The Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Iceland Refuted the Editorial Published on Morgunblaðið for its Unjustified Comments Against China

On March 27, Morgunblaðið published an editorial with distorted comments on China's efforts to fight COVID-19. The spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Iceland sent letter to the newspaper to refute its wrong remarks and set the record straight. The full text is as follows:

On March 27, Morgunblaðið published an editorial entitled Chernobyl in China with unjustified comments against China and malicious slanders on the Communist Party of China (CPC). China strongly deplores and firmly opposes all those comments.

The editorial accused the CPC of "slow and bad reactions" to COVID-19 and stated that "the coronavirus epidemic would probably not have been a global pandemic if the truth would have been told." These unwarranted accusations sound unsurprisingly familiar to the wanton comments from certain American politicians that have been smearing China recently. It is only natural to doubt the hidden story of this writing behind the scene. Facts speak louder than words. Facts are the first pneumonia case with unknown causes appeared in Wuhan of China on December 8 last year. With time-demanding thorough scientific evaluation of the possible new virus, the Wuhan Municipal Government reported the case following the rule of reporting system in the latter half of December. On December 31, the National Health Commission of China sent an expert group to Wuhan to verify the situation, and notified the World Health Organization(WHO)and relevant countries since January 3, 2020 and onward. On January 7, China shared genome sequence with the world. Since then, China has acted in a timely, open, transparent and responsible manner in sharing relevant information and experience with the world. On January 23, with experts' recommendations, the Chinese government decided to impose different travel restrictions in Wuhan and other parts of China and all resources were mobilized to fight against the epidemic that lasted more than two months. On January 25, President Trump tweeted that "China has been working very hard to contain the coronavirus. The US greatly appreciates China's efforts and transparency." Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of WHO, also noted that " the high speed and massive scale of China's response are rarely seen in the world."

The editorial claimed that " the CPC has brought forth the new theories on how the outbreak started and send foreign journalists home in order to hide the situation in their own country." These allegations run counter to facts and seek to confuse opinions. For one, as China has repeatedly pointed out, origin-tracing of the virus is a complicated matter, where we should rely on professional views from the science community. As a response to the repeated groundless blame from the US, China comes forward with a video retweet of a US congressional hearing in which Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said that some patients who were previously diagnosed to have died from the flu were found to have actually died from the coronavirus. For another, the Chinese government indeed asked some American journalists to hand back their press cards. These are the countermeasures taken by the Chinese side in response to the unreasonable oppression the Chinese media organizations experience in the US. It has nothing to do with covering up COVID-19.

The editorial also compared CPC's response to the outbreak with the former Soviet Union 's handling of the Chernobyl nuclear accident and made irresponsible remarks about the Chinese political system, which laid bare the deep-seated Cold-War mentality and ideological prejudice. China is not the former Soviet Union, the Communist Party of China is not the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Since its founding in 1921, the CPC has led the Chinese people to achieve national independence and liberation with tremendous economic development and growing national strength. The CPC has enjoyed the wholehearted support of its 1.4 billion people. The COVID-19 outbreak is a major public health emergency that has spread in the fastest speed, caused the most extensive infection and is the most difficult to contain in the country since the founding of the People's Republic of China. With the strong leadership of the CPC, the Chinese government has taken the most comprehensive, rigorous and thorough-going measures to battle the pandemic, and have put people's life and health first, which greatly inspired the patriotic enthusiasm of all Chinese people. Now the situation in China is moving steadily in a positive direction. Life and work are quickly returning to normal. China has made great contribution to the global efforts to contain the pandemic, which has been highly recognized by the international community .

China has bought precious time for the whole world in their response to the pandemic at the great cost and sacrifice of our own. We do not expect gratitude from the international community, but only ask for objective judgment. Virus respects no border, and it is the common enemy for all human beings. At this critical moment, we should act like Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: "This is the time for facts, not fear. This is the time for science, not rumours. This is the time for solidarity, not stigma. " No efforts shall be wasted on finger-pointing in politics or press, it is high time to devote fully to the global battle against COVID-19 pandemic. We hope Morgunblaðið can abandon prejudice, respect facts, and stop making irresponsible remarks against China.