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'Epidemic under control' - Quotes from interview with senior China diplomat

(Reuters) - China’s State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi sat with Reuters for a 90-minute interview in Berlin.

Here are some of the highlights:


“After the epidemic started, we have set up a nationwide mechanism and mobilized national resources, and we have taken the most correct, the most rigorous and decisive measures to fight against the epidemic. Many measures went beyond international health regulations and the WHO recommendations. What I want to tell our friends, this epidemic, through our efforts, the epidemic is overall under control.”

“As a responsible major country, from the beginning, we took a very open and transparent manner in releasing open information to the international community cooperation on this effort. And through our efforts to stop the spread of this disease, until now, outside of China, the number of confirmed cases has not even reached 1% of the cases in China.”

“This disease knows no boundaries, it requires a collective response from the international community. For us, we are grateful for the understanding and support shown to China by the international community.”

“While some countries have stepped up measures, including quarantine measures, which are reasonable and understandable, for some countries they have overreacted, which has triggered unnecessary panic. Those measures are not consistent with the policy recommendations of the WHO. I’m sure that those countries are reflecting on this situation as the situation evolves and the epidemic is gradually brought under further control, they will gradually release such restrictions. Because at the end of the day, these countries need to interact with China.”

“Under the personal direction of President Xi, we have created a nationwide mechanism, on this piece of land of 9.6 million square meters and 1.4 billion people, we have taken such complete prevention and control efforts, efforts that are so comprehensive, that I can’t see any other country that can do this.”


“China is already prepared, our market is big enough. The epidemic has brought a certain amount of impact, but I think the suppressed consumption demand will quickly be released after the epidemic, and the Chinese economy’s dynamism will rebound strongly. There’s no problem with market demand.”

“Now one potential problem is, given the United States’ comprehensive ban on people coming and going between China and the United States. Now, objectively, this will bring some difficulties to implementing this agreement. I hope that the United States will consider this problem, and how to continue to prevent the spread of this epidemic, while not making unnecessary limitations on trade and people and respecting the WHO’s advice. Now if we work hard in this direction, I think we can quickly overcome some of the temporary difficulties and implement this agreement. China will carry out China’s promise, we hope the United States will also carry out its promises.”

“We want to concentrate on the implementation of the Phase 1 trade deal and see real tangible results. That will help not only China-U.S. trade, and put it back on a healthy track and sound economic development, it will help with global economic growth. As we implement the Phase 1 trade agreement, we will accumulate experience and then we can consider when we should start Phase 2. I think this is a reasonable approach.”


“We don’t know why this superpower country is using its state power and moving its allies to attack Huawei, which is a private company. It is a 100% private company. It has been growing by relying on its own diligence, wisdom and following market rules. America has done this, perhaps the only reason is Huawei has developed too well.”

“American companies that have developed very well, we congratulate them. Why can’t a Chinese company succeed based on its own efforts? Why can’t America accept that other countries’ companies can also display their talent in economy, in technology? Perhaps deep down it doesn’t hope to see other countries develop. It doesn’t want to see other countries become big and strong. It even resorts to rumours to defame other countries’ companies.”

“It always says Huawei has a backdoor that harms U.S. national security, but until now there’s been no credible evidence. It has only been speculation, pure speculation.”

“But Huawei, according to our understanding, has never done this. And Huawei has formally and publicly said this, to the world, that we are willing to sign a no-backdoor agreement with any government and organization. Huawei wants to clear its name and show its transparency with this legal accord. I think isn’t this enough? Is there still a need to suppress Huawei? There’s no reason to it. And it is immoral.”


“China has always maintained, no one civilisation is superior to another, each culture is built upon its own deep history and culture, each civilisation has its won unique values.”

“Every country is equal and has the right to develop. Western nations developed first, and no matter how they developed, we want to wish them well. Now that non-Western countries want to develop, this is our due right.”

“America has America’s system and model, and we believe this is the American people’s choice, and whether to change it is the American people’s right. China will not interfere in America’s domestic affairs. At the same time, China’s current system and path, which is socialism with Chinese characteristics, this is the Chinese people’s choice, and has achieved great success in China.”


“If one is to say America is providing a guarantee of security for China and other Middle Eastern countries, I think many Middle Eastern countries will disagree with this statement. The reality is that, in the last few decades, the United States has started many wars in the Middle East, has created huge amounts of damage and brought about such suffering to the people of different countries of the Middle East, is this called providing a guarantee of security for the Middle East? We see that America’s methods have not only not allowed the Middle East to keep its stability and development, but rather have caused it to fall into endless turmoil and poverty. In reality, America’s actions are to protect its own interests. It has not benefited the countries in the Middle East. What I’m saying is all true.”


“Hong Kong’s situation is that it is gradually returning to peace and stability, Hong Kong’s legal system is returning to the proper path. One Country, Two Systems will continue to be firmly implemented and enforced. Many Hong Kong people will realize, One Country Two Systems is the most important guarantee for their stability and prosperity.”

“Now there are some young Hong Kong people who have been confused by some outside forces. They’re holding foreign flags, and say they want to become a part of another country and to ask another country to save them. This is completely forgetting who their ancestors are, forgetting their identity as a Chinese person, and it is shameful. They do not represent the wishes of the vast majority of people in Hong Kong. Hong Kong people are also Chinese people.”


“China’s position has been consistent and clear. We advocate denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula through dialogue and negotiation, while maintaining peace and stability in the region, and in the process addressing the legitimate concerns of the DPRK.”

“We hope the United States and North Korea can come to an agreement as early as possible. And China is ready to continue to play a positive role for that. We cannot afford to have the de-escalation that has been to hard to achieve go down the drain. We cannot afford to have the window of peace be shut down again.”

Reporting by Alessandra Galloni and Ryan Woo; Editing by Daniel Wallis