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      18210244181 | 登錄 注冊
      發布時間:2022年02月09日     發布人: nanyuzi
      來源: 駐東盟使團
      字號 簡體 繁體 打印

      Time for Cooperation and Solidarity Against COVID-19, Rather than Political Manipulation



      Mr. Deng Xijun, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to ASEAN



      21 August 2021



      At present, COVID-19 is still ravaging the world, with its variants creating new waves of infections around the globe. At this critical juncture, all countries around the world should have united as one to fight the virus. However, attention has been distracted from time to time, as certain countries take advantage of COVID-19 origin-tracing to smear others and serve their political agenda.



      At the onset of COVID-19, China reported the latest developments to the WHO at the earliest possible time. Since then, acting on the vision of a global community of health for all, China has shared response experience with the international community in a timely manner, assisted over 150 countries and international organizations with medical supplies to the best of our capability, and led the largest scale of global vaccine cooperation, thus making outstanding contributions to global public health security.



      A scientific approach has been taken by China all along to the global cooperation in science-based origin-tracing. WHO experts were invited twice to China for research. They went to all the places they wanted to go and met all the people they wanted to meet. Then The Joint Report by the WHO-China joint study team was released in March this year, presenting the most authoritative, professional and science-based conclusions on origin-tracing. According to the report, experts concluded that “a laboratory leak is extremely unlikely” and put forward important recommendations, including “searching for possible early cases on a global scale” and “studying the possibility of cold-chain transmission of virus”. The report also sets out detailed recommendations for what should be done to trace the virus in the next step. Chinese experts also took the initiative to submit to the WHO China’s proposal on the second phase of origin-tracing. International experts have fully affirmed China’s openness and transparency during the research process, the outcome of which is the scientific and authoritative report that forms the basis for the next stage of tracing.



      Yet in the meantime, certain countries are obsessed with politically-motivated origin-tracing. They have turned a blind eye to those science-based and authoritative conclusions and spread false information and lies to distort the positions of other countries.



      China’s position on global origin-tracing is consistent and clear-cut. First, origin-tracing is a matter of science. It should be and can only be left to scientists to identify, through scientific research, the possible zoonotic source and animal-human transmission routes. No country has the right to put its own political interests above people’s lives, nor should a matter of science be politicized for the purpose of slandering and attacking others.



      Second, the findings and recommendations of the WHO-China joint study report are widely recognized by the international community, especially scientists, and must be respected and implemented by all parties including the WHO. Going forward, global origin-tracing should and must proceed from that basis, instead of reinventing the wheel.



      Third, China has all along supported and will continue to take part in science-based origin-tracing efforts. What China opposes is politicizing origin-tracing, or origin-tracing that goes against the WHA resolutions and disregards the joint study report.



      Fourth, the WHO Secretariat should act on the WHA resolutions, conduct thorough consultation with member states on the global origin-tracing work plan, including the follow-up mechanism, and fully respect the views of member states. Very importantly, the plan for origin-tracing involving a particular country must be decided through consultation with the country concerned, as it provides the basis for effective cooperation.



      Origin-tracing cooperation must be based on science, and politicization must be firmly rejected. The politicization of origins study by some countries has been generally opposed by fair-minded people. Nearly 80 countries, including multiple ASEAN Member States, have recently expressed support for the WHO-China joint study report and opposed politicization of origin-tracing by sending letters to the WHO Director-General and issuing statements and diplomatic notes. Organizations in the civil society, think tanks and over 300 political parties from more than 100 countries and regions submitted a Joint Statement to the WHO Secretariat, calling on the WHO to conduct the study on COVID-19 origin-tracing objectively and fairly, and firmly opposing politicization. The legitimate appeal and voice of justice from the international community shall be heard.



      Virus knows no borders and does not distinguish between races. China, like other countries, is a victim of the pandemic and hopes to find out the origin and cut off its transmission as early as possible. Given the ongoing spread and rebound of the virus, the priority remains to be stepping up equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and enhancing solidarity and cooperation.



      China firmly supports efforts to make COVID-19 vaccines global public goods, opposes “vaccine nationalism” and rejects attempts to create a “vaccine divide”. To help ASEAN put the pandemic under control as quickly as possible, China has been overcoming difficulties to increase vaccine cooperation and aid with ASEAN. To date, China has provided all ASEAN member states with a total of 190 million COVID-19 vaccines and worked on vaccine trials with Indonesia and several other ASEAN countries. China shares with ASEAN technologies and experience and supports ASEAN countries in building regional vaccine production and distribution centers.



      At the multilateral level, China has pledged to contribute 10 million doses of vaccines to the WHO-led COVAX program. As President Xi Jinping pledged a few days ago in his written message to the International Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine Cooperation, China will strive to provide 2 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to the world throughout this year and offer 100 million US dollars to COVAX that will be distributed to developing countries, including ASEAN countries.



      In China’s vaccine cooperation with ASEAN, no geopolitical agenda is pursued, no economic gains are vied for, and no political conditions are attached. It is all about making the vaccines global public goods accessible and affordable to the people in ASEAN, so that ASEAN prevails over the pandemic once and for all and as early as possible. Going forward, China-ASEAN anti-pandemic cooperation will inject new impetus to China-ASEAN relations and bring about an even closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future.



      The pandemic has also unveiled shortcomings and loopholes in the global governance system of public health, sounding alarm for the international community. It won’t be the last public health emergency in our global village. Therefore, it is of paramount importance for the international community to be guided by the vision of building a global community with a shared future, reject political manipulation and jointly tackle challenges for the benefit of all.