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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on May 10, 2021
2021/05/10

The second China+Central Asia (C+C5) foreign ministers' meeting will be held in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province on May 12. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will host the meeting. Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi, Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Ruslan Kazakbaev, Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin, Turkmen Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov, and Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov will attend the meeting in China.

China and Central Asian countries are friendly neighbors and strategic partners with profound traditional friendship and close exchange and cooperation in various sectors. In July 2020, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and C5 foreign ministers held their first virtual meeting, introducing a new platform to deepen mutual trust and cooperation. As this year marks the 30th anniversary of the C5's independence and the centenary of the CPC, and the year 2022 will mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the C5, all hold high hopes for stronger cooperation going forward, bringing new historical opportunities for the development of relations between the two sides.

Against such a background, China proposed holding a second C+C5 foreign ministers' meeting, which will be the first face-to-face event under this mechanism, receiving positive feedback and support from the other countries. During the upcoming meeting, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and C5 foreign ministers will hold in-depth exchange of views on anti-epidemic and BRI cooperation, connectivity, international coordination and other issues of common interest, sign relevant outcome documents and conduct a series of bilateral talks as well as multilateral exchange sessions.

It's worth mentioning that Central Asia has been an important node on the Silk Road since ancient times. It is also in this region that President Xi Jinping first put forward the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative. The C5 are all China's important BRI partners. The choice of venue for this meeting, the city of Xi'an, cradle of the ancient Silk Road, carries special significance. We believe this event will be a complete success, contributing to fresh progress in China-C5 relations and BRI cooperation.

Shenzhen TV: Russia held a grand military parade in Moscow's Red Square on May 9 to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the Soviet victory in the Great Patriotic War. Russian President Putin said in his address that those who are "obsessed with the delusional theory of their exclusivity" are in fact utilizing aspects of Nazi ideology. He added that Russia consistently defends international law and firmly protects national interests and the security of its people. Do you have any comment?

Hua Chunying: We noted that Russia successfully held a grand military parade to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the Soviet victory in the Great Patriotic War. We expressed sincere congratulations. This year marks the 76th anniversary of the victory of WWII. China and Russia, as the main theaters in Asia and Europe during the war, made huge and painful sacrifices for and tremendous historical contributions to the final victory.

Over the past few years, a certain country has been pursuing the erroneous policy of unilateralism and protectionism, clinging to the mindset of zero-sum game and hyping up differences of ideology and political system in an attempt to create cliques and divisions and pursue bloc politics. Against such a backdrop, China and Russia always stand side by side to support each other on issues concerning respective core interests, firmly reject hegemony and bullying and jointly uphold international equity and justice. In the face of the once-in-a-century pandemic and changes, China will continue to work with Russia and the rest of the international community to defend the victory of WWII and hard-won peace, firmly safeguard the UN-centered international system and the international order based on international law, adhere to the common value of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom held by all, and build a community with a shared future for mankind.

CNR: Recently, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros announced that Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine was listed for emergency use. The vaccine is the first developed by a non-Western country to be included in the Emergency Use Listing (EUL). It is also the first time the WHO has given emergency use approval to a Chinese vaccine for any infectious disease. Do you have any comment? China earlier announced that it would provide 10 million doses to COVAX. What will you do in the future?

Hua Chunying: As Dr. Tedros said, the Sinopharm vaccine received WHO validation for safety, efficacy and quality. China will continue to work with the international community to promote vaccine equity and accessibility in the developing world and contribute to mankind's early victory over COVID-19. China has announced to provide 10 million doses of vaccines to COVAX mainly to meet the urgent need of developing countries. We will honor words with actions. We are keeping close communication with the WHO on this.

Al Jazeera: As Ramadan continues, Israeli police illegally broke into the holy Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem for no good reason and attacked Palestinians with rubber bullets, leaving hundreds wounded. As the clash roils on, Israel's provocations have drawn concerns and condemnation from many countries. Do you have any comment?

