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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on January 20, 2021
2021-01-20 23:34

Beijing Daily: Recently many countries have said they've acquired vaccines from China. Quite a few leaders have received the jabs openly. What's your comment? How do you see the prospect of international vaccine cooperation?

Hua Chunying: We always maintain that as the virus respects no borders and all mankind are connected with a shared future, solidarity and cooperation is our most powerful weapon against the pandemic. The international community already agrees on this.

Vaccine is our silver bullet for epidemic prevention and control and for our ultimate victory against the virus. The international community is now focusing on such cooperation. President Xi Jinping's pledge at the 73rd WHA, that China's vaccines, once developed and deployed, will be made a global public good and help to realize the accessibility and affordability of COVID vaccines in developing countries, has been well received worldwide. The idea of making COVID vaccines a global public good, recognized and supported by increasing number of countries, has been incorporated in the outcome documents of many important international organizations.

China is among the front-runners in vaccine R&D, with one Chinese vaccine given conditional approval for general public use and several others currently undergoing clinical trials of various stages. They are important pillars buttressing China's fight against the pandemic and participation in international vaccine cooperation.

Right now, public vaccination is underway in China with priority groups being the first to receive the shots. While striving to meet our huge domestic demand, we've been trying our best to advance vaccine cooperation with other countries through various means, especially with developing countries, to offer them much-needed support and help, in concrete steps to implement President Xi's commitment.

First, Chinese companies are conducting joint vaccine R&D with partners in a dozen countries, including clinical trials and co-production. As a result of such cooperation, Chinese companies have offered vaccines to partner countries. Mutually beneficial cooperation of this kind has not only promoted vaccine R&D on the Chinese side, but also contributed to making the vaccines more affordable and accessible in developing countries.

Second, for countries that are in urgent need of vaccines, have certified Chinese vaccines, or authorized their emergency use, Chinese companies have started to export vaccines or to discuss relevant cooperation with them, most of which being developing countries. The UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Indonesia, Brazil, among others, have authorized the use of Chinese COVID-19 vaccines.

Third, China has formally joined WHO-backed vaccine programme COVAX, supports G20 in promoting international vaccine cooperation, and upholds the role of multilateral cooperation in advancing the global equitable distribution of vaccines.

So far, over 40 countries have asked to import Chinese vaccines. As the production capacity expands, China will be able to gradually offer more to countries in need.

The international community speaks highly of China's efforts to promote international vaccine cooperation. Many countries believe that China is acting on its pledge of making vaccines a public good. Currently Chinese companies are actively discussing cooperation with COVAX. We are ready to contribute to accessibility and affordability of COVID vaccines in developing countries through this initiative. The general public in those partner countries have also expressed thanks for offering them support and easing their immediate difficulties despite the high demand at home. Many state leaders have set an example for their people by receiving Chinese vaccines, including, as you may have noted from media reports, Turkish President Erdogan and Vice President Oktay, Seychelles President Ramkalawan, Jordanian Prime Minister Khasawneh, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Bahrain Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman. Serbian President Vucic went to the airport for the arrival of Chinese vaccines and expressed his readiness to get vaccinated. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Facebook that he would be the first in the country to receive a shot of the China-made vaccine. Peruvian President Sagasti also said he would like to be inoculated with the Chinese vaccine.

The virus is still wreaking havoc around the world, and it is no time to slacken our prevention and control efforts. All need to pitch in if we are to meet the demands of all countries, especially developing ones. We look forward to seeing concrete actions from all sides to distribute more vaccines to developing countries and promote vaccines' equitable distribution and use worldwide, so that the day that sees our final victory over the virus will come sooner.

Bloomberg: I'd like to ask if Sinopharm and Sinovac has sought WHO pre-qualification for their coronavirus vaccine? Are these companies or is the Chinese government negotiating for these shots to be procured by COVAX and distributed to developing countries through the COVAX facility? 

Hua Chunying: I'd like to thank you for your interest in the progress of China's vaccine R&D. As we said earlier, China encourages vaccines companies to work together with multilateral institutions such as WHO to contribute to accessibility and affordability of vaccines in developing countries. To my knowledge, relevant vaccine companies are holding close communication with WHO and conducting substantive cooperation on applying for pre-qualification for WHO's Emergency Use List (EUL). You will need to ask the competent authorities for detailed information on the progress.

