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Premier Li Keqiang Meets the Press

2020/05/29

The Third Session of the 13th National People's Congress held a press conference at the Great Hall of the People on the afternoon of 28 May 2020. Premier Li Keqiang met with Chinese and foreign reporters and answered their questions at the invitation of Spokesperson Mr. Zhang Yesui.

A reporter from Bloomberg News asked a question, saying that "The origins of COVID-19 are still a mystery. Scientists think if we can find out where it came from, we could prevent future pandemics. There have been calls for an international independent inquiry into the origins. What is China's stance on how such an inquiry should be carried out? What should such an inquiry do and what should it not do?"

Premier Li said, "China and many countries believe that it is important to get a clear idea about the sources of the coronavirus. At the recently held World Health Assembly, a resolution was adopted, and China is one of the co-sponsors of this resolution. We believe that getting clear about the sources of the virus on the basis of science will help us better carry out containment of COVID-19, and also contribute to protecting life and health of people around the world.

"The novel coronavirus disease has caught all countries by surprise. It is a completely new disease to humankind. So far, I'm afraid there is still more to the virus that we do not yet know. Viruses respect no borders, and they are the common enemy of the whole world and entire humanity. Nowadays, all countries are still working hard to contain the spread of the virus, and we are gaining experience along the way. We must work together to keep the virus in check. Research efforts need to be intensified for breakthroughs in vaccines, effective medicines and testing reagents, as they will be powerful weapons to help us succeed in checking the virus. China and many other countries are making investments into R&D of these products, and we are open to international cooperation. The deliverables of the R&D will be global public goods that we are ready to share with others. They will help the entire humankind in defeating the virus.

"With painstaking efforts, the Chinese people have successfully brought the spread of the virus under control. And China has taken an active part in international cooperation against the virus. We have all along acted with openness, transparency and a sense of responsibility. We have shared information in a timely way with the rest of the international community. The virus is still spreading around the world. And in China it has not come to a complete end yet; there are still sporadic cases. Scientists have cautioned us to stay on high alert to prevent a resurgence of infections. We must continue to adopt a factual, science-based, open and transparent approach in dealing with COVID-19. Any infection, once detected, must be promptly handled, and no cover-up will ever be allowed.

"Many people say that COVID-19 will not come to a stop any time soon and we may have to live with it for quite some time to come. All countries now are confronted with dual challenges. It's like doing double exams. We have to contain the spread of the virus, and at the same time do our best to get life and work back to normal. I'm afraid there is a certain level of trade-off between these two goals. Things would be quite different if we had only one task. So we will have to do our utmost to strike a delicate balance and continue to explore our way forward. In this process, international cooperation is vitally important. Whether it's fighting the virus or growing the economy, we must come together in a sense of partnership to eventually fight back the onslaught of the epidemic."

Full transcript available at http://www.xinhuanet.com/politics/leaders/2020-05/29/c_1126047196.htm

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