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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on March 30, 2020

The Chinese government has decided to send a team of medical experts to Venezuela to help it fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The team, organized by the National Health Commission, consists of experts selected by Jiangsu Provincial Health Commission. The team left on March 29 and arrived in Venezuela on March 30.

Agence France-Presse: A European country's government official claimed recently that China is using the assistance it is providing to other countries on COVID-19 to manipulate public opinion, and called it "Chinese propaganda". Do you have any comment?

Hua Chunying: I have not seen the report you mentioned. I am not aware that it is under what circumstances and on what specific issues the official you mentioned made these remarks.

Recently I have been hearing some people in the West raising the issue of Chinese "political propaganda", and I would like to ask what on earth are they referring to? Do they want China to sit idle and do nothing while other countries are braving the pandemic with so many people suffering and the number of casualties climbing higher with each passing day? Or do they think that they can do more and better than China? If that's the case, we would love to see all countries strengthening solidarity and providing more valuable and timely assistance to people suffering and struggling to overcome the pandemic.

What is undeniably clear is that this outbreak, which caught us by surprise, proves once again in a no less than tragic way that all mankind lives in a community with a shared future. No country is immune from the outbreak. Only through unity and cooperation can we overcome the difficulties together.

In the face of the pandemic, to help others is to help yourself. The Chinese people will never forget that the international community gave us valuable support and assistance during the most difficult period of China's fight against COVID-19. The Chinese nation is grateful and always reciprocates other's kindness. The Chinese government and people have made arduous efforts and great sacrifices. At present, the situation at home is trending steadily towards a positive direction. While guarding the domestic defense against the pandemic, we are also doing our best to provide assistance to other countries in need. What we want to do, what we are going to do and what we have done is to do our very best to help countries and people in need, and work with the international community to save lives and safeguard public health.

After the outbreak, relevant Chinese enterprises returned to work, expanded their production capacity, and worked around the clock to produce medical protection supplies, thus providing a solid logistical support for China's fight against the pandemic. Although the situation in China is getting better and more stable, they are still working overtime day and night to help other countries in urgent need of them to fight the pandemic. This is China fulfilling its role as a responsible major country and the Chinese people making kind and selfless contribution to the global response. I believe that such efforts are worthy of respect, not disparagement.

We hope the relevant country can view objectively China's participation in international cooperation and its assistance to other countries amid the pandemic, and contribute in words and actions to the international response.

Xinhua News Agency: On March 28, the Independent National Electoral Commission of Guinea announced the result of a constitutional referendum held on March 22. The ballots were in favor of adopting the new constitution. What is your comment?

Hua Chunying: The Chinese side noted that Guinea has successfully held a referendum on a new constitution and the preliminary result shows that the new constitution has broad support. The constitutional referendum is an internal affair of Guinea. China respects the people of Guinea making their own choices. The Chinese and Guinean people enjoy long-term friendship. The Chinese side hopes that all parties in Guinea will strengthen dialogue and consultation to jointly safeguard national stability and development. We hope that the international community will also play a constructive role in this regard.

China National Radio: The US Department of Justice on March 26 indicted Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and other top Venezuelan officials on charges of "narco-terrorism". The US Department of State is offering rewards of up to $15 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Maduro and up to $10 million each for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of his four close aides. What's your comment?

Hua Chunying: Venezuela is an independent sovereign nation. China consistently objects to foreign violation of Venezuela's sovereignty and interference in its internal affairs under any cover. We also stand firmly against illegal unilateral sanctions.

China urges the US to abide by the UN Charter and basic norms governing international relations and stop meddling in Venezuela's domestic affairs. We call on all parties to put the Venezuelan people's welfare first, move towards each other and contribute to stability in the country and region and peaceful resolution of the Venezuela issue.

China Daily: A couple of countries say the quick coronavirus test kits supplied by China are faulty and have produced inaccurate test results. What's your comment?

Hua Chunying: Many countries have recently been purchasing medical products in China. While satisfying domestic demands, we support export by companies with qualifications and credibility, and provide convenience in production, transport and customs clearance to facilitate foreign procurement and orderly exporting. Some countries raised purchasing demands via diplomatic channels, and we recommend qualified companies to the foreign buyers. As far as I know, we haven't received any complaints from the buyers about the products purchased via the above-mentioned channel.

Several countries raised doubts on the quality of products imported from China, to which our embassies responded at the earliest time possible.

