|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on April 8, 2020|
To help Myanmar fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese government has decided to send a team of medical experts to Myanmar. The team, organized by the National Health Commission, consists of experts selected by the Yunnan Provincial Health Commission. The team left for Myanmar on the morning of April 8.
CCTV: Nearly 100 former government officials and experts in the US issued a statement calling for China-US anti-epidemic cooperation, which they claim has won bipartisan support. The statement also identified China's problems such as its initial cover-up, its continuing lack of transparency, and its failure to cooperate fully with the US and international medical authorities. I wonder if you have any comment?
Zhao Lijian: We noted this statement. Former government officials and experts in the US are calling for cooperation between China and the US in an effort to combat the COVID-19, which they believe is very important for preventing its further spreading. This is consistent with the rational voices coming from people with vision in China, the US and the larger international community. We applaud and welcome that.
The virus knows no borders or races. It is a common challenge that can only be addressed by concerted international efforts. Upholding the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, China will continue strengthening cooperation with all countries including the US and contributing to global public health. President Xi and President Trump recently had two phone calls and reached important consensus on bilateral cooperation in anti-pandemic response. Health authorities and experts of both sides have been in close contact and held video conferences. Chinese localities, companies and civil groups have been donating medical supplies to the US to support their people. We are also helping the US government and businesses purchase Chinese supplies. Pharmaceutical companies and scientists of both sides are in contact and cooperation with each other on the R&D of vaccines and medicine.
That said, some contents that you mentioned in this statement, like China's initial cover-up and lack of transparency, are completely untrue. China has been open, transparent and responsible since the COVID-19 first broke out. We notified the WHO of the epidemic, shared the genome sequencing of the virus, carried out international cooperation and helped other countries affected, all at the earliest time possible. These are plain, internationally recognized facts, which cannot be denied or erased by anyone.
The fight against COVID-19 could serve as a platform for China-US cooperation. Just as President Xi said to President Trump in a recent phone conversation, both sides stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. Cooperation is the only right choice. We hope the US will work with China toward the same goal, follow the leaders' consensus, enhance anti-epidemic cooperation, develop China-US relations featuring no conflict or confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, and deliver greater benefits to people in China, the US and beyond.
Bloomberg: Are you aware of any expected G20 actions on the global oil market? And what role will China play?
Zhao Lijian: I want to state China's principled position on this issue. As a major energy importer and consumer, we hope to see a stable international energy market. There are various speculations on the prospect of the world economy amid the pandemic. At this particular time, stability of the international energy market bears special significance. China hopes the G20 and other multilateral mechanisms will play their due role in this regard.
Shenzhen TV: A special video conference of ASEAN Plus Three Health Ministers Meeting was held on April 7 to enhance cooperation in response to COVID-19. Can you give us more details on the meeting? What consensus was reached on epidemic prevention and control?
Zhao Lijian: On the afternoon of April 7, the ASEAN Plus Three Health Ministers Meeting on COVID-19 was convened via video conference to enhance cooperation in response to COVID-19. Health officials from China, Japan, the ROK and ten ASEAN countries as well as Secretary General of ASEAN Secretariat attended the meeting and delivered remarks. Attendees also include over 100 representatives from the above-mentioned departments. On the Chinese side, a senior official from the National Health Commission attended the meeting.
During the meeting, the Chinese side talked about our anti-epidemic practices and experience as well as our sharing of information and technology with other countries. We called on all parties to continue supporting WHO's leading role in fighting the pandemic, sharing information in an open, transparent and responsible manner, strengthening communication and coordination, and taking concerted actions to win the global fight against COVID-19.
As we understand, countries are discussing a joint statement after the meeting to jointly safeguard regional and global health security amid the pandemic. Please stay tuned.
Phoenix TV: First question, does the Chinese government plan to take home underage Chinese students from the US by charter flights? Second, yesterday US President Trump said "the WHO really blew it", and that the US is going to