Extracts from Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference
Prasar Bharati: Last week, it was announced that China and India are in communication regarding China‘s medical assistance to India. Meanwhile, private businesses were procuring medical goods from China to fulfill the requirements for COVID-19 situation in India. But today state-owned Sichuan Airlines has stopped freight operations to India which has hampered the procurement of much needed items at this point of time when it is needed the most. Do you have any comments?
Wang Wenbin: China has been following closely the epidemic situation in India and expressed sympathies over the worsening situation. We expressed readiness early on to help curb the latest surge. At present, the two sides are communicating with one another. You asked about Indian companies’ purchase of China’s anti-epidemic medical supplies. As far as I know, that’s normal business interaction. We stand ready to offer support and assistance to the best of our capability if the Indian side informs us of its specific needs. As for the operation of the specific flights of the airlines you mentioned, I suggest you check with the company concerned.
Bloomberg: The Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka earlier today tweeted that China would be sending 800 oxygen concentrators today from Hong Kong to Delhi and that would be followed by 10,000 in about a week. Can you confirm this?
Wang Wenbin: I just made it clear that China is ready to provide necessary support and help to India in its fight against the new wave of infections. If India raises any specific demand, we will offer support and help to the best of our capability.
Bloomberg: Just to return to the question on India. The recent meeting of the Quad (India, Japan, Australia and the US) said that “one of the things we would be doing is looking at assisting on COVID-19“. Yet, the current situation is one of the countries is in dire trouble in India, and there doesn‘t seem to be any help coming from those countries. Do you see there is a difference there between effectiveness of Quad and the help China has promised or that China can provide?
Wang Wenbin: First of all, I would like to reiterate that the epidemic is a common challenge that can only be addressed by concerted international efforts. We have also made it clear that China is willing to provide support and assistance to India in its fight against the latest surge of infections. We hope that all countries can stand in solidarity to fight against the virus, the common enemy of mankind.
I also take note that leaders of some countries and international organizations are calling for strong international support to countries in need, as one in six Europeans had been vaccinated, one in five in North America but just one in 100 in Africa, which was unacceptable. The international community should reflect upon and stay on high alert to the huge “vaccine divide” between developed and developing countries. China was the first to put forward and act on its commitment to make vaccines a global public good. We resolutely oppose “vaccine nationalism”, and will work with the international community to promote fair and reasonable distribution of vaccines. We also call on countries in more advantageous position to take concrete actions to support and assist developing countries in obtaining vaccines, so as to secure an early victory in mankind’s common fight against the epidemic.
You mentioned some activities carried out by certain countries within the relevant framework, we hope that they will also follow such principles and spirit, and jointly provide support and assistance to India and those in need within their capabilities in line with the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, and fulfill their due international responsibilities and obligations.