The Chinese government supports vaccine companies in joining COVAX and actively facilitates this. I understand Chinese companies including Sinopharm, Sinovac and CanSino have all submitted formal application to join the initiative. The Chinese government has also been in close communication with the sponsors including WHO. In a word, China stands ready to work together with all sides to promote the equitable distribution of vaccines across the world, contribute to the joint global response, and protect the safety and health of people in all countries.

Macao Monthly: Pompeo spoke time and again on the so-called human rights and birth control issues of Uighurs in China's Xinjiang on the website of the US State Department and on his Twitter account. Some media outlets say Pompeo has been spurned and ridiculed by U.S. allies, calling him the worst Secretary of State in U.S. history. What is your comment on that?

Hua Chunying: I really don't want to waste any time describing Pompeo, his character, all the lies he told, rumors he spread, and the poisonous remarks he made, of which I think you all have had enough. I think for Pompeo and his likes, history will pass a fair verdict on the damage he has inflicted on his own credibility as well as the image and reputation of the United States during his tenure as the country's top diplomat.

Beijing Youth Daily: It has been reported that many respondents to a survey of 15,000 people in 11 European countries, commissioned by the European Council on Foreign Relations, a think tank, and released on January 19, believe that the American political system is "broken" and that "after electing Donald Trump president in 2016, Americans can no longer be trusted". I wonder if you have a comment?

Hua Chunying: This serves to show that people can tell right from wrong and justice will prevail. No matter how the likes of Pompeo lie, cheat, spread hatred and confrontation, pursue diplomacy of lies, intimidation and coercion, they cannot escape people's fair judgement.

Looking back on this U.S. administration, people can judge it squarely and history will make a just evaluation.

CNN: Pompeo just released a statement declaring on behalf of the State Department a determination that China has committed crimes against humanity and genocide against Muslim Uyghurs and other members of ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang. What's your comment on this? Some say this may trigger international responses. For example, some countries may boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Hua Chunying: Pompeo's venomous lies in the past several years are too numerous to be counted, and the matter you mentioned is only one of those ludicrous fabrications. To us, Pompeo's so-called "determination" is nothing more than a piece of waste paper. This notorious liar and cheater is making himself a doomed clown and a joke of the century with his show of lies and madness just before the curtain falls.

Crimes against humanity and genocide are clearly-defined in international law. "China committing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang" is a completely false allegation and a malicious farce fabricated and hyped up by certain anti-China, anti-communist forces, with Pompeo being a fanatical pioneer. Such a thing only exists in the ugly political conspiracies of Pompeo and his like. It has never happened, is not happening and will never happen in China!

With great patience, China has time and again elaborated on the facts and truth regarding China's Xinjiang region. China published eight white papers and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region held 23 press briefings to present with solid figures and facts a life of stability, solidarity and harmony enjoyed by all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. In 2019, domestic and foreign travelers made over 200 million trips to Xinjiang. The region has received 1,200-plus diplomats, journalists and representatives of religious groups from more than 100 countries, who witnessed unity, amity and happiness among various ethnic groups as well as the scenic views of Xinjiang.

The life expectancy of Xinjiang residents grew from 30 to 72 years over the past six decades or so. The Uyghur population increased by 25.04 percent from 2010 to 2018, higher than the increase of the whole Xinjiang population, which stood at 13.99 percent, and much higher than the growth rate of the Han population, which was 2 percent. Languages, traditional cultures and customs of all ethnic minorities in Xinjiang have been well protected and inherited. All residents fully enjoy their rights, including the right to subsistence and development.

China's Xinjiang has been faithfully implementing the Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism and lawfully taking preventive counter-terrorism and de-radicalization measures, which effectively protected Xinjiang's security and stability and residents' safety. There hasn't been any violent or terrorist case over the past four years or so. China protects workers' rights and has made a lot of efforts to provide training opportunities and jobs for people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, so as to encourage, assist and support them in shaking off poverty and living a better life through diligence and hard work. During the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese government also puts people and life front and center and takes resolute, scientific and decisive measures to protect the safety and health of all people including Uyghurs to the greatest extent possible.

