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Ambassador Zhang Ming Speaks to Euronews on China's Response to the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia
2020/02/06

On 3 February 2020, Ambassador Zhang Ming, Head of the Chinese Mission to the EU, answered questions about the novel coronavirus pneumonia in a TV interview with Euronews.

Ambassador Zhang said: The Chinese government takes the epidemic outbreak very seriously. President Xi Jinping is leading the response to the epidemic in person. The whole country is making all-out efforts to contain the spread of the virus and save lives. A comprehensive and multi-tiered prevention and control system has been put in place nationwide with a focus on Hubei Province. Access control measures have been applied to the Wuhan city, the epic center of the epidemic, to effectively break the chain of transmission. There has been no concentrated outbreak in other regions in China. The number of cured cases keeps increasing. The mortality rate stands at around 2%. The confirmed cases outside the Chinese mainland only account for 1% of the total. China has done its best and taken the most vigorous measures to contain the outbreak and protect the health of people around the world. With the China’s strong manpower and technological expertise and rich anti-epidemic experience accumulated in the past 40 years of reform and opening-up, we have the resolve, confidence and ability to win this battle against the epidemic.

As to the potential impact on the Chinese economy, Ambassador Zhang said that there might be some impact, which, however, is short-term and manageable. Chinese economy has seen medium- to high-speed growth for decades. Its strong resilience, internal dynamism and the huge market potential offered by the 1.4 billion people will not change because of a preventable and controllable epidemic. The Chinese government has sufficient policy space to boost the economy. We expect to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the end of this year. We will continue to deepen reform on various fronts and open wider to the world. We will work for new progress in the China-EU cooperation. All this is good news for China, Europe and the global economy.

When asked to give advice to European citizens who plan to go to China, Ambassador Zhang said that China and the EU are partners and China will keep its door open to European visitors. China is taking unprecedentedly strict prevention and control measures which far exceed the WHO recommendations and the requirements of the International Health Regulations. The WHO does not recommend travel limitations. Under the current circumstances, I advise European visitors to China to cooperate with the Chinese government in epidemic prevention and control, enhance self-protection and plan their itinerary ahead. For the health and safety of foreign nationals in China, the Chinese government has provided anti-virus tips and emergency contact information in multiple languages, at which I advise foreign visitors to take a look.

In response to the discriminatory assaults on Chinese nationals in some European countries, Ambassador Zhang expressed condemnation against such behavior. He said that these are believed to be individual cases and that most Europeans stand by the basic moral values and would not turn racist for a single epidemic. As WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros stressed, “This is the time for facts, not fear; this is the time for science, not rumors; this is the time for solidarity, not stigma.”

Ambassador Zhang stressed that since the outbreak, the Chinese government has kept close communication and cooperation with the WHO and the international community in an open, transparent and responsible manner. Quite a number of countries have expressed their understanding and support for China through various means. The EU recently facilitated the delivery of 12 tons of protective equipment to China and promised to offer more assistance. I would like to take this opportunity to express thanks to the EU and other partners. Keep fighting, Wuhan!

Euronews is an international radio and TV station mainly covering global and European news in 14 languages including English, French and German. It reaches about 430 million households in 166 countries.

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