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Spokesperson of Chinese Mission to the EU Speaks on the Report on the Foreign Policy Consequences of the COVID-19 Outbreak Released by the European Parliament

Q: On November 25, the European Parliament released the Report on the Foreign Policy Consequences of the COVID-19 Outbreak, criticizing the initial Chinese response to the COVID-19, accusing China of trying to expand influence during the outbreak, and calling on the EU to review its relations with China. What is your comment?

A: The misinformation on China in the report shows a disregard for the efforts of the Chinese people in fighting the virus and a disregard for China-EU cooperation against the pandemic. It also distorts China's development intentions, and denies China's legitimate rights to safeguard its sovereignty and security. We categorically reject such misinformation.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, China has reported the cases without delay, promptly adopted strict containment measures, and joined forces with other members of the international community, including the EU and its member states, in providing mutual assistance and pushing for economic reopening, contributing to the global COVID-19 response and the recovery of the European economy.

China's development aims to deliver a better life for the 1.4 billion people. Such a justified and reasonable aspiration should not be misinterpreted and cannot be held back. China has no interest to interfere with or remold anyone. China does not pursue a so-called geopolitical or even expansionist agenda. By the same token, China hopes that the EU side could truly respect China's core interests and major concerns, and abide by international law and basic norms governing international relations, such as non-interference in other’s internal affairs.

The COVID-19 is still raging globally. It is important for China and the EU to view each other in the right perspective and work together in good faith. As an old Chinese saying goes, "It would be futile to put out a fire with firewood, as the fire will never be extinguished until the firewood is burnt out." Holding on to the outdated mentality and ideology is like putting out a fire with firewood, which would only make the flames even higher, ultimately hurting China-EU relations and the interests of our peoples.

The COVID-19 has taught us that isolation, suspicion and discrediting make little sense, while cooperation, trust and consultation are what we need. As the global pandemic is still with us, we call on the European Parliament to engage more in cooperation with an open mind, and less in suspicion and accusation. The real rival is the virus, which can only be defeated through global cooperation.

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