China welcomes World Health Assembly resolution adoption

2020-05-21 06:26:45 GMT2020-05-21 14:26:45(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

BEIJING, May 20 (Xinhua) -- China has welcomed the adoption of a resolution by the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) regarding COVID-19, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Wednesday.

Zhao made the remarks at a press briefing when asked to comment on the resolution proposed by the European Union and adopted by consensus before the closing of the WHA's virtual conference Tuesday.

The resolution unequivocally affirms and supports the leading role of the World Health Organization (WHO) and calls on member states to take necessary measures to prevent discrimination and stigmatization and combat misinformation and disinformation. It also calls for strengthening cooperation in the development of diagnostic tools, treatment methods, drugs and vaccines and continued efforts to discover the animal sources of the virus as well as evaluating the WHO's response to the outbreak at the appropriate time, Zhao said.

"All these are in line with China's position and meet the shared aspiration of the overwhelming majority of countries in the international community," said Zhao, adding that China has actively participated in the consultations and is one of the 140 plus co-sponsors of the draft resolution.

With regards to issues of virus source tracing, the resolution basically refers to the wording recommended by the International Health Regulations on May 1 and strictly limits the scope of the research to animal sources, intermediate hosts and transmission routes. This is with the aim of better coping with the pandemic in the future by the international community, Zhao said, "This is also what is suggested by the WHO and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus."

"Indeed, some countries requested that source tracing of the virus be given priority during the consultation but the vast majority of countries believed the current focus should be on pandemic prevention and control," the spokesperson said, stressing that this demonstrates that there is no "market" for politicizing the source tracing issue.

Regarding issues of evaluation of the WHO, the resolution proposes that it should be conducted following consultations between the WHO director-general and member states. The evaluation aims to review the WHO's experience in responding to the pandemic and produce suggestions for future work, Zhao said.

The WHO has evaluated responses to both the H1N1 flu and Ebola. Evaluation is a standard practice of the WHO following a major pandemic and requires the process to be gradual, impartial, independent and comprehensive, rather than being monopolized by a few countries, he said.

"China hopes the resolution adopted by the WHA will be fully and accurately implemented," he said.

In terms of the rumor spread by some media alleging China was "compelled" to be a co-sponsor of the resolution, Zhao responded by saying that it is "total nonsense."

The fact is that China, together with most countries, resolutely smashed specific countries' intentions to politicize source tracing and evaluation issues and ensured objectivity and fairness of the resolution, Zhao stressed.

"We advise specific countries not to fabricate lies and find excuses for their failures," he said. Enditem