Hua Chunying: China is concerned about the escalating tension between Israel and Palestine over the past couple of days. We call for calm and restraint to avoid more injuries from the clash. In the meantime, we hope that relevant parties of the international community will work for an early resumption of peace talks between Israel and Palestine according to relevant UN resolutions and on the basis of the two-state solution. China is ready to play a constructive role in this.

Xinhua News Agency: We noted that Cuban Ambassador to China Carlos Pereira, speaking at the Seminar on Poverty Alleviation, Development and Progress of Human Rights in China held in the city of Ningde, Fujian Province on May 8, commended China's achievement in eradicating extreme poverty while fighting COVID-19 as a brave victory. For over 60 years, Cuba has been suffering from a US blockade tantamount to genocide, Ambassador Pereira said, adding that Cuba rejects politicization of or double standard on human rights. Do you have any comment?

Hua Chunying: I also note relevant reports. This Seminar on Poverty Alleviation, Development and Progress of Human Rights in China was part of a visit to Ningde, Fujian Province by diplomats from 13 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America including Cameroon, South Africa and Cuba at the invitation of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC). Through field trips and seminars, the diplomats saw with their own eyes China's achievement in poverty-alleviation, development and human rights as well as local people's heartfelt joy and sense of gain, getting a deeper understanding of the people-centered development concept and governing philosophy upheld by the CPC and the Chinese government.

The inherent mandate of the international human rights cause is to enable every human being, regardless of nationality, ethnicity and cultural background, to enjoy equal freedoms and rights as well as decent food, clothing, health, housing, employment and education. Committed to a people-centered human rights philosophy, China always strives for greater progress in this field. Our objective is to ensure national security, ethnic harmony, social stability, equity, justice, economic and ecological well-being and to deliver tangible benefits to all the Chinese people. To leave no one behind in the pursuit of happiness for the 1.4 billion Chinese people and to make sure that no one is suffering from war, turmoil, poverty, hunger or epidemic, this is the achievement of China's human rights endeavor and the CPC's tremendous contribution to the global human rights cause. At the same time, China has been engaging actively in international human rights dialogue and cooperation and supporting the developing world in growing the economy to benefit the people in Asia, Africa, Latin America and other places. According to a World Bank report, BRI projects could help lift 7.6 million people out of extreme poverty and 32 million people out of moderate poverty across the world by 2030.

The US, in contrast, has been violating human rights while preaching the cause of human rights. For instance, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it kept unilateral sanctions on Cuba, Venezuela, Syria and Iran in disregard of their basic need to contain the virus and save lives. This has gravely threatened the basic human rights including the right to life, health and development of the people in these countries. For the 28th consecutive year, the UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution calling for an end to the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed on Cuba by the US.

Human rights should not be used as a pretext to suppress other countries. The US should immediately stop and redress its erroneous approach of politicizing and weaponizing human rights and applying double standard, and immediately lift all illegal unilateral sanctions and embargo on countries like Cuba. This is also what the international community is calling for.

KBS: Almost 100 days has passed since Myanmar was plunged into turmoil. China can play a very important role in resolving the situation. Where do you stand on this?

Hua Chunying: As a close neighbor of Myanmar, China is highly concerned about the current situation in the country, which is a member of the big ASEAN family. China supports parties in Myanmar in seeking a political solution through dialogue within the constitutional and legal framework, and advancing the hard-won democratic transition process suited to Myanmar's national conditions. We also support ASEAN, a mature regional organization, in upholding the principle of non-interference and the tradition of consensus-based decision-making to encourage and constructively participate in Myanmar's internal reconciliation process in the ASEAN Way. China also supports joint efforts to explore effective ways to ease the situation and solve the issue within the ASEAN framework. At the same time, we appeal for efforts to avoid further bloodshed, conflicts and civilian casualties, and prevent the situation from deteriorating or even spiraling out of control; to avoid improper intervention of the UN Security Council, lest it should undermine Myanmar's sovereignty and further complicate the situation; and to avoid external maneuvers to add fuel to the flames and mess up Myanmar in pursuit of selfish gains.

