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H.E. Xu Hong's speech at the Webnar on Covid-19 hosted by the Diplomat Magazine


Dear Dr. De Lara, Your Excellencies, friends from the press,

Good afternoon.

Thanks to the Diplomat Magazine for hosting this event.

This is not our first cooperation with Diplomat Magazine. Our last cooperation was a press briefing on Covid-19 held in Crowne Plaza on February 26, the day before the first confirmed case of Covid-19 was reported in the Netherlands. At that time, we already noticed that the virus has started to spread in some European countries. And I called for the fastest and most determined measures to control it. Almost three months has passed since then. During the three months, we have witnessed the epidemic curve in the Netherlands went up to a peak, and then was flattened and gradually sloped down. In this process, the medical workers have made tremendous efforts and sacrifices. Ordinary citizens have also actively cooperated with the government's anti-epidemic efforts. The positive effects of the "intelligent lockdown" are being achieved, and the epidemic situation in the Netherlands is getting better and better now. But at the same time, the situation in some other countries in the world is still serious, and there is still a long way to go before the pandemic could be completely controlled.

About China's approach to controlling the pandemic, I have given a detailed introduction at the briefing last time. Recently I also responded to some questions of many people’s concern by publishing open letters and articles in newspapers. Here I will mainly introduce the latest updates in China:

Because of the most comprehensive, thorough and rigorous prevention and control measures in history, after more than three months of arduous fight, China has effectively controlled the pandemic in the mainland. Nearly 80,000 people have been cured and discharged, and the number of confirmed cases remained is 87. Lockdown and control measures across the country, including Wuhan, have basically been lifted. Pandemic containment has become a regular task instead of an emergent one. Normal work and life are being restored. However, due to imported cases and an unknown number of asymptomatic infections, there are still a few new cases every day, and the possibility of an outbreak in some areas cannot be ruled out. Therefore, the Chinese government takes a very vigilant attitude and strictly prevents this from happening. Recently, in order to find out the number of asymptomatic infections in Wuhan, China decided to conduct comprehensive nucleic acid test on more than 10 million people in the city.

The complete control of the pandemic depends on the vaccines. Chinese scientists have been working hard to this end and are working closely with foreign scientists. At present, China has made good progress in vaccine research and development. Five vaccines have entered clinical trials. If everything goes well, these vaccines will complete phase II clinical trials in July this year. “COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, will be made a global public good,” said president Xi. This will be China's contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.

China’s containment of the pandemic will not be successful without the support and cooperation of the international community, which gives us warmth and strength. The Chinese people will always remember it. Since coronavirus spread in other countries, China has continued to provide the international community with the support and assistance within its capacity. On February 29, China sent its first medical team abroad. Until mid-April, China has sent 14 medical expert teams to 12 countries, provided medical supplies to more than 150 countries and international organizations, and shared the containment experience, diagnosis and treatment plans with 180 countries and 10 international and regional organizations, held nearly 100 video conferences in total, and donated 50 million US Dollars to the World Health Organization. Faced with the global shortage of medical supplies, China, as the world's largest producer of medical protective suits and masks, races time to meet the needs of other countries. We made every effort to increase medical supplies to the international market. At the end of February, the daily production capacity and output of Chinese masks both exceeded 100 million. Since the 1st of March, China has exported more than 50 billion masks, more than 200 million pieces of protective suits, nearly 200 million test kits, and more than 70,000 ventilators. At the same time, the Chinese government attaches great importance to the quality and safety of exported medical supplies, continuously introduces stricter regulatory measures, and takes all measures to crack down on the violations of laws and regulations.

At the opening ceremony of the World Health Assembly this Monday, from the high-level perspective of building a global community of health for all, President Xi Jinping profoundly elaborated China's anti-epidemic propositions, including calling on countries to support the leadership of WHO, forging international synergy and bolstering support for developing countries, especially African countries, stepping up international macroeconomic policy coordination, keeping the global industrial and supply chains stable and unclogged, and restoring growth to the world economy. President Xi also announced a series of major commitments, including “China will provide 2 billion US dollars over 2 years to help with COVID-19 responses and with economic and social development in affected countries especially developing countries. China will work with the United Nations to set up a global humanitarian response depot and hub in China, ensure the operation of anti-epidemic supply chains and foster green corridors for fast track transportation and customs clearance”, etc. These initiatives and measures have important practical and far-reaching significance for boosting confidence and international anti-epidemic cooperation.

The current global pandemic situation is complex and grim. To overcome the most serious global public health emergency facing humanity since the end of World War II, solidarity and cooperation are the most powerful weapons. China looks forward to working with other countries hand in hand through the sure way of cooperation in fighting against the pandemic in order to win the battle at an early date, and to build a global community of health for all.

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