For example, some Slovak officials questioned the reliability of the quick coronavirus test kits purchased from China. The Chinese embassy in Slovakia immediately contacted the manufacturer in China. They came to the preliminary conclusion that Slovak medical workers used these antigen test kits incorrectly with a preceding method applicable to nucleic acid testing, which led to the inaccurate results. Our embassy in Slovakia then issued a reminder on the correct use of different testing methods. Slovak foreign ministry thanked China for its help at a difficult time, appreciated China's assistance in exporting medical supplies to Slovakia, and expressed readiness to enhance cooperation and experience-sharing with China.

Also, in response to Philippine health official's remarks on the accuracy of China-provided aid of testing reagents, the health department made clarifications the other day that the test kits produce identical results with those provided by WHO, and that these quality products play an important role in the government's rapid response. It also expressed apology for the misunderstanding caused by relevant comments.

About the masks that the Netherlands claimed not meeting quality standards, after immediate contact and verification by the Chinese embassy, on the afternoon of March 29, Dutch officials told us that some of the masks purchased by Dutch agency companies are not suitable for medical workers in intensive care units, and the health department is consulting professionals to make sure whether these masks can be used by medical staff with less intensive protection requirements. The Dutch side thanked China for our support and help in its purchase and transport of Chinese medical supplies.

Indeed, many countries expressed their need to purchase medical products from China. A large number of Chinese manufacturers are working around the clock to help other countries save lives. Our sincerity and assistance is real. If problems occur in this process, the Chinese side will talk to relevant departments. Problems should be properly solved based on facts, not political interpretations. In fact, when we first began fighting COVID-19 at home, some of the assistance China received was defective, but we chose to believe and respect the kind intentions of these countries.

Reuters: Taiwan's Joseph Wu commented that he would invite reporters from New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal to be stationed in Taiwan, a free and democratic "country". Will China help facilitate such a move?

Hua Chunying: You should know that Taiwan is not a country.

Associated Press of Pakistan: Since the spread of COVID-19 across the globe, China is providing help in shape of medical supplies and experts to many countries including Pakistan. Can you share some detail of China's help to Pakistan in this regard?

Hua Chunying: China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic partners and iron-clad friends. We have a fine tradition of helping each other and sharing weal and woe. After the COVID-19 outbreak in China, all sectors of the Pakistani society immediately voiced strong support and concrete assistance to China. The Chinese people will not forget this.

Recently, the situation in Pakistan has become very grave due to the rapid development of the pandemic. China sympathizes with what they are going through. At the request of Pakistan, the Chinese government has donated several batches of medical supplies such as testing reagents, masks, protective gear and ventilators. We are also supporting their efforts in building a temporary isolation hospital, the construction of which began last week. China also invited Pakistan to participate in a video conference on pandemic prevention and control and sent a medical team over to fight the pandemic. The medical team is now working in Islamabad and will then travel to more places to help with local pandemic control and treatment.

In addition, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has donated a large amount of medical supplies to many regions and cities in Pakistan. Alibaba Group has also made donations to Pakistan. At the same time, many sister provinces and cities in China, the Red Cross Society of China and some enterprises have donated or are planning to donate various kinds of materials to Pakistani embassy and consulates in China.

We will continue to closely follow the development of the pandemic in Pakistan and provide more assistance to our Pakistani brothers and sisters to the best of our capacity.

Agence France-Presse: The French government says it is importing 1 billion masks. Can you let us know how many of these will be coming from China?

Hua Chunying: I am not aware of the exact number. But I can assure you that China attaches great importance to relations with France. We cherish our friendship with the French people. We will not forget that the French government and people reached out to us with support and assistance when China was first hit by the outbreak. So we stand ready to reciprocate, including by facilitating France's commercial purchase in China.

Agence France-Presse: According to the New York Times, a plane landed in New York with medical supplies from Shanghai. It also said there will be more flights delivering medical supplies to the US from China. Can you maybe specify if these are gifts to the US government or commercial deliveries? Have they been subject to a specific agreement between China and the US? 

Hua Chunying: I believe you've seen reports of the phone call between President Xi Jinping and President Trump last Friday. President Xi said that he has been following with caring concern the spread of the pandemic in the US and noted the series of policies and measures President Trump has been taking. The Chinese people sincerely hope that the US will contain the spread of the pandemic at an early date and minimize its impact on the American people. China holds a positive attitude towards international cooperation on controlling the pandemic. Under the current circumstances, China and the US should unite in the fight against the virus. In fact, the health departments and epidemic experts of the two sides have been in communication on the outbreak and containment cooperation. China will continue to share information and experience with the US without reservation. Some provinces and cities and local businesses have already donated medical supplies to the US side. China understands the current difficulties the US is facing and stands ready to offer support within our capability. President Trump expressed his appreciation for these.

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