Ambassador Cui Tiankai taking an interview with AXIOS and HBO (Transcript)

On March 17, 2020, Ambassador Cui Tiankai took an interview with AXIOS and HBO. Here is the full transcript of the interview:


 Jonathan Swan: We are grateful for having you here. Mr. Ambassador, I want to ask you about a couple of things to the news before we get into the coronavirus.

Ambassador Cui: OK.

Jonathan Swan: On Monday night, President Trump, for the first time, referred to the coronavirus as the "Chinese virus". What did you make of that?

Ambassador Cui: Well, I'm not the spokesperson for the White House, but I think the World Health Organization has a rule when they name these new viruses. They will never give people the impression that the virus is linked somehow to a particular location, a particular group of people, or even a particular animal. They want to avoid stigma. So hopefully everybody will follow the WHO rule.

Jonathan Swan: The President of the United States isn't following it. Is there any message that you would want to deliver to him? He'll be watching.

Ambassador Cui: My message is very clear. I hope the WHO rule will be followed.

Jonathan Swan: Mr. Ambassador, on Tuesday, the Chinese government announced that it will be expelling all US journalists working for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post from China. And they have 10 days to leave. What does the Chinese government have to fear from an independent press, Mr. Ambassador?

Ambassador Cui: I think I still have to give you the right facts. First, it's not expelling anybody from China. Their work permit as journalists will be terminated. Second, not everybody from these media. Some of their people will still be working in China. But most importantly, we are doing all this in response to the measures taken by the US government against our journalists here. So in a sense, we are compelled to do all these things.

Jonathan Swan: But so with respect, wasn't the first action the Chinese government expelling the three Wall Street Journal reporters because of critical coverage of the Communist Party's response to the coronavirus? And then the US government expelled, from our understanding, Chinese state-owned, they effectively made them cap their staff down this lower, from state-owned outlets.

Ambassador Cui: No, I think the fact is the Wall Street Journal ran an article with very insulting language on the entire Chinese nation. That caused a lot of anger among the Chinese people. So the government had to respond. Then the US government has taken actions against our journalists here, people who have never violated US laws, people who are just doing their professional jobs here. And they are expelled by the US government. Then we have to follow the principle of reciprocity. We have to respond.

Jonathan Swan: I read that column in the Wall Street Journal, and it didn't seem to me that there was anything that would violate a law. And it was really criticizing the government.

Ambassador Cui: That article is very insulting on the entire Chinese nation, if you know anything about Chinese history. I think a lot of people here in America did not agree with that title, with that kind of language. People were very upset here even.

Jonathan Swan: I'm sure people will disagree, Mr. Ambassador. I guess the question is whether it's a good idea to expel reporters because of something......

Ambassador Cui: Maybe the first question you have to ask is whether it's a good idea to write such an article at all.

Jonathan Swan: Mr. Ambassador, look, in a public health crisis, it's so important that we have a fact-based conversation. You said on Face the Nation on February 9 that it was dangerous for people to be spreading, you use the word "crazy rumors", like "the virus originated in the US military laboratory". Mr. Ambassador, do you know who's been spreading that crazy conspiracy?

Ambassador Cui: I think such an attempt was first initiated here. You saw my interview on Face the Nation. We were talking about some people here saying crazy things.

Jonathan Swan: Yes. Your quote was, "there are people who are saying that these viruses could come from some military lab, not of China, may be in the United States. How can we believe these crazy things?" You're responding to a question about ......

Ambassador Cui: That's my position all along. That was my position then, and that's my position now. I think (as for) this question, of course, we have to find eventually, we must have an answer to where the virus originally came. But this is a job for the scientists to do, not for diplomats, not for journalists to speculate, because such speculation will help nobody. It's very harmful. So why not let our scientists do their professional job and give us some answer eventually?

Jonathan Swan: It's good to hear you say that, Mr. Ambassador, because it was actually your own spokesman, the spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zhao Lijian, who has been spreading this conspiracy that the virus originated in a US laboratory. Does he have any evidence to support that theory?

Ambassador Cui: Maybe you could go and ask him.

Jonathan Swan: Have you asked him? You are the Ambassador.

Ambassador Cui: Now, I'm here representing my head of state and my government, not any particular individual.

Jonathan Swan: Does he speak for the Chinese government? Does Zhao or do you?

Ambassador Cui: I am the representative of China in the United States.

