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Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the People's Republic of China

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning's Regular Press Conference on December 23, 2022

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the People's Republic of China

Xinhua News Agency: On December 22, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a press conference that it's very important for all countries, including China, to focus on people getting vaccinated, making testing and treatment available, and, importantly, sharing information with the world about what they're experiencing - because it has implications not just for China but for the entire world. The US is prepared to continue to provide people around the world with COVID-related health support. China has not asked to date for that help. According to the readout released by the US, during his call with State Councilor Wang Yi today, Secretary Blinken underscored the importance of transparency for the international community. What is your response?

Mao Ning: Since COVID began, the Chinese government has put the people and their lives first and, based on China's reality, developed timely COVID policies that serve the interests of the greatest possible majority of the Chinese people. During the time when the virus posed the greatest danger, our COVID response effectively protected people's lives and health. With the COVID situation entering a new phase, we have taken the initiative to refine the response measures to make them more up-to-date scientifically, more targeted and more effective. The State Council's joint prevention and control mechanism has held several press conferences to explain the latest situation and the new measures. We have seen rising vaccination rate, strengthened treatment capacity and expanded production capacity of medical supplies, which, at the moment, are generally in adequate supply. China's COVID situation is on the whole predictable and under control. We believe that with the concerted efforts of the Chinese people, China's economic and social undertakings will soon enter into a new stage of stable and orderly growth.

China has always shared its information responsibly with the WHO and the international community. We stand ready to work with the international community in solidarity, tackle the COVID challenge more effectively, better protect people's lives and health and jointly restore steady economic growth and build a global community of health for all.

CCTV: We have noted that in response to the US's illegal sanctions on two Chinese officials on the grounds of so-called human rights issues in Tibet, the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a decree to announce counter sanctions on Miles Maochun Yu and Todd Stein. What message does China hope to send?

Mao Ning: The US imposed illegal sanctions on Chinese officials under the pretext of so-called human rights issues in Tibet. This grossly interferes in China's internal affairs and gravely violates basic norms in international relations. China has expressed its firm opposition and strongly condemned it.

In response to the abovementioned wrong decision of the US, China has decided to take countermeasures, effective today, against Miles Maochun Yu, China policy advisor to former US Secretary of State and Todd Stein, current deputy staff director of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, both of whom have long acted egregiously on Tibet- and other China-related issues. The detail of the measures has been released in the Decree of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China (No. 4).

We stress once again that affairs related to Tibet are China's internal affairs, and the US has no right and is in no position to interfere in them. Gross interference in China's internal affairs will be met with resolute countermeasures from China. We urge the US to withdraw the sanctions and stop interfering in China's Tibet-related and other internal affairs.

NHK: The German embassy in China has said that vaccines from Germany have been shipped to China. Does the Chinese government have any plans to expand international cooperation on vaccines?

Mao Ning: I answered a similar question yesterday. China and Germany have reached agreement on providing vaccines from Germany for German nationals in China. The two sides will work out and implement relevant arrangements. 

As for the specific question about vaccines, the State Council's joint prevention and control mechanism has addressed vaccine-related questions at its press conferences. I would refer you to the competent authorities.

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