Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang’s
Regular Press Conference on March 24, 2020
According to the latest figures from the NHC, March 23 saw 456 patients cured and discharged from hospital in China’s mainland, bringing the tally to 73,159.
1 中央广播电视总台央视记者：你上周五宣布了中方将同拉美和加勒比国家举行新冠肺炎疫情专家视频交流会的消息。能否介绍一下会议的具体情况?此次会议的结果是否达到各方预期? CCTV: Last Friday you announced that China and Latin American and Caribbean countries would hold a video conference for experts on COVID-19 to exchange views. Could you tell us more about this meeting? Did it live up to the expectations of participating countries?
Geng Shuang: On March 24, experts on COVID-19 from China and Latin American and Caribbean countries exchanged views in a video conference. About 200 officials and experts from China, Latin American and Caribbean countries having diplomatic relations with China, and Nicaragua, as well as representatives of WHO, UNICEF, the Pan American Health Organization and the Inter-American Development Bank attended the video conference, which lasted for over three hours and achieved positive results.
中方专家在会上详细介绍了疫情发展趋势、特点，以及中方在疫情防控、临床治疗、海关管理和社区留观等方面的经验，并细致解答了各国代表提出的问题。 Chinese experts talked in detail about the trajectory and features of the epidemic and Chinese experience in disease control, clinical treatment, customs administration and community-based quarantine and gave thorough answers to their foreign counterparts’ questions.
Foreign officials and experts spoke highly of China’s effective measures to contain the virus and its important contributions to global public health security. They believed this timely, professional and efficient video conference offered important guidance for their countries. They would like to draw on China’s experience and maintain communication and coordination with China to defeat the pandemic together.
下一步，中方将秉持人类命运共同体理念，继续密切关注疫情在拉美和加勒比地区的发展动态，结合国内资源和拉方有关需求，在力所能及范围内大力推进中拉抗疫合作，与受疫情影响的拉美和加勒比国家携手前行、共渡难关。 Going forward, China will uphold the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind and follow closely the situation in Latin American and Caribbean countries. We will do our utmost to coordinate domestic resources and enhance cooperation with these countries in light of their needs to jointly overcome the challenge posed by the virus.
The Paper: In an interview with the Chinese ambassador to the US, American journalist Jonathan Swan said the Chinese government expelled the three Wall Street Journal reporters because of critical coverage of the Communist Party’s response to the coronavirus, and then the US government capped the staff of Chinese state-owned media outlets. Do you agree with him?
Geng Shuang: We stated China’s position for many times. The measures taken by the Chinese side against the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, among other US media, are all necessary countermeasures against US’ unreasonable oppression of Chinese media in recent years. The US side provoked China first and China was only responding in legitimate self-defense.
我上周介绍过美方长期以来对中国媒体记者在签证、行政审查、采访等方面采取歧视性限制措施的情况。中国记协3月12日也发表了声明予以详细介绍(原文链接http://www.zgjx.cn/2020-03/12/c_138871257.htm)。今天，我可以再强调一下： Last week, I briefed you on the discriminatory restrictions the US has long imposed on Chinese journalists with regard to visa, administrative review and reporting. The All-China Journalists Association detailed all that in a statement (http://www.zgjx.cn/2020-03/12/c_138871257.htm) issued on March 12. I would like to stress the following.
Dating back to December 2018, the US demanded certain Chinese media organizations in the US to register as “foreign agents”. In February 2020, it designated five Chinese media organizations in the US as “foreign missions”. On March 2, the US announced personnel cap on the above-mentioned five media organizations in the US, demanding 60 Chinese journalists to leave the US before March 13, which in effect expelled 60 Chinese journalists. Since 2018, the US has indefinitely delayed approval and even denied application of visa for 30 US-based Chinese journalists, and nine of them were unable to reenter the US after returning home on leave.
The facts are very clear. The US, out of its long-standing ideological bias against China, has continuously escalated its political oppression and unreasonable restrictions on Chinese journalists. This is simply intolerable.
我想再次强调，中方始终欢迎各国媒体和记者依法依规在中国从事采访报道工作，并将继续提供便利和协助。中方反对的是针对中国的意识形态偏见，反对的是借所谓新闻自由炮制假新闻，反对的是违反新闻职业道德的行为。 I would like to stress once again that China welcomes media and journalists from all over the world to do their job in China in accordance with laws and regulations and we will continue to provide convenience and assistance. What we oppose is ideological bias towards China, fake news in the name of press freedom, and violation of professional ethics.