China hopes and believes that ASEAN will continue to play a constructive role in promoting political reconciliation in Myanmar and safeguarding ASEAN solidarity and cooperation as well as regional peace and stability. We will continue to stay in close communication with ASEAN and support its mediation efforts, while reaching out to parties in Myanmar in our own way, so as to facilitate an early "soft landing" for the situation in Myanmar.

CCTV: Recently, the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research (TFF) based in Sweden released a feature report titled "The Xinjiang Genocide Determination As Agenda" to debunk the false accusation of "genocide" in Xinjiang fabricated by the US and other Western countries. The independent US website Counterpunch published an article titled "Reflections on Genocide as the Ultimate Crime", saying that the US allegation of "genocide" in Xinjiang was motivated by ideological posturing and was "unsupported by even a hint of evidence". Do you have any comment?

Hua Chunying: I read relevant articles. The increasing objective voices across the world on Xinjiang we've seen recently show that justice will eventually prevail.

As pointed out in the TFF report, the relevant US think tanks and authors of the "report" accusing China of committing genocide in Xinjiang have obvious political leanings, and the "report" seriously violates academic norms and intentionally neglects the definition of "genocide" and such important factors as terrorism. It comes to the conclusion that the so-called "report" by relevant US think tanks lacks credibility, parts of it would hardly pass as a paper for an MA course, and the empirical basis for accusing China of "genocide" is surprisingly weak.

As for the article published by the US website Counterpunch, it is co-authored by a human rights expert and a renowned professor of international law, who made in-depth elaborations on Xinjiang-related issues from a professional perspective. Their observations carry weight and are supported by convincing evidence. As they pointed out in the article, genocide is a well-defined term in international law. Allegation that China was committing genocide in Xinjiang was unsupported by even a hint of evidence. The US interest in the fate of the Uyghur people is not motivated by the protection of human rights, but rather geopolitics. The above-mentioned report and article happen to present the same view with many academic experts and journalists from the US, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Singapore and other countries.

China has talked about the stability and development in Xinjiang many times. We introduced our Xinjiang policy and debunked the despicable moves and vicious intention by some people to fabricate and spread lies and rumors on Xinjiang. The report and article again corroborated that. On Xinjiang-related issues, we hope that there can be more facts and truth, fewer lies and rumors; more objectivity and justice, less rumor-mongering and smearing; and more communication and cooperation, less political manipulation.

The door to Xinjiang is always open. We welcome people from other countries to visit Xinjiang and learn the truth about it. With abundant facts and truth, the lies of "genocide" in Xinjiang concocted by anti-China forces will never find a foothold.

RIA Novosti: After the debris of a Chinese rocket fell into the Indian Ocean, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said that China is failing to meet responsible standard regarding the space debris. I wonder what is your comment?

Hua Chunying: The US and a few other countries have been hyping up the landing of the Chinese rocket debris over the past days. But as we've seen from reports, the upper stage of the rocket has reentered the atmosphere and there's no surface damage reported.

You mentioned some comments from the NASA administrator. We've learned from China Manned Space Engineering Office that it is currently common practice across the world for launch vehicles of spacecraft to undergo natural orbital decay after passing orbital altitude and then eventually be ablated upon reentry into the atmosphere. On April 29 Beijing time, the Long March-5B Y2 rocket successfully sent into orbit the space station's core module Tianhe. China has been following closely the upper stage's reentry into the atmosphere. The upper stage of this rocket has been deactivated, which means that it will not explode in orbit and produce space debris, and most of its parts will burn up upon reentry, making the likelihood of damage to aviation or ground facilities and activities extremely low.

China monitored closely the reentry trajectory throughout the process and released a notice on the reentry in advance. We know from monitoring and analysis that the upper stage has landed in a sea area with the center at 2.65 degrees north latitude and 72.47 degrees east longitude at 10:24 a.m. on May 9. So far no damage has been reported.

In fact, the Chinese side shared its reentry forecast through international cooperation mechanisms. We always conduct activities for peaceful uses of outer space in accordance with international law and customary practice. We stand ready to have broader exchange and cooperation with other countries on the issue of space debris to ensure the long-term sustainability of space activities.

