Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on May 21, 2020
CCTV: China and the World Health Organization officially launched the large-scale, non-profit fund-raising program of "COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO - Action of China". Can you give us more details?
Zhao Lijian: On May 20, Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu attended the launching ceremony of the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO program in China.
Li Jinhua, Vice Chairman of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and President of the China Population Welfare Foundation (CPWF), attended the ceremony and delivered a speech, saying that the program will give full play to the advantages of Chinese charities and social organizations, and make positive contributions to the global fight against the pandemic. WHO Director-General Tedros, in his recorded remarks delivered at the ceremony, thanked China for its participation in and support for the WHO-led global fight against COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund is a WHO initiative designed to encourage individuals, businesses and charities to contribute to the global response to COVID-19, which will primarily help countries with fragile health systems, such as those in Africa. The launch of the program in China is a step to implement President Xi Jinping's vision of building a global community of health for all. China has been actively participating in the global fight against COVID-19 and firmly supporting WHO in playing a leading role in international cooperation. We already provided WHO with US$50 million in assistance.
We are ready to continue working with the international community to increase support for WHO and strengthen international cooperation in the fight against COVID-19 until the final victory is achieved.
Xinhua News Agency: Russian Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov stressed in a virtual press conference on May 20 that cooperation between China and Russia in fighting the pandemic highlights once again the high level of mutual trust between the two countries, which will also contribute to bilateral cooperation in the health and medical sector. What is China's comment?
Zhao Lijian: Just as Ambassador Denisov said, since the outbreak of COVID-19, China and Russia have been firmly supporting each other in epidemic prevention and control and keeping close communication and coordination. President Xi Jinping and President Putin talked over the phone many times and had in-depth exchange of views on bilateral cooperation to combat COVID-19. The two sides provided medical supplies and sent medical experts to each other for mutual learning and cooperation. In the face of the pandemic, the two countries have been helping each other and fighting the virus hand in hand, which is a new highlight of China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era. This year and the next are designated as the "Year of Scientific and Technological Innovation" between China and Russia. The two sides will take this opportunity to strengthen exchange and cooperation in various fields, including medical and health care, disease prevention and control, and make contribution to regional and global health security.
The Paper: On May 21, President Trump in his tweets accused a Chinese spokesman of spreading disinformation on behalf of China, "trying desperately to deflect the pain and carnage that their country spread throughout the world". What is your response?
Zhao Lijian: The Chinese government has been acting with openness, transparency and responsibility in every step of the fight against COVID-19. We present facts and talk sense. As to which side is doing everything possible to protect people's life and health and to promote international anti-epidemic cooperation, the public will have no problem arriving at the right answer.
PTI: You talked about the launch of the Solidarity Response Fund in China. Previously China announced that it has provided $50 million to WHO and will provide $2 billion international assistance. What's the difference between them?
Zhao Lijian: China firmly supports WHO's coordinating and leading role in international COVID-19 response. In addition to the donation of $50 million in cash to WHO, China is helping the organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to raise money in China and will continue to support WHO's work through various means.
At the virtual opening ceremony of the 73rd World Health Assembly, President Xi Jinping pledged $2 billion of international assistance over the next two years to help with COVID-19 response and socio-economic development in affected countries, especially developing countries.