Remarks by Ambassador Zhou Haichengat the Joint Briefing on fighting COVID-19
2020/02/20

Good afternoon, friends from the media and government of Vanuatu. Welcome to attend this joint briefing co-sponsored by the Chinese Embassy and the Vanuatu National Novel Coronavirus Taskforce.

China's fight against the novel coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19) has drawn extensive attention. Please allow me to come straight to the point and share my views briefly. The COVID-19 is a severe challenge to China and the world at large. Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping,the Chinese government has put the protection of people's lives, health and safety as its top priority, and the Chinese people are united as one and fighting to contain and mitigate this epidemic together. Chinese people have won worldwide respect and recognition with our efforts.

After the outbreak, the Chinese government immediately set up a nationwide mechanism to mobilize resources from across the country. We have taken the most comprehensive and stringent prevention and control measures, many of which are well beyond what is required by the International Health Regulations and the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO). Our prevention and control work is gradually achieving results. The Chinese people have proved that the epidemic can be contained, mitigated and overcome.

It should be pointed out that,as a responsible major country, China has, from the start, acted in an open and transparent manner in releasing relevant information to the world including Vanuatu and seeking international cooperation to prevent the spread of the epidemic worldwide. China has not only done its very best to ensure the life, safety and health of the Chinese people but also effectively curbed the spread of the epidemic beyond its borders, making contributions and sacrifices for the sake of global public health,which has won appreciation from WHO and many other countries.

Virus respects no borders. It requires a collective response from the international community. To date, leaders of over 160 countries and international organizations have expressed their sympathy and support through telegrams or letters. The governments and peoples of several dozen countries are lending a helping hand. We are truly grateful for these gestures of good will.

In particular, I would like to express my gratitude to the people from all walks of life in Vanuatu for their valuable support to China. The Vanuatu Government made a 10 million Vatu cash donation to China's fight against COVID-19 on Feburary 7th. Prime Minister Charlot Salwai sent a letter and Deputy Prime Minister Jotham Napat issued a press release to express their condolences and support to China. The Port Vila Municipal Council filmed and sent a short video to Foshan, encouraging its sister city to win the battle against the epidemic. The Vanuatu-China Friendship Association held a charity bazaar to raise money for Wuhan. All these reflect the deep friendship of Vanuatu government and people towards the Chinese people. We will bear that in mind. As China battles the disease together with Vanuatu, the friendship and trust between our two countries will be strengthened and deepened.

I firmly believe that with the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, the concerted efforts of the Chinese people, and the wide support of the international community, we will overcome the epidemic at an early date.

As a Chinese saying goes: True gold can stand the test of fire. Emerging out of this test, the Chinese people will become more resilient and united and continue to march confidently toward the goal of establishing a society of moderate prosperity in all respects and embark on a new journey of modernization.

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