刘晓明大使接受BBC直播专访:抗击疫情“人民战争”必胜!

2020年2月9日,刘晓明大使就中国抗击新型冠状病毒肺炎疫情接受英国广播公司(BBC)旗舰高端访谈节目《安德鲁·马尔访谈》(The Andrew Marr Show)现场直播专访。

专访实录如下:  

马尔:刘大使,欢迎你。首先,可否请你介绍一下最新的病毒感染病例的数据,包括不幸病亡的病例数字?  

刘大使:根据最新数据,截至北京时间2月8日24时,死亡病例811例,治愈病例2649例,治愈病例数是死亡病例数的3倍,这是令人鼓舞的,说明治疗是有效的。此外,确诊病例数首次超过疑似病例数,说明医院的收治率在上升。你也看到我们新建的两家医院已投入使用,有效地提升了收治率和医疗救治能力。  

马尔:同时给人的印象是感染率仍在上升?  

刘大使:是有新的感染,但我认为没有必要恐慌。可以比较一下,这次病毒的致死率是2%左右,与埃博拉的40%、SARS的10%相比低得多,因此没有必要恐慌。中国政府已经采取了最全面、最严格的防控措施。  

马尔:中国政府采取了不同寻常的措施,在城市周围设置路障,实际上是对整个城市实施了防疫隔离。隔离期间大部分的交通关闭,经济活动暂停。这种状态还要持续多久?  

刘大使:目前很难预测拐点何时到来,我们当然希望能早点到来。但是隔离防疫措施是相当有效的,目前大部分的病例仍集中在湖北和武汉。湖北的面积相当于英格兰加苏格兰,人口相当于英格兰加威尔士,涉及到相当大的范围。  

马尔:受到影响的大约共有6500万人吧?  

刘大使:是5900万人,但中方采取的措施是有效的,否则病毒很容易扩散到中国其他地区。中国人民不仅是在保护自身的生命安全和健康,也是在为保护世界人民的生命安全和健康作出贡献。  

马尔:的确如此。中国政府是否准备在中国其他地区和城市实施同样的隔离措施?  

刘大使:这要视情况而定。湖北以外的中国其他地区也在采取防控措施。中国各地情况不同,虽然80%的感染病例发生在湖北省内,但全国人民都要提高警惕,所以其他地区也采取了相关预防性的防控措施。  

马尔:关于年轻医生李文亮,他是最先对未知新病毒可能带来威胁发出警告的人。然而中国政府逮捕了他,对他进行了严厉警告,称他要是不悔改、继续从事非法活动,他将受到法律的制裁。然后,令人悲伤的是,他去世了。你是否认为中国政府在这件事上做得不对?  

刘大使:我要纠正你的说法,不是中国政府,是地方政府相关部门。事实上,国家监察委员会已派出调查组赴湖北省武汉市,就群众反映的涉及李文亮医生的有关问题进行全面调查。人们对李医生的去世感到悲痛,我也通过推特表示哀悼和致敬。李医生是位英雄,人们会永远记住他的勇气和他为抗击疫情作出的贡献。他是中国成千上万医护工作者中的一员,他们都将生死置之度外,战斗在抗疫第一线。  

马尔:他们中的很多人都是英雄,但是李医生公开谈及信息公开的必要性。此时此刻中国政府是否已经意识到,面对这样的形势,中国需要信息更开放、反应更迅速?  

刘大使:我们非常开放,我们分享了所有的信息,包括治疗情况、病例情况,同时我们也欢迎国际合作。我们认为这次的病毒是人类共同的敌人,全世界应该并肩作战。同时,我们与英方也正在进行良好合作。中国驻英国使馆正在尽我们所能,支持中英两国科学家合作研发治疗药物和疫苗。  

马尔:如果以中国的实力和所采取的所有措施,依然无法阻止病毒 — 现在中国以外已经有感染病例,疫情是否将蔓延到全世界所有地区?  

