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Response from Ambassador Xu Hong to the Recent Dutch Media Report on Masks

On March 28, some Dutch media reported that the Dutch Ministry of Health recalled more than 600,000 masks purchased from China due to the quality problems. What's your comment on this?

XU Hong: Since the outbreak of the Covid-19, China and the Netherlands have maintained close communication and good cooperation in fighting the epidemic. For more than a month, with the development of the outbreak in the Netherlands, China has been committed to providing every assistance to the Netherlands within our capability. The embassy paid high attention to the March 28 news about the 'defective' masks that Dutch government purchased from China, and contacted the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health in the first time to verify the information. On the 29th, I spoke with Dutch Minister for Medical care and Sport Martin van Rijn on the telephone. Minister Martin van Rijn expressed his sincere gratitude to China for its strong support and assistance in combating the outbreak in the Netherlands. Regarding the problem that some masks purchased by the Netherlands from China are not appropriate 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 in the first time. It is hoped that this isolated incident will not affect the friendly cooperation between the two countries in the fight against the epidemic. I thanked Minister Martin van Rijn for his information.

I would like to take this opportunity to emphasize once again that the virus knows no borders, and only by strengthening solidarity and mutual assistance can the international community win the battle against the pandemic. 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 few claimed. It is normal if some problems arise during the cooperation. These problems can be solved in an objective manner, but should not be politicized. 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 in the investigation according to the laws and based on the principles of objectivity and fairness. 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.

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