Jonathan Swan: OK. So we shouldn't take his words literally, what he's saying. We shouldn't take them as a representation of the Chinese government even though he's the spokesman.

Ambassador Cui: You could try to interpret somebody else's statement. I'm not in the position, and I don't have responsibility to explain everybody's view to you.

Jonathan Swan: OK. It's not a matter of interpretation. It's what he said. But I think it's clear what you mean by that. We move on. Mr. Ambassador, as you know, the epidemic diseases, they multiply very quickly in the early days and it's very important to stamp them out early. A University of Southampton study found that there would have been 95% fewer cases of the coronavirus if China had intervened three weeks earlier. What a number of people have said is that by covering up the reality of this virus for three weeks, Communist Party officials allowed the virus to bring not just, to harm people in China, but to people all around the world. And I want to ask you whether the Party apologizes for that initial cover-up?

Ambassador Cui: I think that statement is based on distortion of fact. You were right to say the virus multiplies very fast, maybe in a couple of weeks. But the fact is, if you have a close look at the real fact, the fact is at the very beginning, there was very little knowledge about this new virus. Nobody knew anything about it. You cannot come to the conclusion that just because of a few cases of people running fever, you should alarm the whole world that there is a new kind of virus. People have to look at the situation very closely. So I think it's not a process of covering up something. It's a process of discovering this new kind of virus, to do a good job in identifying the virus, know more about it, learn more about the routes of transmission and how to respond. Actually, it only took a couple of weeks for China to share everything we knew with the World Health Organization, including the genetic sequencing of this virus. And we alerted the WHO and other countries, and within maybe two or three weeks, the city of Wuhan was locked down. That was on January 23. Now today, 55 days have passed, and thanks to our resolute and determined efforts, the number of cases in China is coming down significantly. The number of people who are cured and discharged from hospital is going up significantly. But maybe people should ask what should have happened but have not happened in the last 55 days. Because according to the medical professionals, the so-called incubation period or the quarantine period is generally about 14 days. Now we have 55 days. What has happened or what should have happened but have not happened? Maybe this is the right question to ask.

Jonathan Swan: I think the first three weeks, as you say, very crucial. And I want to ask you about some specific facts. You mentioned facts. University of Toronto study found that when China started censoring social media references to the coronavirus in December, blocked keywords included "people-to-people transmission". Why would they be censoring information about a virus?

Ambassador Cui: I don't think our efforts were to what you called "censor" all the media coverage. Our efforts, our focus was first to screen the body temperature of everybody, so as to make sure that the virus is not spreading very fast, so that we could know exactly what are the numbers of suspected cases and confirmed cases, so that we could take a measure to cure the people. So our efforts were not actually about how to deal with the media, but how to deal with the people affected by the virus. Don't you think that is more important?

Jonathan Swan: I think both are important. I think public information is very important. And when the doctors in Wuhan raised the alarm and shared the laboratory reports, Dr. Li Wenliang, they won't listen to (them). The Party and the police held them in for questioning. And Li Wenliang had to put out a statement saying that he had been spreading untrue words.

Ambassador Cui: I think what you're referring to, again, distorted facts. Let me tell you two things. First, Dr. Li was consulting his colleagues, his fellow doctors. He was not trying to alert the public, because he was puzzled. He was alerted. He was consulting his fellow doctors. Somehow this piece of information got outside of his circle of fellow doctors and it certainly caused concern. Number two, the whole case, what happened to Dr. Li and his colleagues now is under investigation by the central government. So why not all of us wait to let the investigation go through and give us the conclusion?

Jonathan Swan: I guess I just don't understand why a doctor sharing a laboratory report and consulting with his colleagues and the information getting out, which would have been very useful information to the public, why does that result in him getting pulled into the police and having to retract his statement?

Ambassador Cui: No. Let me tell you this. I don't know everything about what exactly happened in Wuhan at that time. But normally for any level of government, how can you base your decision on some leaked information? You have to make sure what you announce is very solidly based on fact and science.

Jonathan Swan: I am not asking you to base it on that. I'm just saying why you punished him for sharing that information. That's the part I don't understand.

Ambassador Cui: As I told you just now, the whole thing is under investigation. Why don't we wait until the conclusion of the investigation?

