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    Nation sends $30m more to WHO for COVID-19

    By Wang Qingyun | China Daily | Updated: 2020-04-24 07:30
    A logo is pictured at the World Health Organization (WHO) building in Geneva, Switzerland, Feb 2, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

    China has decided to donate another $30 million to the World Health Organization for containing COVID-19 and supporting developing countries in improving their health systems.

    The world is at a crucial stage in fighting the pandemic, and support for the WHO means defending multilateralism and upholding the authority of the United Nations, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, who made the announcement on Thursday.

    China previously donated $20 million to the WHO for tackling the virus. China's donation shows the support the Chinese government and people have for the WHO, as well as their trust in the organization, Geng said at a daily news conference.

    Since the outbreak started, the WHO has been carrying out its duty, adhering to an objective, fair and scientific position, and has played an important part in coordinating efforts among countries and promoting international cooperation to control the pandemic, Geng said.

    The decision came in less than two weeks after the US announced it would temporarily stop funding the WHO, while many other countries have voiced their support for the organization.

    Working in unity is the only way the international community can overcome the virus, he reiterated, adding that China hopes to cooperate with all parties in this fight, and contribute to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

    Also on Thursday, Geng said there's no such thing as "wildlife wet markets" in China, which has banned illegal hunting, trade, transport and consumption of wildlife by legislation.

    Geng made the remark after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on China to close such markets permanently in his press statement on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on Wednesday.

    The concept of "wet markets" doesn't exist in China, Geng said. More common in the country are farm produce markets, live poultry markets and seafood markets, where fresh produce, including meat, fish and vegetables are traded, he pointed out.

    "These markets not only exist in China, but have a wide presence in many Southeast Asian countries and developing countries," Geng said.

    These markets are closely related to the life of local people, and their operation is not restricted by international law, he added.

    Such markets in China are not for wildlife trade, and it is illegal to sell wildlife there, Geng said, adding that people who do this will be punished.

    "The Chinese government has always put people's lives and health front and center," he said. Since the COVID-19 outbreak started, China's authorities have further strengthened management of these markets by carrying out strict quarantines and tests, Geng said.

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