The Wall Street Journal published an insulting article with a blatantly racist headline, which is unacceptable in any country. Our position has been repeated many times earlier on.
Reuters: The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal published an open letter today, calling for the Chinese government to change its decision to expel their journalists. Have you seen the letter and is China going to reconsider?
Geng Shuang: I haven’t read this letter yet. But as I recall, we made it very clear on this podium that the measures taken by the Chinese side against relevant US media are all necessary countermeasures and legitimate self-defense in response to US unreasonable oppression of Chinese media in recent years. We are not the reason and the responsible party for the current situation. If any US media agencies, including those you mentioned, have any problems with it, they should raise the complaints to the US government.
As for whether China will reconsider the decision, I shall say the top priority for now is that the US should change its wrong course immediately and stop political oppression and unwarranted restriction against Chinese media.
China Daily: China has deplored and rejected the phrase “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus” used by a few individuals in the US. However, US Secretary of State Pompeo still used “Wuhan virus” in his tweet on March 23. Do you have anything more to say on this?
Geng Shuang: The Chinese side has repeated many times that some people in the US have been seeking by every means to link the virus with China and stigmatize China. This was met with strong indignation and firm objection from the Chinese people. WHO and the international community explicitly oppose linking the virus with any specific country or region and reject stigmatization.
联合国秘书长古特雷斯表示，在与新冠肺炎大流行的斗争中，种族歧视和偏见行为是可耻的，必须始终与种族主义和歧视做斗争。欧盟外交与安全政策高级代表博雷利表示，病毒没有国籍，面对全人类共同挑战，应当选择合作与多边主义，而非竞争和相互指责，不应当随意诉诸“中国病毒”等说法。世卫组织认为，应避免将新冠病毒称为“中国病毒”，现在应是团结的时刻、尊重事实的时刻、共同抗击疫情的时刻。 UN Secretary-General António Guterres said “it is shameful to see increasing acts of racial discrimination and prejudice as we fight the COVID19 pandemic” and “we must always fight racism and prejudice”. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said the virus knows no border and we need cooperation and multilateralism, instead of competition and recrimination, in face of the common challenge for mankind. It is not the time for countries to blame one another with terms like “Chinese virus”. WHO believes that we should avoid calling it “Chinese virus”. Now is the moment for solidarity, for respecting facts and for fighting together.
近日，美国国内不少有良知的有识之士也都公开发声，对个别人使用“中国病毒”的说法表示反对，认为这是赤裸裸地宣扬种族主义和排外心理。他们认为，将病毒称为“中国病毒”将使民众处于种族主义和暴力的危险之中，新冠病毒使所有人都受到了影响，需要携手应对，而不是仇外式地散布恐惧。很多美国主流媒体及多家智库机构也都对美国个别人的荒谬言论提出了强烈批评。 Some in the US who can still see things clearly have publicly opposed the saying of “Chinese virus”, pointing out that it is bald-faced racism and xenophobia. They believe that calling it “Chinese virus” will expose certain people under the risk of racism and violence. The novel coronavirus affects everyone and needs to be tackled with joint efforts, instead of fear-mongering in a xenophobic way. Many mainstream media and think tanks in the US have also strongly criticized the absurd remarks made by certain American individuals.
近一时期，中美之间有一些关于病毒源头的争论。我想指出，挑起这场争论的恰恰是美方，首先称病毒起源于中国，首先使用“中国病毒”、“武汉病毒”说法的也是美方。根据媒体报道，早在3月6日，蓬佩奥就公开对外使用“武汉病毒”的提法，此后美方一些政客和高官持续不断地借此污名化中国，引起中国人民的极大义愤和强烈反对。白纸黑字，言犹在耳，美方是抵赖不了的。 Recently, there have been some arguments between China and the US about the origin of the virus. I want to point out that it was the US side that started this argument. It was also the US that first claimed that the virus originated in China and used such terms as “Chinese virus” and “Wuhan virus”. According to media reports, as early as March 6, Pompeo started to use “Wuhan virus” in public remarks. Since then, some US politicians and senior officials have been using this term to stigmatize China, causing great anger and strong opposition from the Chinese people. What I just cited are public records. There is no way for the US to deny this.