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We’ve taken apt measures to contain coronavirus: Chinese Ambassador

12 Feb 2020 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Cheng Xueyuan reiterated that the Chinese Government and its embassy in Sri Lanka had taken all possible measures to curtail the spread of coronavirus while accusing some of the western media outlets of spreading “false claims without factual grounds.” 

“Confidence is more important than gold. China has always proved itself in defeating any difficulty and it will not be an exception this time around,” said Xueyuan, adding that they “understand the concerns of some Sri Lankans. However, it is not wise to overreact, especially against a true friend like China.” 

“Some media are used to level claims without factual grounds to create trouble and instil fear among other countries. I believe Sri Lankan people are well-aware of it. So there is no need to fear such claims,” he said. In an interview with Daily Mirror, the envoy spoke in length about these issues. Excerpts:    


  • China has always proved itself in defeating any difficulty and it will not be an exception this time around
  • WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said China’s measures were not only protecting its people but also others worldwide 
  • Rumors always follow the outbreak of public emergencies
  • We understand the concerns of some Sri Lankans. However, it is not wise to overreact, especially againsta true friend like China
  • China is a responsible country. The embassy had asked all Chinese nationals based in Sri Lanka to take precautions and to quarantine themselves for 14 days after returning to Sri Lanka
  • I believe the Chinese Government will make proper arrangements for Sri Lankans pursing their studies in China to complete their education
  • I am certain that the economy will recover from the shadow of coronavirus at
  • the earliest
  • Some media outlets are used to level claims without factual grounds in a bid to create trouble and instil fear among
  • other countries

Q To what extent is China capable of countering the transmission of novel coronavirus in Wuhan? 

Stringent measures have been taken in Wuhan to battle the transmission of coronavirus. Entrance and exit channels have been temporarily shutdown. Locals are advised to stay at home and reduce mobility. The continuous increase in the number of afflicted people in Wuhan is because suspected ones are being diagnosed as infected. 

Q How do you explain the difference between the strength of China to battle the SARS outbreak in 2003 and its current strength to battle coronavirus? 

China takes full strength to conquer 2019-nCov or SARS. Today, China has more abilities to battle the epidemic than 17 years ago. We are confident about it. 

Q You mean other countries can place confidence on the strength and developed medical facilities in China? 

Absolutely! Confidence is more important than gold. China has always proved itself in defeating any difficulty and it will not be an exception this time around. WHO Director-General 

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said China’s measures were not only protecting its people but also others worldwide. He believes the measures taken by China would efficaciously control and prevail over the epidemic. 

Q Many Sri Lankans were frightened for no reason owing to claims levelled against coronavirus by several media outlets. What is your take on this? 

Some media outlets are used to level claims without factual grounds in a bid to create trouble and instil fear among other countries. I believe Sri Lankan people are well-aware of it. So there is no need to fear such claims 

Q News spread claiming coronavirus was created in a Chinese laboratory as a bio-weapon and leaked by mistake. How did China respond to this? 

Rumors always follow the outbreak of public emergencies. The fabricated “story” is only one more repeat of such a phenomenon. A Chinese adage says the wise never falls for rumors. I believe Sri Lankan friends are wise enough to get the right answer to this question. 

Q  It was reported that you were saddened because several Sri Lankans discriminated against the Chinese living here during this emergency situation. What are your thoughts on this?  

Time and again, I have been deeply touched by the sincere friendship and support extended to China by the Sri Lankan President, Prime Minister, Speaker, Health Minister, government and all sectors of the society which proves true friendship among both sides. The Chinese Government and its embassy in Sri  Lanka have taken all possible measures to curtail the spread of coronavirus. All tourist groups have been postponed to travel out of China. Our government has requested overseas workers who returned to China on vacation to stay at home. They will return to projects in Sri  Lanka only after the epidemic ceases. I request people to place confidence on China. There is no need to panic. 

Q I believe the long-term friendship between China and Sri Lanka will not be strained by acts carried out by a few people due to their ignorance…  

I couldn’t have said it better. We also understand the concerns of some Sri Lankans. However, it is not wise to overreact, especially against a true friend like China. 

Q Did you inform the Chinese living in Sri  Lanka on how to act during this situation? What was their response? 

China is a responsible country. The embassy had asked all Chinese nationals based in Sri  Lanka to take precautions and to quarantine themselves for 14 days after returning to Sri  Lanka. 

Q It is China that offers the most number of scholarships for higher education of Sri Lankan students. What is the message you would like to give Sri Lankans who have returned to their motherland and are yet to continue their education in China? 

As a true friend of Sri Lanka, China has always made great effort to support Sri  Lanka in different sectors including higher education. That is why China manages to finance more education scholarships for Sri Lankan students. I believe the Chinese Government will make proper arrangements for Sri Lankans pursing their studies in China to
complete their education. 

Q Sri Lankans are talking a great deal about several types of food consumed by Chinese nationals. What can you say about the Chinese food culture? 

There is no distinct difference between food cultures among China and other countries. Wild animals are protected by law in China. 

Q Will the Chinese economy crash due to the coronavirus outbreak? 

It will affect the economy to some extent but wouldn’t hurt it fundamentally. We experienced SARS in 2003. It can be found that the economy recovered soon from the shadow of SARS. I am certain that the economy will recover from the shadow of coronavirus at the earliest.     

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