Beijing backs WHO steps, slams US ‘lies’


DM Monitoring

BEIJING: China firmly supports the international cooperation initiative launched by Director-General of World Health Organization (WHO) on accelerating the development, production and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and drugs, and decided to participate in this initiative, Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Hua Chunying said. “The virus knows no borders, and people of all countries have the right to equal access to vaccines and medicines,” she said during her regular briefing resumed here after May Day holidays.
She said after the outbreak, China shared the new coronavirus genome information with other countries in the world for the first time, established a platform for sharing data and scientific research results, and actively carried out international cooperation in drug and vaccine research and development, making important contributions to vaccine and drug research and development in various countries.
“As the most authoritative and professional international institution in the field of global public health security, the WHO plays an irreplaceable key role in responding to the global public health crisis,” she added.
The spokesperson said the Chinese side was willing to work with the international community to accelerate the research and production of new coronavirus medical products, promote the fair distribution of related products, and make efforts to maintain global health security and fight the pandemic.
About a question, she informed that China had been providing to support the countries in need and added, “We set up special fund of RMB 2 billion for epidemic cooperation and provided medical supplies to over 150 countries and international organizations and shared our experience of diagnosis and treatment of patients infected with COVID-19.”
Hua Chunying said that the Chinese side held over 120 video conferences with 160 countries and international organizations and sent 21 medical experts teams to 19 countries support other countries purchase of medical supplies in China.
“We proposed plans for multilateral health cooperation and will expand our fund if needed to support the UN initiative,” she added. The spokesperson also called on all sides to increase their support for developing countries to deal with the pandemic. So, developing countries should not be the weak link in this process. And based upon developing countries needs, China has been helping them to help strengthen their health systems and raise their capabilities.
“We actively responded to G20 debt services initiative for poor countries and agreed to suspend debt payment for 77 developing countries from May 01 to end of this year,” she added.
She called on the international community to support developing countries and strengthen third party and multilateral cooperation, adding, “With concerted efforts, we believe, can achieve the victory against the pandemic.” China said on Thursday it supports the World Health Organization (WHO) in trying to pinpoint the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and accused U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of telling one lie after another in his attacks on Beijing. The virus has killed more than 255,000 people worldwide, including more than 70,000 in the United States, the worst-affected country, since it was first identified in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December.
Pompeo accused China of withholding virus samples he said were needed for global vaccine research, and he demanded transparency. Most experts believe COVID-19 originated in a market selling wildlife and jumped from animals to people, but Pompeo and U.S. President Donald Trump have said there is evidence it came from a laboratory, without elaborating.