Pompeo's lies on Xinjiang and other matters are not only major insults on the 1.4 billion Chinese people including 25 million Xinjiang residents, but also major insults on the judgment of American people and the international community. What's worse, he has betrayed and challenged humanity's morality and conscience. Pompeo's neglect of truth and pursuit of lies reflects not only his own despicable character, but also some American forces' ill intention to interfere in China's internal affairs, undermine China's stability and security, and contain China's development under the pretext of human rights in Xinjiang, which is an entirely fabricated issue serving to smear China and the CPC. But Pompeo and his like should know this: our peaceful and prosperous Xinjiang will not be dragged through mud by their smearing and slander; the 1.4 billion Chinese people of 56 ethnic groups, united closely as seeds of a pomegranate, will not be slowed for a second by their petty distractions in our journey towards the great national rejuvenation. Justice may be late, but it will always catch up. There is no better place than the dustbin of history for Pompeo and all his vicious lies and influence. History will deliver a fair verdict on them and the day of reckoning will come.

As for the ripple effects you asked about, including the possibility of some people boycotting the Winter Olympics, my answer is very clear. China is not the only victim to Pompeo's poisonous lies and rumors. CNN is also a victim, right? Many American people and the upcoming U.S. administration also loathe their lies and rumors. I believe you have your fair judgment on the credibility of people like him. All normal, rational people with a sober mind can draw conclusions based on facts.

They should realize that Pompeo's lies and rumors are based on the fabrications made by anti-China scholar Adrian Zenz and Australian Strategic Policy Institute. I believe the U.S. media have a clear understanding of what they have done. For instance, as revealed by an American website, rumors on Xinjiang are part of their publicity blitz against China, including spreading rumors to slander and even demonize China. In particular, they hyped up biased and baseless fallacies to coordinate with anti-China forces in the United States to smear Xinjiang's counter-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts, testifying to the fact that they have no credibility at all. Their fellow countrymen in the United States and Australia have pointed out their lack of integrity, which brings shame to their home country.

If you are interested in the truth of what's happening in Xinjiang, we surely welcome your visit to China to see Xinjiang with your own eyes, hear the voices from over 25 million Xinjiang residents of various ethnic groups, and get to know the mind of the 1.4 billion Chinese people. We'd like to have exchanges and dialogue with them based on equality and mutual respect, so that they can understand the truth. I believe most people in the international community can make independent judgment on this based on facts.

Regarding the Winter Olympics, the preparations are being smoothly carried out. We have confidence that it will be an extraordinary gathering.

CNN: Your answer just now put only Pompeo in the cross-hairs who only has a few hours left in office, but the Xinjiang issue seems to be a bipartisan consensus in Washington. President-elect Joe Biden also answered a similar question in 2019, saying that what happened in Xinjiang is the world's greatest violation against human rights, and said the United States cannot remain silent on this issue. So it is not just about Pompeo. The new U.S. administration may not choose to change course or reverse relevant policy on this issue. Do you have any comment?

Hua Chunying: As I just said, we are all victims of the lies, rumors and poison that have been unleashed by Pompeo and a few other politicians in Washington over the years. So I think we are on the same page here. What Pompeo accused about Xinjiang is simply non-existent. Then there are those who are simply buying the rumors spread by this U.S. administration and lack a basic understanding of the facts. But as long as they mean no malicious slander or attack against China, they are welcome to have exchanges with us based on equality and mutual respect and to visit China and see for themselves the joy, unity and harmony people of all ethnic groups are enjoying there.

The severe damage to China-US relations over the past four years is caused precisely because this administration has made fundamental mistakes in its strategic perception of China and has viewed China as its biggest strategic competitor, leading to various means to interfere in China's internal affairs and every effort to suppress, slander and smear China. I don't think this serves the interests of the people in China or the United States. It's not the wish of those in the United States who want to see a healthy and stable development of China-U.S. relations. I think the new administration should serve the wishes of the people, view China in a rational and objective light, and work with China on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit to put China-US relations back on the track of healthy and stable development as soon as possible.

CNN: First, you mentioned Fort Detrick on Monday while answering a question on origin-tracing, and then it became a trending topic in Chinese social media. Last night, the MFA became the hottest topic. Many Chinese netizens gathered speculations and hypothesis spreading online and continued to hype up the issue. China's statement came as WHO experts are working in Wuhan. Do you intend to suggest that so long as they don't conduct similar research in the US, then any conclusion reached in Wuhan would be one-sided and meaningless? Second question, you mentioned some expectations for the new administration, but it also came as the new administration is about to be sworn in. Is it meant to be a signal or a tough posture?

Hua Chunying: This reminds me of the question posed by Mr. Sudworth of BBC on Monday. But with your fluent Chinese, you should have a more accurate understanding of comments on Chinese social media as well as our positions. There should be no misunderstanding. If you check the past remarks of foreign ministry spokespersons, can you recall anything like your interpretation? Our consistent position is that origin-tracing is a serious scientific matter that must be studied by scientists and medical experts to reach a conclusion through science-based research. It will help us gain a better understanding of this new virus so as to better deal with similar public health crises in the future.

