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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on April 9, 2020

2020/04/09

China Daily: According to media reports, a Finnish government official said on April 8 that a batch of surgical masks and respirator masks unloaded on April 7 from Guangzhou, China, have turned out to be unsuitable for use in medical environments. Other European countries had reportedly met similar problems after ordering equipment from China. What is your response?

Zhao Lijian: We noted relevant reports. After looking into the matter, the Chinese authorities found that the masks were purchased through commercial channels through intermediaries by the Finnish side and declared for export to the Chinese Customs in the name of non-surgical masks. We will further verify the facts. I hope people will not jump to conclusions until all the facts are out and clear.

Countries around the world are fighting the pandemic. China is eager to meet the urgent needs of other countries while overcoming its own difficulties. Our enterprises have been working overtime to provide various anti-epidemic materials to the international community. We always attach great importance to the quality of export products. Recently, the Chinese authorities introduced stricter regulatory measures, requiring relevant exporting enterprises to provide written or electronic statements when declaring to the customs that their exports have obtained the registration certificate for medical device from the State Food and Drug Administration and met the quality standards of the importing country or region.

China Review News: Could you tell us to which countries has China sent medical teams so far? What is consideration behind the selection of these countries? Some said China is trying to export the "Chinese model" for governance through such means. Do you have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: So far, China has sent 12 teams of medical experts to 10 countries, namely Italy, Serbia, Cambodia, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Laos, Venezuela, the Philippines and Myanmar, to help them combat COVID-19. The Chinese experts shared their experience with local medical workers, helped them improve their ability in epidemic prevention, containment, diagnosis and treatment, and boosted their confidence in jointly overcoming the pandemic. Their efforts have been well recognized by the governments and people of these countries.

China is making such efforts to reciprocate the goodwill we received earlier during the pandemic, to act on international humanitarianism and to implement the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind. We will never stand aloof and shun our friends when they are in trouble, and we will never pick and choose nor attach any strings when extending a helping hand. By working with the rest of the international community in this global war against the epidemic, China's goal is nothing but making concerted efforts and giving mutual assistance to tide over difficulties together. Our commitment to this goal is firm as always.

No country is immune to this abrupt global public health crisis, and the international community needs solidarity and cooperation more than ever. China is determined to ensure effective prevention and control of the epidemic at home, strengthen international anti-pandemic cooperation and take an active part in global health governance. This is our responsibility and commitment that serves the common interests of all mankind. We have never exported the Chinese model to anyone, nor asked anyone to copy China's methods. China stands ready to continue to uphold the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, pool the strength and wisdom of all parties, share and exchange useful practices with all parties, carry out joint prevention and control, and support the role of WHO and other international organizations, so as to stem the spread of the pandemic around the globe and win the final victory of international battle against COVID-19.

BBC: It seems all the border connections between China and Russia have been closed now. Could you confirm that? If so, is it targeting only the people or is it including the goods, too? And how worried is the Chinese government about the influx of cases of Chinese citizens returning from Russia?

Zhao Lijian: As learned by the Chinese embassy in Russia, in order to contain the spread of the pandemic, Russia has asked all residents in the country to stay at home for self-isolation from March 28 to April 30. Our embassy also learned from the competent authorities of the two sides that all land border points of entry for people traveling between China and Russia have been temporarily closed. The embassy reminded Chinese citizens in Russia to pay attention to the above information, comply with Russia's pandemic prevention regulations, exercise self-isolation accordingly, strengthen self-protection, avoid long-distance travel, and make science-based decisions in their pandemic-related responses.

The Chinese foreign ministry and our diplomatic missions in Russia attach great importance to the safety and health of all Chinese citizens there. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, they have been in close contact with Chinese citizens in Russia to get to know their situation and needs and help them overcome difficulties. Meanwhile, China is also in close communication and coordination with Russia to safeguard the safety and health of Chinese citizens. We will continue making every effort to provide Chinese citizens with assistance.

Follow-up: Just to confirm, goods can still be delivered across the border, right?

Zhao Lijian: All land border checkpoints for travelers between the two countries have been temporarily closed. I have nothing to update you at the moment.

Follow-up: Did the Russian government make the decision to close the border and inform the Chinese government?

Zhao Lijian: As I said, the Chinese embassy in Russia learned this from the competent authorities of the two sides.

RIA Novosti: As there are still many Chinese citizens in Russia who want to come back home because of the epidemic situation, is the Chinese government considering sending some chartered