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FM warns of efforts to provoke 'new Cold War'

By Mo Jingxi | China Daily | Updated: 2020-05-25 07:18

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi answers a question at a news conference on the sidelines of the annual national legislative session in Beijing on May 24, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Highlights of press conference on China's foreign policy and diplomatic relations

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned on Sunday of the need to be alert to some political forces' efforts in the United States to push the US and China toward a "new Cold War". He also urged Washington to cooperate with Beijing in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wang, speaking at a news conference on the sidelines of the third session of the 13th National People's Congress in Beijing, said it is regrettable that a political virus that loses no chance to attack and smear China is also spreading in the US while innocent lives are being taken away every day in the country now hit hardest by the outbreak.

COVID-19 has infected more than 1.56 million people in the US with total deaths over 94,000 as of Sunday, according to the World Health Organization.

Some US politicians have fabricated too many lies and plotted too many conspiracies about China regardless of the most basic facts, and the lies have been compiled into a list recently posted on the internet, he said.

"The longer the list … the more stains they will leave in history," Wang said, adding that the issue of tracing the origin of the virus is one of the lies.

Even though it is a scientific issue that should be studied by scientists and medical specialists, some US politicians have rushed to label the virus, politicize its origin and stigmatize China, he said.

Wang said China is open to international scientific cooperation on identifying the source of the virus, but it should be conducted in a professional, fair and constructive way.

The work to identify its origin should not affect the current top priority of saving lives, should not undermine anti-pandemic cooperation among countries and should not weaken the role of the World Health Organization, he said.

He criticized the abuse of litigation in the US and other countries that are trying to hold China "accountable" for the outbreak, saying those who want to make China pay compensation are daydreaming.

"The lawsuits against China over COVID-19 have zero basis in fact, law or international precedents," he said, adding that China is also a victim of the sudden outbreak.

Clamoring for so-called "accountability and compensation" from a victim of COVID-19 and fabricating so-called evidence for frivolous lawsuits trample on international rule of law and betray human conscience, Wang added.

"If anybody thought they could use some ludicrous lawsuits to undermine China's sovereignty and dignity or to deprive the Chinese people of their hard-won gains, they'd be daydreaming and bring disgrace to themselves," he said.

COVID-19 is a common enemy of China and the US, Wang said, and mutual support and assistance are the common aspirations of people in both countries.

He called on the two countries to learn from each other and share their experience to fight the virus, jointly participate in and promote multilateral cooperation and carry out early coordination and communication over macro policies regarding the pandemic's impact on the economies of both countries and the world.

Wang said the two countries stand to gain from cooperation and to lose from confrontation as the past decades of experience have shown.

"China has no intention of changing, still less replacing, the US. It's time for the US to give up its wishful thinking of changing China or stopping the 1.4 billion Chinese people's historical march toward modernization," he said.

The senior diplomat cautioned that some US political forces are hijacking the China-US relationship and trying to push the two countries into a "new Cold War".

"The dangerous practice is turning back the wheel of history. It will not only ruin the cooperation results achieved by both peoples over the years, but also undermine the future development of the US, and jeopardize world stability and prosperity," he said.

In response to Washington's accusations toward the WHO, Wang said that the organization's international standing and its place in history will not be changed just because some country doesn't like it.

"Those who throw mud at the WHO will only leave a stain on themselves," he said.

Wang stressed that the WHO, made up of 194 member states, should not serve the interests of only one country, nor can it serve the will of whoever pays the most money.

"Life is the top priority. Supporting the WHO is supporting saving lives, and this is what a country with a conscience should do," he said.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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