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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Daily Briefing Online on February 14, 2020
2020-02-14 20:45

First, I'd like to share with you some figures from the National Health Commission (NHC) this morning. Between 00:00 and 24:00, February 13, altogether 1,081 cured and discharged cases were reported in China's mainland. As of 24:00 February 13, a total of 6,723 people have been cured and discharged from hospital in China's mainland.

Between 00:00 and 24:00, February 13, there were 267 newly reported confirmed cases in China (excluding Hubei Province), marking the 10th day of declining.

Recently many foreign ambassadors and representatives to China said on social media platforms that they stand with China in this fight against the NCP (COVID-19). It shows not only their strong recognition of China's epidemic response but also their confidence in the Chinese government and people's capability to defeat the virus. I'd like to share with you a video demonstrating true friendship that stands out in difficult times.

In this video:

The Russian ambassador to China said, "We hope the Chinese people will stay safe and sound, ward off all diseases and resume normal life as soon as possible."

The German ambassador to China said, "German people's thoughts are with China in this challenging time and we wish the Chinese people an early victory over the epidemic."

The Cuban ambassador to China said, "Chinese friends are not alone and the Cuban people stand with them."

The Mongolian ambassador to China said, "Friendly Chinese people will win the battle against the novel coronavirus."

The Iranian ambassador to China said, "I'm sure China, with 5000 years of civilization, will overcome this problem."

The Brazilian ambassador to China said, "The Chinese people have overcome all the challenges they encountered before. Brazil has faith in China."

The French ambassador to China said, "True friends are recognized in trying times. France is by your side."

The UN Resident Coordinator in China said, "The international community is behind China. Zhongguo jiayou! (Stay strong, China!)"

We applaud all foreign diplomats, representatives and the countries and institutions they represent for standing with China in times of adversity. This is a perfect demonstration of a community with a shared future for mankind.

After the epidemic, the history will remember not only the Chinese people's courage, arduous struggle and concerted efforts, but also the spirit of countries tiding over the difficulties hand in hand. China will continue working with all countries to fight the epidemic, defeat it as early as possible, safeguard international public health security and contribute to the health and wellbeing of all mankind.

Q: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization issued a statement in support of China's efforts in countering the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic. Secretary General Vladimir Norov of the SCO also said previously that the SCO member states will stand with the Chinese people to jointly fight against the epidemic. What is your comment?

A: On February 14, the SCO issued a statement in support of China's efforts in countering the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic. The statement said that the SCO member states welcome the decisive measures undertaken by the Chinese government and people to fight the epidemic and to stop it from spreading. The member states reaffirm their readiness to render China the necessary assistance and to closely cooperate with China. They call on the international community to step up their coordination within the World Health Organization for better public health security. The member states are convinced that coordinated joint efforts as well as mutual support will make it possible to overcome this epidemic and to contain its spreading.

The SCO, a comprehensive regional organization commanding major international influence, has been advocating the "Shanghai Spirit" and promoting common development and prosperity in solidarity. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, the SCO members have been cooperating with mutual support to address new threats and challenges. Leaders of the SCO member states have all sent messages of condolences in which they spoke highly of China's forceful measures and expressed their readiness to provide support and assistance. The SCO statement once again showcased the fine tradition of the member states sharing weal and woe through thick and thin. China will continue to closely cooperate with the international community, including the SCO member states, to mount a joint response against the epidemic and uphold regional and global public health security.

Q: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo again talked about Chinese infiltration in the US during a recent interview with FOX Business. He said it is what the Chinese Communist Party is doing, while the Americans love the Chinese people. He also talked about Chinese diplomatic missions' engagement in so-called infiltration. I wonder if you have any comment?

A: I responded to Mr. Pompeo's speech to the National Governors Association the other day. His latest remarks are a mere repetition of the old tune. In a renewed disregard for the actual course of China-US relations, he has exposed once again his Cold-War mentality and political prejudice, which we firmly oppose.

Here I'll give you some plain facts.

First, China adheres to the principle of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs. China's diplomatic missions and civil groups in the US observe international law and bilateral agreements. Their interactions with the US governments at all levels are to promote mutual understanding, exchanges and cooperation, thus legitimate, lawful, open and aboveboard, and beyond reproach.

Second, China follows the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the leadership of the CPC is a defining feature. This path is a historical choice made by the Chinese people. Anyone seeking to sow discord between the Chinese people and the CPC should know that their attempts will prove to be in vain.

