China FO Presser

China FO Presser on January 6, 2023

5 Min
<strong>China FO Presser on January 6, 2023</strong>

The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning held a presser on January 6, 2023. Some excerpts

Beijing Daily: The member states of the EU have met and discussed the other day the COVID situation in China, and issued a statement after the meeting. In the statement, the EU member states are encouraged to introduce, for all passengers departing from China to member states, the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test taken not more than 48 hours prior to departure. They are also encouraged to take random testing of passengers upon arrival and sequence all positive results. The statement also mentions the monitoring of the level of data shared, and the member states will assess the situation and review the introduced measures by mid-January. What is China’s comment?

Mao Ning: We have noted this meeting. I want to stress that China has taken the initiative to refine the response measures based on scientific assessments. China’s COVID situation is predictable and under control. Recently many EU member states have said they welcome tourists from China and will not impose any restriction measures. Professional institutions including the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said clearly that restriction measures targeting travelers from China are unjustified. The EU should listen more to the rational voice, and view China’s COVID response situation in an objective and fair light.

China has been sharing relevant information and data with the international community in an open and transparent manner. We have carried out over 60 technical exchanges with the WHO and have been sharing the genome data of the virus from the latest COVID cases in China via the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID), providing important references for international health research institutions.

China has repeatedly stressed that for all countries, COVID response measures need to be science-based and proportionate. They should not affect normal cross-border travel and people-to-people exchange and cooperation, there should not be discriminatory measures, and still less should measures be used for political manipulation. In response to unreasonable measures taken by some countries, China will, in light of the COVID situation and the need of COVID response, take corresponding measures based on the principle of reciprocity.

ABC Spanish Daily Newspaper: Following up on the previous question, considering that China will still require testing for incoming travelers after January 8, and as you mentioned, China will take corresponding measures based on the principle of reciprocity, I wonder if that implies that you think it’s acceptable for other countries to do so as well.

Mao Ning: China has shared its position on this issue repeatedly. We want to stress that for all countries, COVID response measures need to be science-based and proportionate, and they should not target any specific country.?

AFP: A follow-up question. Many countries now are welcoming Chinese tourists. Is there any timeline for China for issuing tourist visas again?

Mao Ning: The foreign affairs team of the State Council joint prevention and control mechanism and the National Immigration Administration have issued notices, in which they say China will adjust relevant policies and measures from January 8, and you may refer to that.

China News Service: According to reports, the funeral of former Pope Benedict XVI was held on January 5. Do you have any comment?

Mao Ning: We mourn for the passing of former Pope Benedict XVI. The president of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and the president of the Bishops’ Conference of Catholic Church in China have sent a message of condolences to Pope Francis on behalf of the more than six million Catholic clergy and believers in China.

TASS: According to the announcement released by the National Immigration Administration, China will refine its immigration administration policies and measures from January 8. How is the situation now? Will China carry out all the preparatory work as planned?

Mao Ning: I would refer you to competent authorities for this question.

CRI: It is reported that recently the situation in Tigray state, Ethiopia has been improving, with basic services such as water, electric power, civil aviation and telecommunication as well as humanitarian aid gradually restored and progress made in the implementation of the peace agreement. Do you have any comment on this?

Mao Ning: China is genuinely happy to see that the federal government of Ethiopia has worked actively with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front to deliver on the peace agreement and that social order and normal life in Tigray state is gradually restored. We would like to express our warm congratulations.

On the domestic conflict of Ethiopia, China’s position is consistent. We have always believed in the Ethiopian people’s wisdom and capability to settle domestic differences independently, respected the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ethiopia, and supported the Ethiopian government and people in their efforts to realize peace, unity and development of the nation. We stand with the African people in resolving African issues in the African way, and support the African Union in playing a positive and constructive role in promoting the settlement of the issue.

Currently, improving people’s livelihood and reconstruction in Ethiopia, especially in Tigray state, remains a daunting task. China calls on the international community to continue stepping up humanitarian aid to the country and support its reconstruction and socioeconomic development. China stands ready to work with the international community to continue providing support and help for the unity, stability and development of Ethiopia.

Bloomberg: The US offered to provide vaccines, advanced technologies and other help as Beijing deals with the virus outbreaks in China. Does the ministry have a comment on this?

Mao Ning: China’s vaccines and medical supplies are overall in adequate supply and the COVID situation is under control. To date, 13 vaccines have been granted conditional market approval or approved for emergency use in China, which meet the needs of ensuring that all people eligible for vaccination have access to COVID vaccines. A WHO official has said recently that there are very high coverage levels of vaccination in China and that inactivated vaccines, viral vector vaccines, and mRNA vaccines have all demonstrated high performance of protection against the severe end of the disease spectrum and death.

We stand ready to continue strengthening communication and cooperation with the international community, the US included, to better tackle the COVID challenge and protect people’s life and health.

CCTV: You mentioned yesterday that China has had communication and exchanges with the WHO many times and shared COVID data in an open manner. The WHO held a regular member states briefing on January 5. Did China attend the briefing and share information about the epidemic? Do you have any comment?

Mao Ning: I have provided a detailed update yesterday on the communication and exchanges that China has had with the WHO. Since COVID began, competent authorities of China have shared information about the epidemic with the international community in a timely, open and transparent manner in accordance with law and maintained close communication with the WHO. On January 5, at the invitation of the WHO, China sent experts to the WHO member states briefing, where they explained China’s response measures, monitoring of mutations, vaccination and clinical care, and had active interactions with other member states. We noted that the WHO said they saw more data on sequencing being uploaded by China and increased engagement with the WHO over the last number of weeks from China. China stands ready to step up cooperation with the WHO and the rest of the world to tackle the COVID challenge more effectively and better protect the people’s lives and health.