However, I would like to point out that some media and individuals in the US clearly hold double standard on this issue. You may recall that in March this year, when a piece of a SpaceX rocket crashed on a farm in the country, American media used such romantic descriptions as "lighting up the night sky like a meteor, producing a spectacular light show". But when it comes to China, the tune is completely different. I noticed some jesting online in China, saying that US politicians may be forgetful, but the Internet has a long memory. We stand ready to strengthen cooperation with other countries including the US, but we reject double standard on this issue.  

Reuters: Just to follow up on that. Did China notify the Indian and Maldives governments in advance that the debris would fall close to them?

Hua Chunying: As I just said, China's space authority has released information several times on the reentry of upper stage debris of the Long March-5B Y2 rocket and shared reentry forecast via international cooperation mechanisms. To date no damage by the landing debris has been reported.

I've seen reports that since the launch of the first man-made satellite over 60 years ago, not a single incident has occurred where a piece of debris hit someone. US experts put the chances of that at less than one in a billion. For incidents of such infinitesimal likelihood, we should trust the judgement of professional departments and personnel and leave them to handle the matter. There is really no need for media to exaggerate things and create panic.

China Review News: We noticed that after the Sinopharm vaccine is listed by the WHO for emergency use, foreign media are saying that the world is becoming increasingly reliant on Chinese vaccines. Do you have a comment?

Hua Chunying: What I can tell you is that China is providing more vaccines to developing countries than any other country. China is committed to building a community of health for all. We are the first to pledge to make vaccines a global public good and we are honoring our words with concrete actions. China has offered vaccine assistance to over 80 developing countries and exported doses to over 50 countries, as part of our continuous effort to remove "vaccine divide".

Vaccines are important weapons to fight the virus. We hope countries with the conditions and capabilities can take prompt actions to offer more, timely doses to developing countries to promote the equitable distribution and application of vaccines across the world, and reject hoarding vaccines.

Bloomberg: A question on the South China Sea. The Philippines military has said that it will ask President Duterte to fund a logistics hub on the South China Sea islands. The objective is to drive away Chinese maritime militia and other Chinese vessels from their exclusive economic zone. Does the foreign ministry have any comment?

Hua Chunying: China's position on the South China Sea issue is clear, firm and consistent.

The South China Sea issue might be an issue between China and the Philippines, but it is not insoluble. China and the Philippines enjoy a friendship spanning thousands of years whereas the South China Sea issue arose only several decades ago. Our two countries have reached the consensus to properly and peacefully handle the issue through dialogue and negotiation. China and other ASEAN countries also share the same consensus to properly handle relevant issues through dialogue and negotiation while jointly safeguarding peace and stability in the South China Sea. We hope certain individuals will refrain from stirring up trouble on this issue.

China News Service: Some US officials recently accused the Chinese government of using state media and their platforms to engage in propaganda and spread disinformation overseas in an attempt to disrupt and undermine democracy while restricting freedom of press and speech at home. Do you have any comment?

Hua Chunying: Some in the US, in the name of freedom of press and speech, wantonly smear and attack China. This in itself is spreading disinformation and a travesty of real freedom and democracy.

If they are truly defending freedom, why won't they allow others to tell the truth when they are making up lies to confuse public opinion? If they are truly defending freedom, why is it that Mr. Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, was thrown in prison after being forced to shelter in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for seven years? If they are truly defending freedom, why not respect or at least tolerate the existence of other civilizations and systems? If they are truly defending freedom, why target views different from its "political correctness" and repress those holding such views? If they are truly defending freedom, why deprive other countries of their right and freedom to normal development and suppress them?

Al Jazeera: May 15 is Palestine's Nakba Day. The Israeli attack took place in Jerusalem. Does China recognize East Jerusalem as Palestine's capital? And does China see this attack as an act of aggression on the Palestinian territory?

Hua Chunying: As I just said, China is concerned about the escalating tension between Israel and Palestine recently. We hope they can remain calm and exercise restraint to avoid more injuries. We hope that relevant parties of the international community will work for an early resumption of peace talks between the two sides according to relevant UN resolutions and on the basis of the two-state solution.