Jonathan Swan: How concerned are you that on January 15, Li Qun, the head of China's CDC Emergency Center, he told state television, "after careful screening and prudent judgment, we have reached the latest understanding that the risk of human-to-human transmission is low". Mr. Ambassador, there's no way of knowing how many thousands of people have died because of that statement.

Ambassador Cui: You see, I'm not a medical doctor. I cannot explain all the technical things to you. And I'm not aware of what he said, this particular Mr. Li.

Jonathan Swan: He said it on state television.

Ambassador Cui: I don't watch everything on state television. As I said earlier, let me remind you again, this is a process of discovering about the virus.

Jonathan Swan: But there are doctors who alerted people as early as December 27. We have Zhao Jianping, a pulmonologist at Tongji hospital in Wuhan. He alerted the Wuhan CDC that it could spread from human to human. So I guess the question is two weeks after that, why is the Chinese authority still telling the public that it's not likely to spread between people.

Ambassador Cui: I think we alerted the people as soon as we learned this could be transmitted from human to human. But before you come to this conclusion, you have to look at the evidence. You have to base yourself on science. We are not medical doctors. I don't think we're in the best position to discuss all the technical things. We might be misleading to our audience. That's very troublesome.

Jonathan Swan: I'm just quoting medical doctors who spoke of all the records.

Ambassador Cui: I don't think even the doctors have total agreement among themselves. It depends on whom you are quoting.

Jonathan Swan: They definitely have agreement that it spreads from human to human. These doctors said ……

Ambassador Cui: This is now a proven fact. That's why we are doing everything possible to help people.

Jonathan Swan: Mr. Ambassador, we're talking about information getting out to the public. I have to ask you about some journalists that have disappeared. Where is the citizen journalist Chen Qiushi? He was doing some of the early videos from inside Wuhan that were showing the response to the virus and the chaos that was happening inside Wuhan.

Ambassador Cui: I have not heard of this person.

Jonathan Swan: Really? You were asked about him on Face the Nation on February 9.

Ambassador Cui: No, I was not asked about any particular journalist.

Jonathan Swan: You were. She, Margaret Brennan named Chen Qiushi.

Ambassador Cui: But I did not know him then. I don't know him now.

Jonathan Swan: It's a month later. Weren't you curious to find out who he was?

Ambassador Cui: We have 1.4 billion people back in China. How can I learn everything about everybody?

Jonathan Swan: I'm not asking you to. I'm saying this is a journalist who has been written about in the New York Times, the international media. His family and friends want to know where he is. You haven't been curious to inquire about his whereabouts?

Ambassador Cui: My responsibility is to manage our relations with the United States. As for domestic situation, we have people back in China who are dealing with these issues. We have the judiciary department there dealing with the issues. So why not let people do their own job? And we do our job.

Jonathan Swan: And you never made an inquiry about him after the interview.

Ambassador Cui: Why should I make inquiries about what the judiciary people are doing back in China? We should respect their procedures.

Jonathan Swan: So you don't know what happened to Fang Bin or Li Zehua? They were two other citizen journalists who disappeared while reporting from Wuhan.

Ambassador Cui: To tell you the truth, I very much doubt whether these are the real facts.

Jonathan Swan: Why do you doubt that? You don't even know who they are. The New York Times has been reporting, the Guardian, the international media.

Ambassador Cui: Why should I believe everything the New York Times is saying? Not everybody here in the United States believes everything the paper is saying. Why should I?

Jonathan Swan: I guess my question is why wouldn't you want to find out? These are Chinese citizens. Their family and friends said they've disappeared. I don't understand why you wouldn't want to know what the truth is. If you say it's false, what the New York Times is reporting, it's a big issue for your country. Wouldn't you want to know?

Ambassador Cui: I don't think this is a big issue. I think we should all respect the judiciary procedures in our own countries. We should not try to interfere.

Jonathan Swan: OK, Mr. Ambassador. But my next question, as you know, crowded facilities are at a high risk for the spread of this virus. What measures have the Chinese authorities taken in Xinjiang to ensure that the hundreds of thousands of Muslims who are in concentration camps there will survive this coronavirus outbreak.

Ambassador Cui: I'm sorry. I have to make corrections about what you're saying from time to time. First of all, there's no concentration camp in Xinjiang. There used to be some vocational training centers. So it's not camps, it's campus. And all these trainees in these centers, they have graduated, they have their new jobs. And fortunately, Xinjiang is one of the few provinces that have very few confirmed cases of this virus. So the health situation there maybe is somehow better than some of the other provinces.

