China asks Australia to stop political maneuver on COVID-19
China would welcome it if Australia gives up its political manipulation on COVID-19 and returns to the broad consensus of the international community, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Tuesday.
A draft resolution on COVID-19, drafted by the European Union and co-sponsored by dozens of countries, has been submitted to the World Health Assembly. Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne on Monday reportedly described this as international support for an "independent review" of the pandemic and "a win for the international community."
Zhao told a press briefing that China supports a comprehensive review of the global battle against the pandemic after situations worldwide have been controlled.
It should be led by the WHO and conducted in a science-based, professional, objective and impartial manner, he said.
"China has been consistent and clear about this all along," he added.
The draft resolution, which is under discussion at the WHA, is consistent with China's position and reflects widespread consensus of other countries. China, along with other parties, has actively participated in the consultations and co-sponsorship of it, said the spokesperson.
The content of the draft resolution is totally different from the "independent review" alleged by the Australian side, Zhao stressed.
"For example, the draft resolution proposes to start assessment in due time instead of an immediate so-called review, reaffirms the key leading role of the WHO instead of switching to other leaderships and calls for summarizing experiences and lessons gathered in international health responses coordinated by the WHO instead of a 'presumed guilty' investigation targeting a specific country," Zhao said.
It is suggested that the Australian side read the original text carefully instead of making conclusions based on assumptions, said the spokesperson.
The text of the draft resolution calls on WHO member states to prevent discrimination and stigmatization, crack down on erroneous and false information, strengthen cooperation in fields including research and development of diagnostic tools, diagnosis and treatment methods, drugs and vaccines, animal-originated virus, and assess the WHO's work on pandemic fight in due time, Zhao said.
"We hope the resolution will be adopted as a result of consensus by the 73rd WHA with full and accurate implementation," he said.