On the Palestine question, China always holds an objective and just position. We support the just cause of the Palestinian people and support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state that enjoys full sovereignty, with East Jerusalem as its capital and based on the 1967 border. For multiple times, President Xi Jinping sent congratulatory messages to meetings held by the UN to observe the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. We sympathize with the sufferings of refugees both in and outside Palestine. China will continue to contribute through concrete actions its strength and wisdom to the comprehensive and just resolution of the Palestinian issue at an early date and to lasting peace in the Middle East.

Reuters: There are reports that China asked UN member states not to attend a virtual Xinjiang event planned by Germany, the US and the UK on Wednesday. Do you have any comment?

Hua Chunying: The US, rallying a handful of countries like the UK and Germany, plans to hold the so-called virtual meeting on Xinjiang and falsely calls it a sideline event of the UN. This reminds me of the farce back in January this year when US Permanent Representative to the UN Kelly Craft, abusing her capacity, sneaked into the UN General Assembly Hall to make a video of virtual interaction with students in Taiwan. The US and the few countries it has assembled are abusing the resources and platform of the UN to smear and attack China to serve selfish political interests. This is a shameful travesty of the UN. I must point out that a handful of Western countries such as the US, the UK and Germany can by no means represent the UN, even less the international community.

The US claims that it cares about the human rights of Muslims, but it is the US that killed more Muslims than any other country in the world. Putting aside the long-standing systemic racial discrimination in the US, we know the US has waged wars and carried out military operations in the name of "counterterrorism" in 80-plus countries around the world. More than 800,000 people have died from direct war violence, most of whom were civilians, and tens of millions of people have been displaced. Today, over 20 million people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other countries are still living in extreme conditions. Nearly 600,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, and I noted that a study by the University of Washington estimates the real number may far exceed that. How hypocritical it is for the US to watch callously as tens of thousands of Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria died at its hand, and as more than 600,000 Americans died from COVID-19, and then to go all out and fabricate the so-called human rights issues in Xinjiang!

If there were a real human rights problem in Xinjiang, wouldn't the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and its over 50 member states be more concerned than the US? The OIC sent a delegation to visit Xinjiang upon invitation, during which it fully recognized the importance the Chinese government attaches to protecting the rights of Muslim believers and spoke highly of China's preventive counterterrorism and de-radicalization efforts. At the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council, more than 80 countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other Muslim countries, voiced their support for China's position on Xinjiang-related issues in different ways. For the United States, a country that has killed nearly a million Muslims and infringed upon the human rights of tens of millions more, to profess concern over the human rights of Uyghurs in Xinjiang is just like the weasel paying respect to the hen without the best of intentions.

As is pointed out in a recent article titled "Things to Know about All the Lies on Xinjiang: How Have They Come About?" on Chinese media, the anti-China forces in the US and the West seem to have developed a routine for manufacturing and peddling lies and rumors to attack China. First, rumors are packaged as information leaked by "scholars" and "victims", which are then hyped up by media, and followed by official intervention. With this routine, "witness accounts" and "reports" emerge one after another, "directors" and "actors" come on stage in various disguises. In response, China has issued 12 white papers on Xinjiang and "Fact Check: Lies on Xinjiang-related issues versus the truth". The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has also held more than 40 special press conferences to share the real situation in Xinjiang. I believe you all have a very clear idea of what the issue is truly about. As we all noted, Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Sibel Edmonds, former FBI translator, admitted that they never care about people or any ethnic minority in Xinjiang. They only want to use them to foment unrest and destabilize China from internal places rather than external in order to realize their conspiracy of disrupting Xinjiang and containing China. There are many media reports about this. US independent news website The Greyzone published an article exposing how anti-China "scholar" Adrian Zenz has fabricated the centenary lie of "genocide" in Xinjiang through data abuse, information distortion and false witness account. The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, the Australian Citizens Party's weekly publication The Australian Alert Service, and Brazil's Estado de Minas and many other media ran reports and articles to show the effective counter-terrorism work in Xinjiang and expose the double standard on fighting terrorism held by Western countries including the US and their geopolitical conspiracy to use Xinjiang to contain China. The Singapore-based Lianhe Zaobao, the website Project Syndicate, the Sweden-based Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research and the US independent website Counterpunch published articles or released reports to point out that the US claim of "forced labor" and "genocide" in Xinjiang is totally groundless. A recently-released feature report by former mayor of Frogn municipality in Norway, "The Xinjiang Genocide Determination As Agenda", laid bare the lack of objectivity, verity and integrity of a report alleging genocide in Xinjiang by US think tanks. Another example, French author Maxime Vivas in his book "Uyghurs: To Put an End to Fake News" proved that all sorts of lies and rumors on Xinjiang are baseless with his own two trips there.