刘大使:我们会竭尽所能,但是我仍然要提醒人们不要恐慌。把新冠病毒与2009年美国流感(H1N1)做一个比较可以看出,那次流感蔓延到214个国家,而新冠病毒目前影响到25个国家和中国港澳台地区。我认为这次的疫情是可防、可控、可治的,我们相信,有中国中央政府的坚强领导,有全国人民众志成城,有国际社会广泛支持,我们一定能战胜疫情,打赢疫情防控阻击战。  

马尔:中国对世界经济至关重要。包括苹果、汽车制造商、时尚产业在内的许多公司已经面临供应链的问题,他们关心的是工厂何时重新开工。  

刘大使:经济当然会受到一定影响,但我认为影响是暂时和短期的,中国政府正在采取措施,推动企业复工复产。你在节目开始时也提到,中国正在打一场“人民战争”。举国上下都动员起来了。我认为,对中国经济应该保持信心,因为中国经济的基本面依然良好。世界银行、国际货币基金组织及国际知名经济学家普遍认为,长期看,中国经济仍极具韧性。  

马尔:但是短期影响将是非常严重的。很多公司都在担心,希望知道中国的工厂何时复工?什么时候能恢复生产苹果手机?  

刘大使:我不能替苹果公司回答这个问题,但我知道,华为手机生产仍在顺利进行。你会说中文吗?(马尔:你可能已经注意到,我不会说中文。)在中文里,“危机”是由“危”和“机”两个字组成的。我们始终认为,危机里面蕴含着机遇,因此我们正在努力化危为机。  

马尔:说到机遇,我想问个问题。疫情最初爆发时,就有人说中国政府试图隐瞒,他们对中国政府释放的种种信息表示高度怀疑。那么中国共产党和人民看到当前的情况,是否意识到中国需要比以往更加开放,到了做出改变的时候?

刘大使:我们没有任何隐瞒。世界卫生组织(WHO)总干事谭德塞高度评价中方的应对行动。我们与WHO以及包括英国在内的相关国家和地区分享信息,他们对中国体现出的开放和透明给予高度评价。

马尔:1月22日,2000万人在得到疫情爆发的消息后离开了湖北。换句话说,在疫情爆发初期,地方政府反应并不迅速,却对李医生采取了行动。他们是否会因此受到惩罚?  

刘大使:这是一种新病毒,我们对它并不十分了解,认识它需要一个过程。但一旦意识到它的危害和风险,人们就会作出反应,采取正确的措施。李医生做得很好,人们向他表示敬意。我刚才说了,中央政府已经派出工作组进行调查。有了调查结果之后,我会向你反馈。在对此事的处理中,任何人有任何不当行为都将承担后果并受到惩罚。  

马尔:大使先生,你提到华为,现在有5位保守党重量级议员在英国议会呼吁撤销英国政府相关决定,确保华为被排除在英国5G网络之外。他们认为华为毫无疑问与中国政府有着紧密的联系,在数据传输问题上是不可信赖的。5G网络是关系到国家安全的基础设施,中国政府同样绝对不会允许任何英国公司参与其国家安全基础设施核心建设。  

刘大使:这些议员的说法是完全错误的,这与中世纪的“猎巫”如出一辙,可谓“欲加之罪,何患无辞”。华为是一家民营企业,与中国政府没有任何关系。他们唯一的“问题”就是因为他们是一家中国公司。改革开放以来,中国越来越开放。中国现在实行市场经济,民营企业在国民经济中占三分之一,外资合资企业占三分之一。华为是完全独立的公司,他们是电信领域的领军者。英国首相之所以选择华为,是因为他对英国的发展有非常雄心勃勃的计划,希望在2025年前在英国实现5G网络全覆盖,而华为可以为之做出重要贡献。  

马尔:这一决定的代价就是,美国特朗普总统火冒三丈、暴跳如雷,对约翰逊首相大发雷霆,对此你怎么看?对首相站到中方一边,你是否会感到满意?  

刘大使:英国首相和特朗普总统之间的事还是交给首相去处理吧。正如我常说,“不列颠”只有坚持独立自主的外交政策,才能成为“大不列颠(英国)”。我希望约翰逊首相能坚持他的决定,这符合英国的利益,也有利于中英合作,更重要的是,有利于维护英国全球最开放、最自由的市场经济形象。当然,我们对英方决定并非100%满意,因为英方给华为设定了35%的市场份额上限,这不符合英国自由经济和自由竞争的原则,但英方的决定仍是值得欢迎的。  

马尔:非常感谢刘大使接受我们的采访。

采访英文实录:
On 9 February 2020, H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming gave an exclusive live interview on BBC ONE’s Andrew Marr Show about China’s fight against the novel coronavirus epidemic. The full text is as follows:

Marr: The Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming is joining me now.