Third, since diplomatic ties were established more than 40 years ago, China-US relations have generally moved forward despite some trials and turbulence, bringing tangible benefits to the two peoples. A sound and stable bilateral relationship serves the interests of both countries and is what the international community wants to see.

Finally, we advise certain people in the US to step out of their Cold War mindset and ideological prejudices, stop discrediting China's political system, and stop undermining bilateral exchange and cooperation.

Q: A question about the NCP. US National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow said yesterday that they're disappointed that they haven't been invited in and they're also disappointed in the lack of transparency coming from the Chinese. He added that "We're more than willing to work with the WHO on this and they won't let us". Do you have any response to this?

A: China has been working with the international community to tackle the epidemic in an open, transparent and highly responsible manner for the sake of global public health security and all people's health since the outbreak.

China has been active and open towards cooperation with the US. Since the epidemic broke out, the health authorities of the two sides have been in close communication on policies, timely exchanging information on the epidemic, with the heads of the departments having talks through phone calls and messages. Chinese and American departments of disease control, medical R&D and technology as well as scientists have also been engaging in various forms of exchanges. We welcome foreign experts' participation in the China-WHO Joint Mission, including those from the US. US President Trump and US Secretary of Health Alex Azar commended China's transparent handling of the epidemic on many occasions.

China will continue working with the international community, including the US, to jointly tackle the epidemic and uphold global health security.

Q: Some media reports say Director Yang Jiechi will visit Japan from February 28 to 29. Can you confirm this? What will be on his agenda?

A: I have nothing to offer you at the moment.

Q: White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said the US is disappointed at China for a lack of transparency in its response to the current coronavirus outbreak. Does China have a response?

A: Please refer to my earlier reply to the AFP.

Q: Following a special meeting in Brussels on February 13, EU health ministers agreed to increase preparations and coordination to prevent the virus from spreading across Europe. EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said that the EU does not consider banning Chinese travelers from entering its visa-free Schengen area at the moment and they should be positive in that the measures being taken by member states and China contain the virus. Do you have comments on that?

A: We have noted relevant reports and we welcome the agreement reached by EU health ministers at the emergency meeting that they see no need to ban Chinese travelers from entering Schengen area. I also want to stress that the international community needs to enhance coordination and cooperation to make a collective response to the epidemic as the virus knows no borders. We hope relevant countries will stay calm, make science-based assessment and rational response, and respect WHO's authoritative recommendations.

Since the outbreak of the epidemic, China and the EU have been in close communication and cooperation. We want to express our heartfelt thanks to the EU and its member states for their support and assistance. We will continue with our exchange of information and cooperation with the WHO and the international community in an open, transparent and responsible way and strive to achieve the victory against the epidemic as soon as possible.

Q: What is China's response to new indictments unveiled against Huawei by the U.S. government of racketeering and conspiracy to steal trade secrets?

A: I noted the reports and Huawei's response.

I need to reemphasize that the Chinese government encourages Chinese enterprises to conduct overseas business cooperation in accordance with local laws, the market principle and international rules. The US has been misusing its national power to oppress specific Chinese companies with no proof of any wrongdoing. Such practice is disgraceful and immoral, and it is beneath the status of the US as a major country. Such economic bullying practice is a blatant denial of the market principle, for which the US has been a self-claimed champion. It severely undermines the reputation and credibility of the US, as well as the interests of American companies.

We urge the US to immediately stop oppressing Chinese businesses.

Q: Can you tell us how many foreign governments have provided assistance to China so far?

A: China mainly relies on its own strength to tackle the epidemic. We are confident and capable of doing this. In the meantime, we welcome and thank the international community, the developing countries in particular, for their sincere support and friendly assistance.

According to what we have learned from diplomatic channels, as of 12 p.m. February 14, altogether 33 foreign governments and 4 international organizations have provided China with medical supplies. They are: Algeria, Australia, Belarus, Cambodia, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Suriname, Tajikistan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, the European Union, UNICEF, UNDP and the International Organization for Migration.

A total of 17 foreign governments and 1 international organization announced that they will offer medical supplies to China. They are: Austria, Brazil, the Republic of Congo, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Norway, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovenia and the United Nations Population Fund.

In addition, Chile, Equatorial Guinea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Vanuatu have also offered China financial and material support in other means. Friendly people in many countries, overseas Chinese firms and Chinese community including students have also provided a lot of support in various ways.

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