With regard to Fort Detrick, if you think back, wasn't it back in June, July 2019 when American media including social media reported a lot on this? We are curious, when there were so many media reports in the US on the bio-chemical research base at Fort Detrick and the subsequent EVALI outbreak, why didn't the US conduct any investigation but instead removed relevant reports? When the world asked time and again for an explanation from the US on Fort Detrick, why did the US remain silent with no explanation offered whatsoever?

Besides, when an EcoHealth Alliance expert who had been working with WIV for 15 years said that there's no evidence showing that the Wuhan lab had the virus that could trigger the outbreak, why did the US quickly cut funding for his joint research program? I noted the American science community condemned this.

Also, when media reports showed that the epidemic broke out in multiple places earlier in the autumn of 2019 and there might be links between the seasonal influenza in the US and the epidemic, why did the US remain silent and neither invite WHO to look into the matter nor investigate itself? These are just some of the question marks waiting for answers. And it is not for China, but for the US, to offer the answers.

You mentioned comments on Chinese social media including the trending topics. Speaking fairly, the US media reported heavily on the lies of the American leadership, including all the stigmatization, labeling, and all sorts of smears and attacks. If American media, even the leadership or senior officials are free to make irresponsible comments and spread rumors and conspiracy theories, why is it that American media can report on them but Chinese media and people using social media couldn't post their own comments? You should see how people in the US are suffering because of the rampant rumors and conspiracy theories. Aren't there lessons to be learned?

I stress that China's position is clear and consistent. We have no intention to misguide public judgement or the WHO mission's work. We always firmly support the work of WHO and offer our strong coordination and close cooperation. We hope other countries could offer the same firm support and assistance to WHO.

You asked whether it was meant to be a tough posture for the incoming US administration, I think that's reading too much into it. What's the signal? Actually lately many in the business and academic circles in the US have been speaking up because they are all fed up with the extremely irresponsible remarks by a few politicians and hope that normal life and order could be restored. I think that if the new administration could be more rational and responsible in formulating domestic and foreign policies, it will be welcomed by the international community.

On China's part, we always believe that the China-US ties are a very important bilateral relationship. The sound and steady development of this relationship serves the fundamental interests of the two peoples and countries and is the shared aspiration of the international community. China's policy on developing relations with the US is consistent and clear. We hope the new administration could meet China halfway, properly handle differences in the spirit of mutual respect, and conduct mutually-beneficial cooperation in broader areas. This is the expectation of both peoples and the whole world.

CNN: We've seen a lot of coverage by the Chinese media questioning the safety of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine as 23 people died in Norway after receiving it. Many people believe that these reports are exaggerating and misleading. Some commented that such reports by state media will sow doubts about vaccines in the minds of the general public, which falls into the same rank as those anti-vaxxers in the United States and other western countries. All these have made people around the world less confident about vaccines, which will not help the global anti-epidemic efforts and eventually hurt China's interests. How do you respond to such criticism?

Hua Chunying: The issue here is a fundamental one: why cannot Chinese media report on something already covered by western media? Even when Chinese media report facts objectively, they are rejected as propaganda or even disinformation. This very idea reveals the deep-seated ideological bias and appalling injustice against China. Why cannot Chinese media report facts when those in the west can say whatever they like? Where is the freedom of press and freedom of speech? Aren't Chinese media and netizens entitled to the freedom of speech?

You mentioned the incident with the Pfizer vaccine where 23 elderly people died after receiving the vaccine in Norway. Wasn't this first reported by western media? Didn't Norway report this first? Didn't the Norwegian Medicines Agency make an open statement? There was official review on the reasons of death for 13 of them, pointing to side effects of the vaccine. This is not made up by Chinese media, but first reported by western media. But we also noted that English mainstream media didn't feature this in their reporting in a timely manner.

You should have noticed this interesting phenomenon: whenever there is any negative news about Chinese vaccines, western media always rush to report on it. For example, when a volunteer taking part in Chinese vaccine trails in Brazil passed away, before the reasons were found, western media wrote headlines about the incident, which later proved to be unrelated to the vaccine. Do I remember correctly? But later not one of the western media agencies apologized to China for the mistake in their reports.

