|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on March 23, 2020|
Q: As the pandemic is spreading across the world, medical supplies are insufficient in many countries. You announced a few days ago that China has provided assistance to 82 countries. Will China continue to provide assistance to other countries?
A: The pandemic knows no borders but it brings out the best in humanity. Earlier on, the international community has offered political support and medical supplies to China in the hardest time. As the domestic situation continues to improve, China has started to provide assistance to other countries in urgent need within its capacity while continuing to do a good job in domestic epidemic prevention and control.
For countries that have assisted China in its fight against the epidemic, we will reciprocate their kindness without any hesitation if they need it. We will offer assistance as our capability allows to friendly countries that are in a severe situation and lack of prevention and control materials, especially those developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as regional organizations such as the African Union.
As I said last time, in addition to intergovernmental assistance at the state level, local governments and enterprises in China have taken action and donated supplies to the worst-affected countries. As far as I know, local governments of China have donated medical supplies to subnational governments in 19 countries, including Algeria, Angola, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Pakistan, Peru, the ROK, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United States. Chinese companies have donated goods to 20 countries, namely Cambodia, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, the ROK, Laos, Malta, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, the United Kingdom and the United States. Upholding the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, many Chinese companies operating overseas have also donated supplies to their local communities with a strong sense of social responsibility.
By doing so, China has lend firm support to the global fight against the pandemic, made contributions to global public health security, fulfilled its role as a responsible major country and put into practice the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind.
Q: President Trump said at press conferences on March 20 and 21 that China could have told the US earlier about the outbreak. According to US media reports, on March 20, the White House National Security Council launched a communications plan across multiple federal agencies that accuses China of "orchestrating a cover-up and creating a global pandemic". What is your comment?
A: I've read that report. And I also saw another report saying that on March 20, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the press that China, Russia and Iran were spreading disinformation and smearing US epidemic response.
Putting them together, you will find that on the very day of March 20, the US was on the one hand pushing federal agencies to speak against China and on the other hand accusing China, Russia and Iran of disseminating disinformation. I just can't help asking who is really spreading disinformation to mislead the public? The US, like a thief crying stop thief, has played such a cheap trick of slander and smear.
Last Friday, I detailed the notification and communication on COVID-19 between China and the US since the outbreak in a timeline. China has been sharing epidemic information with relevant countries and regions, the US included, in an open, transparent and responsible manner, which is universally acclaimed by the international community. Over the past two months or so, the Chinese people have united as one to fight against it. We have bought precious time for and made significant contributions to the world.
The WHO said that countries like Singapore and the ROK have made full use of the precious time China bought for the world and taken necessary prevention and control measures to stem the spread of the epidemic. What has the US done during the same period?
Since January 3, China has been regularly updating the WHO and countries, the US included. On January 23, China announced suspension of outbound public transport from Wuhan. When the US government announced the denial of entry by foreigners who had visited China in the past 14 days on February 2, only about 10 confirmed cases were reported in the US. Fifty days on, the number of confirmed cases in the US has soared from 10 to more than 30,000. Has the US taken any effective measures in the past 50 days? The US side has done nothing but waste the precious time China bought. Now the US has nothing better to do than discredit others, deflect responsibilities and find scapegoats. This is immoral and irresponsible. It will not help the US stop the pandemic, nor will it support the international community's joint efforts against it.
I once again urge the US to immediately stop politicizing the pandemic, stigmatizing China and denigrating other countries. The US should focus on getting its own house in order and play a constructive role in the global combat against the pandemic and safeguarding global public health security.
Q: There is much talk of postponing the Tokyo Olympics. Does China share the same opinion?
A: We noted relevant reports and that some countries have called for the Olympics to be postponed. Our stance on supporting Japan in hosting the 2020 Olympics has not changed. We also respect the decision made by the ICO and the Japanese side.
Q: You announced last week China would hold a video conference on COVID-19 prevention and control with Eurasian and South Asian countries. Do you have more details?
A: On March 20, the Chinese Foreign Ministry, together with the National Health Commission and the General Administration of Customs, held an online video conference to brief 19 Eurasian and South Asian countries on China's experience in the prevention and control of COVID-19. A press release was issued and you may refer to it.
The participating countries attached great importance to the meeting, which was attended by heads of health departments and the centers for disease control and prevention, and officials from departments of foreign affairs, civil aviation, the customs and WHO representatives in 11 Eurasian countries including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia as well as eight South Asian countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, the Maldives, India and Bhutan.
In response to the concerns of their foreign counterparts, Chinese experts briefed them on the experience and practic