US told to stop politicization of pandemic

China Daily| 2020-03-24 14:54:34|Editor: Wang Xiaoyu
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Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai said the two countries are in the same boat and must combat the novel coronavirus as partners.(Photo provided to China Daily)

Chinese ambassador emphasizes in interview two nations 'in same boat'

Beijing urged Washington on Monday to stop politicizing the novel coronavirus and stigmatizing China, reiterating that the US attempt to shift responsibility for its lackluster response to the COVID-19 pandemic is "immoral and irresponsible".

Diverting attention or shifting blame will not help countries contain the pandemic, nor is it helpful for promoting international cooperation in combating the virus, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily news briefing.

Geng expressed opposition to some US politicians' attempts to stigmatize China by making use of issues regarding the virus.

Under the current situation, countries should help each other and work together to fight the disease, he said.

In a wide-ranging Axios on HBO interview on Tuesday, Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai said the two countries are in the same boat and must combat the novel coronavirus as partners, help economic operations recover and restore the people's confidence in the global economy.

The top Chinese envoy in Washington highlighted the partnership of the two countries at a time when there's a lot of distrust between the two governments.

"We are really in the same boat. This is a global challenge, global public health challenge, maybe even more than that," the ambassador said.

China is ready to work with other countries to tackle this global challenge and is prepared to do whatever it can to help others, Cui said.

China-US relations are at a critical juncture, Cui said, adding that both countries have to make the right choice for the development of bilateral ties.

China rejected any attempt to stir up confrontation or even start a new Cold War between the two countries or talk about the so-called economic decoupling, which will hurt the real interests of the two peoples, he added.

Commenting on the discussion of the origin of the coronavirus, Cui said it is up to scientists to find the answer eventually and called on parties to follow the rule set by the World Health Organization in calling the virus by its designated name.

Cui said the WHO has a rule regarding naming new viruses, in which they will never give people the impression that the virus is linked to a particular location, a particular group of people or even a particular animal, in order to avoid stigma.

"So hopefully everybody will follow the WHO rule," he said.

He said that it is essential to trace the origin of the virus but speculation about the origin from both media and diplomats is harmful and will help no one.

Responding to a question on allegations of a Chinese "cover-up" of the coronavirus at the early stage of the outbreak, Cui said it was a process of discovering a new kind of virus rather than a "cover-up".

Since it has been reported that the White House is launching a communications plan across multiple federal agencies to focus on accusing Beijing of orchestrating a "cover-up" and creating a pandemic, Geng said such a trick is clumsy.

"The US has completely wasted the precious time China bought for the world," the spokesman said.

Instead, it attempted to defame others, shifted blame and looked for scapegoats, and such practices are immoral and irresponsible, he said.

He again urged Washington to focus on minding its own business and play a constructive role in global efforts to fight the virus and maintain global public health security.(By Zhou Jin in Beijing and Zhao Huanxin in Washington)