It is the urgent task at hand for all of us to fight the virus. Vaccines themselves are a serious scientific issue. Against the grave situation, more vaccines being applied, especially in developing countries, would be of great help to our joint defence against the virus. At stake here is the fundamental interests of all humanity. But we are observing an abnormal phenomenon now. A handful of US and UK media have been taking the lead in pinning invisible geopolitical labels to vaccines and projecting political positions to their reporting. They want to promote Pfizer's vaccine and trash Chinese vaccines. But China is not affected by such narrow geopolitical bias. We are ready to contribute to vaccine accessibility and affordability and would be glad to see developed countries sharing their vaccines with developing ones. That's what we hope to see, not a zero-sum game. The double standard that has been exposed on the issue of vaccines reflect a thought-provoking and profound phenomenon that is not conducive to international anti-epidemic cooperation.

Bloomberg: Regarding the Xinjiang genocide statement, you referred to Pompeo, but the President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of State Antony Blinken in his confirmation hearing said he agreed with the Trump administration's designation of what's happening in Xinjiang as genocide. So specifically, I'm wondering if you could comment on the incoming Secretary of State's position, Mr. Blinken's comments and support of the designation?

Hua Chunying: Like I said to CNN, people all know the U.S. administration with Pompeo as a leading figure fabricated so many lies and rumors and spread so much poison. In fact, the American people also despise his lying character and words lacking the slightest credibility. I believe they have their fair judgment on the credibility of Pompeo and his like.

Among the American people there are various misunderstandings on Xinjiang-related matters, and the reason is crystal clear: Pompeo and other anti-China, anti-communist forces have been colluding with and employing anti-China scholars to spin rumors about China. The American media also exposed the Xinjiang-related rumors created by Adrian Zenz and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, as well as their sponsors. We hope the new U.S. administration will make cool-headed, rational and accurate decisions on Xinjiang and other important issues. On Xinjiang-related matters, we need to let facts and truth speak for themselves. The United States claims to champion democracy, right? Well, they should hear the voices from over 25 million Xinjiang residents of various ethnic groups. We are ready to have exchanges with them based on equality and mutual respect, and help them know more about the truth. In the meantime, we oppose interference in China's internal affairs under the pretext of Xinjiang and human rights, and we will firmly uphold national sovereign and security.

Hubei TV: Lately there has been much debate over the home of paocai among netizens and public figures in China and the ROK, sometimes even leading to mutual criticism and exaggerated interpretation. I wonder if you have any comment?

Hua Chunying: I'm no culinary expert. To me, what we call paocai in Chinese is a broad variety of pickled fermented food that is not unique to a few countries, ethnic groups or regions. In China it is generally known as paocai, in the Korean Peninsula and among China's ethnic Korean group kimchi, and the list of names goes on. Despite the similarity, each has its own unique features in terms of ingredient, flavor, recipe, etc. We support meaningful and friendly exchange and discussion over academic issues concerning paocai from a culinary perspective, but there should be no place for bias to avoid inciting confrontation and affecting people-to-people ties.

Xinhua News Agency: Biden's incoming NSC Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell recently said that the current path that the China-US relationship is taking will only lead the two countries to a horrible situation. The two sides should suspend tit-for-tat actions, establish proper channels and mechanisms for contacts, and take some moderate steps to send positive signals of improving ties with each other. What is your comment?

Hua Chunying: China always maintains that a sound China-US relationship serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and the shared aspiration of the international community. Differences aside, China and the United States do share a wide range of common interests and space for cooperation, and we two shoulder special responsibility to world peace and development.

China's policy toward the United States is consistent and clear. We are committed to developing a relationship with the United States featuring non-confrontation, non-conflict, mutual respect and win-win cooperation. We are also determined to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests. We hope that the new U.S. administration will work with China in strengthening dialogues, managing differences and expanding cooperation so as to return bilateral relations back to the right track of development at an early date and better serve the people of the two countries and the whole world.

O Globo: Supplies of active ingredients for the production of COVID-19 vaccines in Brazil had been held back in China. Brazilian authorities are concerned that this delay will affect their vaccination. Do you know the reason of this delay and when the supplies will be released to be sent to Brazil?

Hua Chunying: Regarding the specific situation surrounding vaccine export, I believe it's better for you to inquire the relevant company.

What I can tell you is that the safety and efficacy of vaccines is always the top priority for the Chinese side. Chinese vaccine research and development companies have been strictly following scientific rules and regulatory requirements, promoting vaccine research and development in accordance with laws and regulations, and carrying out international cooperation in strict accordance with international norms and relevant laws and regulations. Phase III clinical trials of Chinese vaccines in Brazil are progressing smoothly. We believe that such bilateral cooperation will play a positive role in China and Brazil's fight against the pandemic.