Some in the US have repeatedly hyped up the so-called "human rights issue" in Xinjiang on nothing but the words of merely about 20 false witnesses and scholars. By contrast, there are so many Xinjiang residents who told their own stories in the press conferences on Xinjiang held by China and so many people from the international community like those who disclosed the true intention of Xinjiang-related lies and rumors fabricated by the US and the West as I just cited. They have far exceeded the false witnesses and scholars treasured by the US in terms of number and representation. Isn't the US a democracy? Even from a democratic perspective, certain individuals on the US side choose to buy the "account" of 20-plus false witnesses and actors but refuse to listen to the voice of people whose number is several times, ten times, one hundred times, one thousand times, even ten thousand times greater than the former, refuse to heed the call of the 1.4 billion Chinese people, including more than 25 million people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. Is it in line with their self-styled democratic values? In the final analysis, they are too cowardly to face the truth and are afraid of the truth.

But no matter how deep they bury their heads into the sand or how hard they try to cover their ears, the facts and truth about Xinjiang are there for all to see. These politicians in the US and other Western countries have been fabricating lies and rumors without any scruples out of the vicious intention of suppressing and containing China, but this farce is being seen through by more and more people. The cheap shot will only accelerate the erosion of the credibility of the US itself. So they should know better than keeping up the play.

Beijing Youth Daily: On May 7, US Secretary of State Blinken released a statement calling on the WHO Director-General to invite Taiwan to participate as an observer at the WHA. The statement reads that "excluding the interests of 24 million people at the WHA serves only to imperil, not advance, our shared global health objectives" and would be detrimental to collective international efforts to prevent future health crises. The G7 foreign ministers' meeting also issued a communiqué earlier, voicing support for "Taiwan's meaningful participation in World Health Organisation forums and the World Health Assembly". Do you have a comment?

Hua Chunying: China has stated its solemn position on the content concerning Taiwan in the communiqué of the G7 foreign ministers' meeting. The statement by US Secretary of State Blinken gravely violates the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués and interferes in China's domestic affairs. We deplore and reject it.

There is only one China in the world. The participation of China's Taiwan region in activities of international organizations, including the WHO, must be handled in accordance with the one-China principle. This is a key principle established by UNGA Resolution 2758 and WHA Resolution 25.1, which has received broad support from the international community. It is the DPP authority's entrenched "Taiwan-independence" separatist position that has depleted the political foundation for the region's participation in the WHA. The DPP authority knows only too well that it bears full responsibility for this.

Driven by political agenda, the US is pushing the narrative that excluding Taiwan from the WHA will imperil shared global health objectives and would be detrimental to efforts to prevent future health crises. This is nothing but a political lie. As a matter of fact, no one cares more about the health and welfare of our compatriots in Taiwan than us. After COVID-19 broke out, the Central Government of China invited health experts from the Taiwan region, before inviting anyone else outside the mainland, to visit Wuhan, Hubei Province to see the situation on the ground. We shared 52 epidemic-prevention documents with Taiwan in 13 batches and updated it on the latest information for multiple times, including information on Taiwan residents infected in the mainland. We also notified it in particular of the information that the mainland shared the genome sequencing and routes to obtain relevant genome sequencing. By May 5, the Central Government had given the Taiwan region 258 updates about the COVID-19 outbreak. In March this year, a cross-strait virtual seminar on prevention policies and experience-sharing was held to share technical experience.

