Research and development of a COVID-19 vaccine is not a competition between China and the United States, but a battle between humans and the virus, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday.
Hua made the comment in response to US Senator Rick Scott's claim that China is trying to sabotage or slow down the development of a COVID-19 vaccine by Western countries. Scott declined to give details but said it had come through the intelligence community, Reuters reported.
No matter which country is the first to complete development of the vaccine and put into use, it will be a contribution to the fight against the pandemic, said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying
"Since this senator said he has evidence that China is trying to sabotage Western countries in their vaccine development, then please let him present the evidence. There's no need to be shy," Hua told reporters at a daily news briefing.
President Xi Jinping announced in his speech at the opening ceremony of the 73rd session of the World Health Assembly last month that the country's COVID-19 vaccine would be a global public good when available.
No matter which country is the first to complete development of the vaccine and put into use, it will be a contribution to the fight against the pandemic, said Hua, adding that she hopes Washington will mirror Beijing's pledge to share with the world any vaccine it develops.
Also on Monday, the spokeswoman said that China's travel alert on Australia, issued by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Friday, was based on sufficient facts as the country has seen increased racial discrimination and violence against Chinese and other Asian people in the wake of the pandemic.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation cited the Australian Human Rights Commission as saying that about one in four people who lodged racial discrimination complaints in February and March said they were targeted due to the coronavirus.
A Chinese-Australian family was racially targeted three times in just one week over the coronavirus in April, according to Hua.
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In Queensland, police said there have been at least 22 reported cases of racially motivated incidents since March, including physical assaults and racist slurs, she said, adding that the anti-discrimination body in the state of New South Wales received 241 official complaints between Jan 1 and April 30.
Aren't these reports "persuasive enough", asked Hua.
The Chinese government always reminds its nationals to properly arrange travel plans and to protect themselves, she said, urging Australia to face the problem and take practical measures to safeguard and guarantee the safety and rights of Chinese citizens in its territory.
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