China has been very active in international vaccine cooperation and has joined COVAX. Chinese vaccines, once developed and put into use, will contribute to increasing the accessibility and affordability of vaccines in developing countries. We are also willing to continue our cooperation with Brazil in this regard.

NHK: US Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken said at the hearing that a tough stance should be taken on China's human rights issue and military development. What is your comment?

Hua Chunying: You mentioned some comments on China made by Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken at a senate hearing. I'd like to make three points.

First, China's domestic and foreign policies and strategic intent are open and transparent. China is committed to pursuing the path of peaceful development, upholding world peace, promoting global development, and safeguarding international order.

Second, China's positions on China-US relations and Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang are consistent and clear. China is committed to developing a relationship with the United States featuring non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation. At the same time, China will firmly safeguard its own sovereignty, security and development interests. We firmly oppose the U.S. side using relevant issues to interfere in China's internal affairs, damage China's interests and tarnish China's image.

Third, we hope that the U.S. side will adopt a right perspective in viewing China and China-U.S. relations, work with China to manage differences through cooperation and bring China-U.S. relations back to the right track. This serves the common interests of the two countries and is also the shared aspiration of the international community.

O Globo: Is the delay of active ingredients export to Brazil due to a concern in China over the scarcity of supplies for domestic vaccination? Is the production capacity enough?

Hua Chunying: As I said just now, the Phase III clinical trial of the Chinese vaccine jointly carried out by Chinese and Brazilian companies and institutions has been going smoothly, and Brazil has already approved the emergency use authorization of China's vaccine. We are willing to continue our cooperation with Brazil, but I would like to refer you to the competent authority for the specific details.

We all know that one Chinese coronavirus vaccine has been given conditional approval for general public use. At the current stage, China can only export a limited number of doses, including finished products, and concentrates and semi-finished products which will be processed further in receiving countries. So the Chinese enterprises are running full-steam day and night to produce as many vaccines as possible to meet the needs of China and other countries, and to honor our pledge of making vaccines more accessible and affordable in developing countries.

Bloomberg: Regarding your comments on Monday about the U.S. military lab and the spreading of viruses through it. Your ambassador to the US has described such speculation about the spread of the virus through the U.S. military as "crazy". How can we reconcile comments made earlier by you on Monday with the ambassador's previous statement?

Hua Chunying: I think you misunderstood my words. You may refer to the text of our press conference on that day.

About Fort Detrick, I merely stated a fact. It was back in June, July, 2019 when American media reported a lot on this, but the reports were soon removed. Many raised questions online but the US remained silent with no explanation offered whatsoever.

China's position is very clear. As the novel coronavirus is a very cunning enemy that was unknown before, we hope scientists and medical experts led by WHO can conduct field trips, research and cooperation in a serious and science-based manner to find out the truth as soon as possible, so that we can better handle similar public health crises in the future.

We deplore conspiracy theories, because over the past year or so, China has been the biggest victim of conspiracy theories on COVID-19. That's why we firmly support WHO and closely cooperate with it, hoping the truth can be found out through field trips, scientific research and cooperation conducted by scientists and medical experts. On this issue all parties should be candid and active in cooperation with the WHO.

After weathering so much, the U.S. media should have a stronger heart now. Why are you being so sensitive as if asking for kid-glove treatment? On one hand, you slash China with anything you like, and on the other, you cannot stand something that we say or you take a comment online as China's official stance. More mutual understanding, please.

O Globo: Secretary Pompeo tweeted about the BRICS that thanks to President Bolsonaro and Indian Prime Minister Modi, Brazil and India get it that China and Russia are threats to their people. What's your comment?

Hua Chunying: You are with a Brazilian media agency, so you should know, do the Brazilian government and people see China as a threat? We also have Indian journalists here, do our Indian friends see China as a threat? Like I said, Pompeo fabricated so many lies and rumors and spread so much poison. Are his words convincing at all? I feel there aren't so many people in the world who would deign to collude with him at the expense of their own credibility.

CNN: Do you think you are going to miss him after he steps down as he's such an easy target?

Hua Chunying: Of course. He's such a good laughing stock. It's like a new drama every day. But I think he has done irreparable damage to the U.S. national image and reputation. It's such a tragedy for the American people. Will you miss him at CNN?

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