Jonathan Swan: So you can assure the world, and as you know there are a lot of people in the United Nations or around the world, who are concerned about the Uyghurs and the ethnic Kazakhs, the Muslims who have been in these camps. You can assure them that there are no more Muslims held against their will without any charge of a crime in these camps?

Ambassador Cui: You see in every country and everywhere, there might be people who have violated laws and who might be under the influence of terrorism. You have such people here. We have such people in our own country. These people have to be dealt with in accordance with the law. But this is not to focus on any particular ethnic group. This is for everybody. Any person who tries to launch terrorist attacks against innocent people should be punished by the law. And for anybody who is under the influence of terrorism, we should do our best to prevent them from falling further as victims of terrorism?

Jonathan Swan: Of course, Mr. Ambassador. No one wants to ……

Ambassador Cui: This is not based on any distinction between ethnic groups. This is for everybody.

Jonathan Swan: Here's the problem. Mr. Ambassador, no one disagrees with you. If you are a terrorist (inaudible) you throw them in jail.

Ambassador Cui: That's exactly what happened.

Jonathan Swan: That these people were not charged with crimes. These are one million estimated Muslims who were put in these camps.

Ambassador Cui: How do you come with the number: one million?

Jonathan Swan: It wasn't me. It was the United Nations.

Ambassador Cui: No, not the United Nations. I don't think it's the United Nations.

Jonathan Swan: United Nations' panel, people who study the satellite imagery, independent journalists and observers, you know that, Mr. Ambassador.

Ambassador Cui: Let me tell you, over the last couple of years, numerous foreign diplomats, journalists, people from Muslim countries, they have visited Xinjiang. They can tell you the truth. Why not listen to these people who have actually been on the spot?

Jonathan Swan: I've listened to them, the ABC news crew. It was a chaperoned tour. This was a guided tour. They weren't allowed to go to some of the camps and check the watch towers and the gates. But my question is you said these were vocational training centers. You don't put terrorists in vocational training centers.

Ambassador Cui: No, these centers are for the people who may be under the influence or who used to be under the influence of terrorism. Most of them are not actual criminals, are not actual terrorists. That's why we provided training for them to learn more about the law, learn more about professional skills, so that they will have a better prospect of finding a good job. And that happened to most of them.

Jonathan Swan: Many of these people who have been put in against their will, who haven't been charged with a crime, have described being confined, solitary confinement, beatings, deprivation of food. Ethnic Kazakh Kayrat Samarkand told NPR that he was tortured, he had to wear an iron suit. How does that help people when you put them in these conditions?

Ambassador Cui: Let me be very frank with you. If you keep reading out of these materials that are full of bias and prejudice, I don't think our communication will serve any useful purpose.

Jonathan Swan: But why not? Mr. Ambassador, this is a mainstream news report in National Public Radio. I'm not reading you fringe things.

Ambassador Cui: Why people refuse to look at the facts, listen to the people who have visited the place? Why you stick to all these bias and prejudice? I don't understand.

Jonathan Swan: Mr. Ambassador, I'm not trying to devise. I'm actually pointing people who have come out of these camps and talk to the press on the record. That's all I can do. This guided media tour is...

Ambassador Cui: I'm trying my best to tell you the truth and you just refuse to listen.

Jonathan Swan: No, I'm listening. So you're saying all these people are lying, who have come out and said it, because it's been dozens of them.

Ambassador Cui: No, that's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that there are people who have visited these places, people from Muslim countries, diplomats and journalists. Why don't you listen to these people?

Jonathan Swan: Have any of them visited without the Chinese government accompanying them into this ...?

Ambassador Cui: They are in Chinese territory. How can you exclude the Chinese side on Chinese territory?

Jonathan Swan: It's not excluding. If you want to visit certain facilities in the US, you wouldn't necessarily have a US chaperon.

Ambassador Cui: But we still have to abide by US laws here. You see, we have to follow the rules and regulations here. And also because the terrorist situation in Xinjiang used to be very serious a few years ago, when we have foreign visitors, we have to make sure they have security, but otherwise it's open to them. They can see whatever they want to see. They can tell you what they saw there.

Jonathan Swan: Would I go there without accompaniment from the Chinese government to visit wherever I wanted in Xinjiang?

