China will continue to strengthen cooperation with other countries to fight against the coronavirus outbreak, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu said at a press conference on Thursday.
The State Council Information Office of China holds a press conference on international cooperation in response to COVID-19, March 5, 2020. [Photo by Jiao Fei/China SCIO]
Ma said the Chinese government has shared timely information and engaged in close cooperation with the global community.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has spoken to leaders of more than 10 countries and met with the visiting leaders including Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga, and the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus after the outbreak began.
China's effort to control the source of the virus and contain its spread has bought valuable time for the rest of the world, Ma said, adding that the Chinese government and its people have made huge sacrifices in combating the coronavirus outbreak.
Over 1,300 Chinese nationals have been brought back from abroad since the outbreak, Ma said.
The Chinese government has also paid big attention to the health of members of foreign communities, diplomatic missions and international students in China, providing them with necessary protection and assistance, he noted.
Zeng Yixin, deputy director of the National Health Commission, told reporters that the commission has also been active in coordinating multilateral communication, for example with WHO in accordance with the International Health Regulations and health cooperation agreements with relevant countries.
The commission's timely briefs on coronavirus-related information, proactive sharing of experience in virus containment as well as diagnostic and treatment experience, and commitment to technological communications have won international recognition, he added.
Zeng stressed that the prevention and control measures taken by China have prevented at least 100,000 cases according to the Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
"We have received condolences and support from leaders of more than 170 countries and heads of more than 40 international and regional organizations," Ma said, noting that China is not alone in the ongoing battle.
The United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS, and the African Union have made statements expressing confidence in and support to China.
As of March 2, 62 countries and seven international organizations had donated prevention and control materials, including masks and protective clothing to China, Ma told reporters.
Guo Yezhou, the deputy head of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, added that so far, more than 500 people from more than 300 political parties and organizations from 120 countries have sent messages to the CPC Central Committee.
They spoke highly of the effective and strong leadership of the CPC during the battle against the virus, Guo added.
"We relied primarily on our own efforts to respond to the outbreak, and we are grateful to the international community for its sincere assistance. We always said that the outbreak would be temporary, but friendship and cooperation are long-lasting. The sympathy and support of the international community will live on in the Chinese people's hearts and minds," said Ma.
Now China is returning the favor.
Officials said the nation's discovery of the coronavirus' genetic sequence, which it shared with the world at an early stage of the outbreak, will help countries like Italy and Iran in their fights against the disease.
China will continue this openness and transparency in sharing information and experiences.
"China is working actively with other countries in epidemic control, and will continue to cooperate in areas including diagnostics, therapeutics, drugs and vaccine development. We will never forget the help given by international communities, and we will provide help to countries in need to the best of our ability," said Ma.
He also said the faith of countries in fighting the virus is intertwined with each other.
This war against COVID-19 needs a lot of international cooperation, and it is in full force around the clock, and around the world.