I'd like to share some figures with you first. March 25 saw 401 patients cured and discharged from hospital in China's mainland, bringing the tally to 74,051.
The Paper: At a press availability after the Virtual G7 Ministerial on March 25, US Secretary of State Pompeo renewed his attacks on China's political system and once again referred to the coronavirus as "the Wuhan virus". What's your comment?
Geng Shuang: We strongly condemn these remarks by Secretary Pompeo.
As China has repeatedly pointed out, origin-tracing of the virus is a complicated matter, where we should rely on professional views from the science community. WHO and the international community explicitly object to linking the virus with specific countries or regions, or seeking stigmatization. They have commended China's response. However, this American politician continues to defy global consensus, stigmatize China and discredit its epidemic response. The sinister intention behind his attempt is to deflect attention at home and shift the blame to the innocent.
I have to point out that the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading across the globe and the situation in the US is getting worse. Under such circumstances, if a politician keeps provoking political disputes and disrupting international cooperation in combating the virus, instead of focusing on containing the spread at home and contributing to global cooperation, what morality does he have?
People of the world have all witnessed that it is under the leadership of the CPC that the Chinese people achieved independence, freedom and liberation and made enormous progress in national development. It is also under the leadership of the CPC that the Chinese nation united as one and speedily fought against COVID-19, buying precious time for the global response. These are plain facts for all to see.
We advise this politician not to go further down the wrong path, otherwise his hypocrisy and malign intentions will be further exposed, prompting more indignation and objection among the Chinese people and the international community.
AFP: Just one follow-up question on Secretary of State Pompeo's comments. He mentioned that the G7 foreign ministers agreed with him that China was waging a disinformation campaign about the coronavirus pandemic. So we wanted to ask what is China's comment?
Geng Shuang: I have just elaborated on China's stance in my response to The Paper.
Since you asked about it again, I can say a few more. Since the pandemic broke out, China has taken the most comprehensive, thorough and rigorous measures against it and such measures have produced great results. This is our contribution to the global fight against the pandemic. All along, China has been open, transparent and responsible in sharing information, staying in close communication and carrying out cooperation with relevant countries and international organizations including G7. What we have done has won us applause from the international community.
We urge the US side to respect facts and the public opinion of the international community and stop politicizing the pandemic and stigmatizing China. As we said repeatedly, the top priority for the US is to put its own house in order, do its level best to halt the spread of COVID-19 and play a constructive role in the international cooperation against the pandemic. Trying to muddy the water and divert responsibility at this moment will not help solve any problem.
NHK: The whereabouts of Yuan Keqin, a professor of the Hokkaido University of Education who returned to China, is still unknown. Some people are worried that he might be arrested. Do you have more details on that?
Geng Shuang: Yuan Keqin is a Chinese citizen. He is suspected of spying and has been investigated by China's national security authority in accordance with law. He made a full confession. All the facts are clear and evidence irrefutable. His case has been transferred to the procuratorial authorities for investigation and prosecution. Yuan Keqin's litigation rights have been fully guaranteed along the way.
Reuters: President Trump yesterday made comments about the WHO being biased in favor of China. Does China have a response?
Geng Shuang: Since the outbreak of COVID-19, WHO, as the most authoritative and professional institution in global public health security, has made tremendous efforts to coordinate response and cooperation worldwide. Its work has been recognized and commended by the international community. China supports it in continuing to play an important role in this global fight against the pandemic.