Ambassador: Thanks for having me.

Marr: Ambassador, welcome. Can I ask you first of all to update us on the number of people infected in China so far as you know and sadly, the number of people who have died?

Ambassador: According to the latest figures by midnight Beijing time, the number of death cases is 811 and cured cases is 2,649. That is very encouraging. That means the number of cured cases is 3 times of the death cases. That means the effectiveness of the treatment. And also, we have seen that the confirmed cases for the first time exceed the suspected cases. That means the hospitalization rate is coming up. You know, we built 2 hospitals within 10 days. These figures show the improvement of the treatment and hospitalization.

Marr: Is it the impression that the rate of infection, however, is still increasing?

Ambassador: Yes, the rate is increasing. But I think people should not panic. If you compare the fatality rate, — currently, it is 2%, much lower than the Ebola which is 40%, and lower than SARS which is 10% — there is no reason to panic. The Chinese government has adopted the most comprehensive and strict, unconventional control measures.

Marr: You’ve done some extraordinary things as a government. You have effectively quarantined, you put a roadblock as it were around whole cities. And big parts of the transport system and the economy have closed down while this is going on. Can I ask you, how long is this going to have to go on for?

Ambassador: At this moment, it is very difficult to predict when we are going to have the inflection point. We certainly hope it will come sooner. But the isolation and quarantine measures have been very effective. So far, the most cases are concentrated in Hubei and Wuhan. Hubei is about the size of England plus Scotland, and the population is about England plus Wales. So this is such a large area.

Marr: 65 million people, therefore, around about that?

Ambassador: It’s 59 million. The measure has been effective. Otherwise, it will spread out to the other parts of China. And also, I think the Chinese people are making contribution not only for the safety of life and health of ourselves but also to that of the world people.

Marr: Indeed. Is the Chinese government ready to take the same kind of measures in other places in China, other cities?

Ambassador: It depends. I think there are some prevention and control measures taken in other parts of China. But, you know, China itself is different. 80% of the cases are concentrated in Hubei province. But people have to be cautious. So there are prevention and control measures taken in other parts of China.

Marr: There was the very difficult case of the young doctor Li Wenliang, who was the first person who alerted people that there was something strange going on, a new virus that was worrying and unknown. And the Chinese authorities arrested him and gave him a notice of admonishment and they were very, very tough with him. They said if you are stubborn, refused to repent and continue to carry out illegal activities, you will be punished by the law. And then sadly, he died. Do you think the Chinese state has made a mistake in that case?

Ambassador: I would correct you here. It’s not Chinese authorities. It is local authorities. Chinese authorities as a matter of fact, we have a supervision committee. It has sent an investigation team down to Wuhan to find out what was really going on. People feel very sad. I tweeted to express my condolences and paid tribute to Dr. Li. He will be remembered as a hero. He will be remembered for his bravery and contribution to the fight of this disease. But he is one of the millions of the Chinese medical doctors and nurses. We have so many of them on the forefront of this battle.

Marr: Many of them are being heroic at the moment. But nonetheless, he was very open about the need for openness. Is this the moment where the Chinese state looks into the situation and says we need to be more open and move more quickly when it comes to this kind of situation.

Ambassador: We are open. We shared all the information about the practice, the cases of disease. We welcome international cooperation as well. We believe this virus is the enemy of mankind. So people of all countries should work together to fight against the common enemy. And also, we work very hard with British scientists. So my Embassy tries very hard to facilitate Chinese scientists working with the British scientists to develop medicine and vaccine.

Marr: A very simple question is that if the Chinese state, with all its power and the way it operates, can’t stop this from spreading — now it’s out of China, it’s going to spread everywhere, isn’t it?

Ambassador: We will try our best. But I still want to caution people: don’t panic. If you compare what is going on in China, this coronavirus, with H1N1 in America that spread to 214 countries. Now this virus has spread so far to 25 countries, and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. We believe this virus is controllable, preventable and curable. So we are confident that with the strong leadership of the central government of China, with the people of China united behind the government and with the broad support of the international community, we can beat this virus and win the battle.