Ambassador Cui: I think you have to respect the local laws and also the local culture, how people feel. You are, not only you but also foreign reporters, diplomats, they are visitors, they are guests. At least they should learn to respect and to be more sensitive to how the host feels. Is that normal? If I come to your house and I don't care what you feel, is that normal?

Jonathan Swan: So I'm not trying to be disrespectful. I am pointing to you what Uyghurs who have been in these camps have said to mainstream outlets. I'm not giving you things from the fringe. I'm trying to get you to respond to this topic. Can we move on to another thing which is the satellite imagery. So there's been a lot and I've looked at the images the Guardian reported that show that several dozen, perhaps more than two dozen, mosques and religious sites of the Muslims in Xinjiang have been destroyed since 2016. And I looked at the images. Are they false too?

Ambassador Cui: If you go to Xinjiang and have a look for yourself, you will find out there are more mosques in Xinjiang on per capita terms than in many other places in the world, including more mosques in Xinjiang on per capita terms than in some of Muslim countries.

Jonathan Swan: But when a satellite shows that these sites, specific sites like Imam Asim, Jafari Sadiq shrine have been destroyed, the satellites show that simplicity. Why are they being destroyed?

Ambassador Cui: I don't think they have been destroyed.

Jonathan Swan: The satellites show that.

Ambassador Cui: I have told you the truth. There are more mosques in Xinjiang on per capita terms than even in some Muslim countries. Maybe some of them are going through restoration. Some of them are undergoing some repair. You see, I was in Xinjiang last year. I saw all these things with my own eyes. I even visited one of the training centers.

Jonathan Swan: Did you visit any of these mosques that you say are being…

Ambassador Cui: Yes, I went to a couple of the best-known mosques in Xinjiang.

Jonathan Swan: But when you see these reports of several dozen being destroyed, did you go and visit any of them to find out what happened?

Ambassador Cui: I did not see anything being destroyed.

Jonathan Swan: OK. I'm honestly just, I'm just pointing to you a report and satellite imagery. I'm just trying to get (inaudible) of it. Mr. Ambassador, last question on this, would you be prepared to let international human rights observers into Xinjiang to observe without supervision?

Ambassador Cui: I think our people in the United Nations have been working on this with the Human Rights Commission of the UN. We are doing our best to arrange for the visit by High Commissioner of Human Rights. I think the problem is that some of the people involved are raising preconditions, very unreasonable political preconditions. We believe this is an interference in the relations between China and the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights. I don't think that serves the best interests of the United Nations. But we're working on it together with our colleagues in the UN to overcome any possible and all these unreasonable, unnecessary obstacles, so this visit will happen as soon as possible.

Jonathan Swan: Do you understand why people are concerned? Like when you have orphanages being (inaudible) for children, whose parents are being put into these facilities? Did you understand why people feel worried about what's going on in Xinjiang?

Ambassador Cui: I think people do have to be worried about the situation in Xinjiang when a few years ago there were thousands of cases of terrorist attacks, killing and hurting thousands of innocent people. That's when and that's why people should be worried. Now, we have had no single case of terrorist attack for the last three years and more. So people should be more relieved, more relaxed, and happy about that.

Jonathan Swan: Then people who still can't find their family, who they say are still in these camps, they're not very happy, Mr. Ambassador, they're very worried.

Ambassador Cui: As I told you before, as I told you earlier, these training centers have done their job, and the trainees, they have graduated, they are now working on their new jobs.

Jonathan Swan: So if I visit any of them, there's no one in there, it's all free, they're empty, these buildings, the ones with watchtowers that we can see on the satellites, they're empty of people.

Ambassador Cui: I do hope you have a chance to go there and have a look for yourself.

Jonathan Swan: I would like to, I would really like to.

Ambassador Cui: Well, you could apply.

Jonathan Swan: I think I will. My colleagues are not allowed into China. So I'm going to try. I want to ask you about the next steps with this virus. What is China going to do in the coming weeks and months that we perhaps don't know about in terms of the global response to the coronavirus, Mr. Ambassador?

Ambassador Cui: You mean what China is going to do for ourselves or for the world?

Jonathan Swan: I would like to mean both, Mr. Ambassador.

Ambassador Cui: I think for ourselves, we have to make sure that the numbers of cases will not come up again. This is very important. We have to really reduce it to zero to make sure that our people are safe and their health sufficiently protected. And of course, we have to maybe speed up our work on developing drugs and vaccines possibly, so people will have better tools in the future.