Based on the one-China principle, the Central Government of China has made appropriate arrangements for Taiwan's participation in global health affairs. According to incomplete statistics, since 2020, health experts in Taiwan have participated in 16 WHO technical activities, including important meetings like the fourth Global Vaccine and Immunization Research Forum and WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization meetings. There is an International Health Regulations Contact Point in the Taiwan region. Taiwan also has an account to log onto the WHO event information website and has timely access to WHO information on public health emergencies through the website and the daily updates. It can also report incidents to the WHO in a timely manner. With the approval of China's Central Government, the WHO Secretariat notified health experts in Taiwan three times of information about COVID-19. Taiwan has also joined COVAX. Experts in the region attended multiple times WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization meetings and got timely and full access to COVID-related information.

I want to draw your attention to one point. Isn't it self-contradictory for the Taiwan authority to tout itself as a model for epidemic prevention and for the US to pile praise on Taiwan's anti-epidemic outcomes while sensationalizing the narrative of imperiling global heath objectives? This exposes fully that the US claim that excluding the 24 million Taiwan people at the WHA would be detrimental to collective international efforts to prevent future health crises is purely political manipulation to justify Taiwan's participation in the WHA.

I would like to stress again that the Taiwan question bears on China's core interests, where there is not a single inch for compromise. As COVID-19 continues to rage, this WHA's primary task is to focus on global anti-pandemic cooperation. We urge the US to stop hyping up Taiwan-related issues, which will not help with the global anti-virus cooperation and will be firmly rejected by the vast majority of members of the international community.

Global Times: It is reported that as it conducted an investigation into the origins of COVID-19, the US State Department obtained an internal document written by scientists from the Air Force Medical University of the People's Liberation Army and senior Chinese public health officials in 2015. The paper says that SARS­coronaviruses can be "artificially manipulated into an emerging human­disease virus, then weaponised and unleashed in a way never seen before". What's your comment?

Hua Chunying: I note reports on this. Some in the US take every opportunity to cite and play up so-called "internal documents" and "reports" to denigrate and smear China. However, facts and truth always prove that they are either the offender playing the defendant, or making vicious interpretations by taking words out of context or with presumption of guilt, or spreading sheer lies. There are already media reports saying that the document mentioned by the US side is not any classified internal document, but rather a piece of openly available academic work. It cited relevant research by former US Colonel Michael Ainscough and pointed out that "next generation bioweapons" are part of US air force projects which are aimed at helping the US to better cope with the threat of weapons of mass destruction. The argument by Ainscough shows that it is the US that is researching the technology of genetic engineering applied to bio-warfare and bio-terrorism.

China has always strictly fulfilled its obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention and doesn't develop, research or produce bio-weapons. China has put in place a complete set of laws and regulations, technical standards and management system on the safety of bio-labs.

I also want to point out that many countries are gravely concerned about bio-labs built by the US both within its borders and overseas. It is reported that the US has over 200 overseas bio-labs in 25 countries and regions including Africa, Middle East, South Asia and the former Soviet Union. The sites where some bio-labs are based have seen outbreaks of large-scale infectious diseases. A USA TODAY Network investigation reveals that since 2003, hundreds of lab incidents have occurred in the US biological laboratories where humans had accidental contact with deadly pathogens, leading to epidemics. Since June 2019, US media have been reporting on problems at Fort Detrick. However, nearly two years on, the US government still remains reticent on this. A Russian official recently said that Russia believes that labs under US control along the Russia-China border are developing biological weapons. People are eager to know: Why did the US set up so many bio-labs around the world? What's it after? How much sensitive biological resources and information did the US acquire from relevant countries? What activities are carried out at Fort Detrick and its overseas bio-labs? Are they somehow linked to the US research on "next generation bioweapons"? The US owes the international community an honest, transparent and responsible answer to those question.

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