Marr: You also know of course that China is very, very important in the entire world economy. Lots and lots of companies, from Apple, making iPhones, to car-makers and fashion companies, are already seeing problems in the supply chain and they are asking, I’ll put this brutally and simply, when will the factories reopen?

Ambassador: Certainly. There is an impact on the economy. But I think the impact is temporary and short-term. The government now works very hard to encourage people to restore production. You said at the very beginning that we have waged a people’s war, so the whole country has been mobilized. And I think, you have to keep the confidence in Chinese economy, because the fundamentals of the economy are still sound. IMF, World Bank and many respected economists in the world believe in the long-term Chinese economy is very resilient.

Marr: There is going to be a very, very acute short-term hit to the economy. Lots and lots of companies are worried. I will ask again, do you know when Chinese factories will reopen? When will iPhones be manufactured again?

Ambassador: I can’t answer for iPhone. But I think the big smart phone producer Huawei is working round clock. I know you WILL ask me about Huawei. But they are doing very well in China. In China, we have a saying. Do you speak Chinese?

Marr: I speak no Chinese, as you may have noticed.

Ambassador: The Chinese word for“crisis”is the combination of two words, crisis and opportunities. We always believe there are opportunities in crisis. So we will try our best to turn crisis into opportunities.

Marr: Let me ask you about the opportunities here. As I said right at the beginning, there is a sense the Chinese state was hiding things and a lot of people were highly skeptical about the Chinese state when it said this or that. And I ask again, is this a moment when the Chinese Communist Party and the people within China look at the situation and think we need to be a much more open society than we have been? This is a moment of change in turn?

Ambassador: We didn’t hide anything. If you talk to the WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros, he spoke highly of the efforts made by China. We shared information with the WHO, shared information with countries like the UK and other relevant countries and regions. They all spoke highly of China’s transparency and openness.

Marr: And if I may just interrupt for a second. In Wuhan, about 20 million people were in and left the province after it was known that this virus was out on 22 January. In other words, right at the beginning there was not enough speed and the local authority did crack down on Dr. Li. Are they going to be punished for that?

Ambassador: You know, this is a new virus. People do not know it well. It will take some time for people to understand it. But once people realize the risk and danger, people will be mobilized. You have to adopt a reasonable approach. Dr. Li, as I said just a moment ago, he did a marvelous job. People paid tribute to him. And the central authorities sent an investigation team to find out what was really happening. I will get back to you if you would like to have a conclusion to find out what really happened. Those who had misconduct will be made accountable for their conduct, to be held responsible for the handling of this case.

Marr: Ambassador, you said I was going to raise Huawei and I am, absolutely. Because there are five leading conservative MPs who are competing with other conservative MPs to reverse the decision to ensure Huawei is kept out of the system, because they see Huawei as, first of all, absolutely connected to the Chinese state and being unreliable when it comes to transmissions and secrecy. This is part of our national infrastructure, they say, and there’s no way China would allow a British company to be absolutely at the centre of their national infrastructure in the same way.

Ambassador: I think they are totally wrong. What they are doing is a kind of witch-hunt. Number one, Huawei is a privately owned company having nothing to do with the Chinese government. The only problem they have is that they are a Chinese company, and that’s the problem. China is more open, as we get back to your original argument, since the reform and opening up. China has run a market orientated economy, and one third of Chinese economy is privately owned. The other one third is owned by foreign and joint ventures. So Huawei is an independent company and the leader in this area. I think the reason why the Prime Minister decided to keep Huawei is he has a very ambitious plan for the UK. He wants to have 5G coverage in the UK by 2025. Huawei can be of great help.

Marr: But the price he paid for that was the incandescent anger of Donald Trump. How do you respond when you heard Donald Trump absolutely blasting Boris Johnson? Were you pleased when he jumped to your side of the fence?

Ambassador: I will leave the Prime Minister to deal with President Trump. I always say Great Britain can only be great when it has its own independent foreign policy. So I do hope that the Prime Minister will stay with his decision, because I think it is in the interest of the UK. It’s also in the interest of China-UK cooperation. The important thing is that it is in the interest of maintaining British image as the most open and free market economy in the world. Although we are not 100% satisfied — the 35% percent cap does not show your principle of free economy and free competition — I think it’s a good decision.

Marr: Ambassador, thanks very much indeed for talking to us.

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