Chinese Embassy in Somalia holds a press conference on COVID-19 origin-tracing
On 12 August, the Chinese Embassy in Somalia held a press conference on COVID-19 origin-tracing, which was attended by guests from Somali National News Agency, Radio Dalsan and Somalia-China Friendship Association. The Chargé d'Affaires Mr. FENG Qinghu hosted the conference and answered questions from media.
Mr. FENG pointed out that the current situation of COVID-19 is still grim around the world, and the African continent is faced with the rapid escalation of the third wave. On the basis of good performance in epidemic control at home and within its capacity, China has provided support and assistance to the African countries including Somalia. Mr. FENG introduced the first meeting of the International Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine Cooperation. In the message sent to the forum, Chinese President H.E. XI Jinping made the commitment that in the course of this year, China will strive to provide 2 billion doses of vaccines to the world, and also China has decided to donate US$100 million to the COVAX facility for distributing vaccines to developing countries. China stands ready to work with the international community to advance international vaccine cooperation, prevail over the virus together and build a community with a shared future for mankind through concrete actions.
Mr. FENG emphasized that certain western countries attempt to politicize the pandemic, pin label on the virus when concerted cooperation between and among countries is widely expected by the international community, which has poisoned the atmosphere for global cooperation severely. In addition, WHO recently went ahead to circulate the second phase of the work plan on origin-tracing without full consultation with its Member States. Regarding this move, many countries, including Somalia, have spoken for justice. China expresses its great appreciation for Somalia's participation of the joint co-signed statement to WHO Director-General, and for its clear opposition to the second-phase work plan. Due to this, H.E. Mr. WANG Yi, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of China specially addressed a thank-you letter to Somali Foreign Minister H.E. Mr. Mohamed Abdirizak Mohamoud, to express China's deep appreciation and heartfelt gratitude.
Mr. FENG answered questions from media regarding China's standpoints on and contributions to origin-tracing. He confirmed that China has always supported origin-tracing scientifically, and taken the lead in collaborating with the WHO. Since last year, China has twice invited WHO experts to China for origin-tracing research with Chinese counterparts. Based on the large amount of joint research carried out earnestly, the experts reached scientific and objective conclusion that the pathway of lab leak is "extremely unlikely", which has been recognized by the international scientific community. As regards the question that certain western countries politicize the pandemic and pin label on the virus, Mr. FENG strongly refuted the relevant acts and pointed out that it is only political maneuvering to deflect responsibility for poor COVID response at home. China firmly opposes politicization of origin-tracing and calls on the international community to jointly defend the scientific and rigorous nature of the work. Mr. FENG also introduced China's positions on a more effective international cooperation on origin-tracing: first, origin-tracing must not be politicized; second, origin-tracing must be based on science; third, origin-tracing must be conducted through cooperation; and fourth, origin-tracing must be proceeded with global collaboration.
Somali National News Agency, Radio Dalsan published the details after the press conference.