And in the world, we are ready and we are already working with other countries. First of all, we are working very closely all along with the World Health Organization. I think just a couple of days ago, we had a big conference, video conference with the World Health Organization and a number of other countries to coordinate our work on the virus.

And we're also making specific assistance to a number of neighbors and other countries like Italy and other countries in the world. We are ready to work with all the other countries, because this is a global challenge, unless there's global success in containing this virus, no country could feel safe. We fully understand that. So we are ready to do whatever we can to help others.

And of course, we are also very grateful at the initial stage so many countries came to our help, including the American people, American businesses, American institutions, American specialists. Some of them came to China at a very early stage, some of them joined the WHO expert team. We are very grateful to them.

Jonathan Swan: How would you describe, Mr. Ambassador, the state of the US-China relationship today?

Ambassador Cui: I think we're at the critical juncture. We - when I say "we", I mean both countries - we have to make the right choice for the future of our relations, for the future generations of our peoples.

Jonathan Swan: Can you expand on that, Mr. Ambassador, what (is) a juncture, between what and what?

Ambassador Cui: I think we actually, we have no alternative than cooperation with each other. I think the only good future for the people of our two countries is that we work together to develop a relationship based on coordination, cooperation and stability. We certainly reject any attempt to stir up confrontation or even start a new Cold War between us or talk about the so-called economic decoupling. I don't think these things will serve the real interests of our two peoples. They will very much hurt the real interests of our peoples.

Jonathan Swan: If I may say so, Mr. Ambassador, you haven't done this today, but your colleague, very much from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is doing exactly that, when he says that this virus, I mean it's a lie, when he lies about where the virus came from and says it came from a US military lab. That is not helping people trust the Chinese Communist Party.

Ambassador Cui: I don't understand why you always refer to the Party. Do you know the fact so many doctors and nurses who're at the very front trying to combat this virus and save people, they are members of the Party. I don't know if you're aware of the fact. And even Dr. Li Wenliang, he was a member of the Communist Party. Are you aware of the fact?

Jonathan Swan: Of course I am. So what I am asking about...(inaudible)

Ambassador Cui: Then perhaps you should show more respect, because people have very close ties with the Party. If you try to attack the Party, I think the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people will believe that you are attacking them.

Jonathan Swan: I'm assuring you, Mr. Ambassador, I'm not trying to attack the Party. Let me describe it as the Chinese Government then. When he makes these statements, he's the spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he does what you just described.

Ambassador Cui: I think you have to look at the whole, all the facts. We did not start such kind of mutual accusation.

Jonathan Swan: OK.

Ambassador Cui: It was all started here, in Washington, DC. This is a real fact.

Jonathan Swan: Mr. Ambassador, do you have any message for your counterparts in the United States who are watching you or for the American people who are watching this, who want to understand, you know, this is a moment where there's a lot of distrust between the two governments, and we're seeing that play out publicly. And I think it's an important moment for you to say what you want to say to the people who are watching.

Ambassador Cui: First of all, I want to thank the American people, American businesses, American institutions, and even ordinary American people for their support and help to China in combating this virus. Number two, I want to say to them, we are really in the same boat. This is a global challenge, global public health challenge, maybe even more than that. So we have to work together as partners to combat the virus, to restore the normal situation to the economy, to build up people's confidence about the global economy, to build up a capability to respond to any crises like this. We have shared interest. We are really all part of the same community of nations. We have to build a better future for us all together. This is my main message to the American people and to the American Government. Let's do it.

Jonathan Swan: Mr. Ambassador, I want to send you my personal condolences for all the suffering in China that's happened from this virus. It's been a terrible situation, and we hope that things can get better around the world.

Ambassador Cui: And I'm also concerned that the number of confirmed cases here, the number of confirmed cases in the United States, is going up. I'm very worried about that. Hopefully, because the United States is very strong in your medical capability, in technology, hopefully you'll make best use of all these, all your strength and contain and control the virus very timely, so there will be as few as possible cases of death here in the United States.

Jonathan Swan: Mr. Ambassador, we thank you so much for your time, for answering questions, for speaking with us today.

Ambassador Cui: OK. Thank you for taking this interview.

Jonathan Swan: Thank you, sir.

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