THE HAGUE: China has been committed to providing assistance to the Netherlands in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and bilateral cooperation will not be affected by an isolated incident, Chinese Ambassador to the Netherlands Xu Hong said Sunday.
Xu held a telephone conversation on Sunday with Dutch Minister for Medical Care and Sport Martin van Rijn who expressed his sincere gratitude for China’s strong support and assistance to his country’s fight against COVID-19.
The Chinese embassy paid close attention to some local reports about the “defective” masks that the Dutch government had purchased from China, and contacted the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health as quickly as possible to verify the information, Xu said in a statement obtained by media. “For more than a month, with the development of the outbreak in the Netherlands, China has been committed to providing assistance to the Netherlands within our capability,” he said. “Regarding the problem that some masks purchased by the Netherlands from China are not adequate for the medical staff of the ICU, the Netherlands is still looking into the situation, and if there is any further information, it will inform the Chinese side as soon as possible,” Xu said. “It is hoped that this isolated incident will not affect the friendly cooperation between the two countries in the fight against the pandemic. I thanked Minister Martin van Rijn for his information,” Xu added.
The ambassador also emphasized that virus knows no borders, and only by strengthening solidarity and mutual assistance can the international community win the battle against the pandemic.
There have been 9,762 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Netherlands as of Sunday, according to the World Health Organization.
“The reason why China supports the Netherlands and other countries to fight the pandemic is very simple: we are trying to save more lives. There is no ‘geopolitical consideration’ as a few claimed,” he said.
“It is normal if some problems arise during the cooperation. These problems can be solved in an objective manner, but should not be politicized,” he added. “We look forward to the results of further investigations by the Dutch side on the quality of the masks, and we hope the Dutch side could provide the Chinese side with more detailed information. If necessary, the Chinese side will assist the investigation according to the laws and based on the principles of objectivity and fairness,” he said.
“The Chinese side will continue to fully support the efforts of the Dutch side to fight the pandemic and work together to defeat the coronavirus, which is our common enemy,” Xu said.