by the coronavirus outbreak. What measures will China take to repair its relationship with the rest of the world? 

Ma Zhaoxu:

I disagree with your assertion that China's relationship with the rest of the world has been negatively affected by the coronavirus outbreak. It is not true. The fact is that China's relationship with the majority of countries throughout the world has not been negatively affected by the outbreak; rather, its relationship has been further consolidated and improved. Our friends have become closer and our circle of friends has expanded. This is the truth. 

A friend in need is a friend indeed. As was especially noted in the white paper, when the situation in China was at its most difficult point, leaders of more than 170 countries, heads of 50 international and regional organizations and more than 300 foreign political parties and organizations expressed solidarity and support for China through phone calls, letters and statements. 77 countries and 12 international organizations donated emergency medical supplies to China. People of all countries supported China in different ways. We will never forget these precious acts of friendship.

Therefore, in the face of the increasingly severe global pandemic, China empathizes with other countries and reciprocates the same goodwill. We will do our best to provide support and assistance to all parties and share China's experience and solutions without reservation. The white paper elaborates on this. For example, as of May 31, China had offered aid supplies to 150 countries and four international organizations, sent medical expert teams to 27 countries and held more than 180 expert video conferences with more than 170 countries and international organizations. Local governments, enterprises, non-governmental organizations and individuals in China have donated materials to more than 150 countries and regions as well as international organizations through various channels. We have also facilitated the commercial procurement of Chinese products in China by various countries around the world. From March 1 to May 31, China exported protective materials to 200 countries and regions, including 70.6 billion masks and 340 million protective suits. These facts show that China shoulders its responsibility as a major country. The friendly relationship and practical cooperation between China and other countries in the world have also been greatly promoted. All of this proves that the COVID-19 outbreak actually improved the development of China's relationship with other countries in the world.

The international community has spoken highly of China's outstanding contributions to the global COVID-19 response. Let me quote from a leader of a developing country: "At this difficult time, China has not stayed on the sidelines, but stood with us and helped us. I would like to sincerely thank President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government and Chinese people." We have seen people in many countries hitting the "like" button for China on the internet, illuminating the lights of "China Red" in their cities, playing the Chinese national anthem in their communities and cheering "thank you China" on the streets. There are many more examples.

In sharp contrast, certain countries have gone against the historical tide. In order to shift the blame for their inadequate response to COVID-19, they pulled out all the stops to attack and smear China, creating and spreading political viruses. China will resolutely fight back against such buck-passing behavior. I want to emphasize that when faced with COVID-19, solidarity and cooperation are the most effective weapons. Surmounting difficulties by pulling together is the right way to go. 

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