Samoan compassion over coronavirus moves Chinese Ambassador

China's Ambassador to Samoa, Chao Xiaoliang, says Beijing has full confidence in its ability to contain the novel corona virus epidemic which is close to reading 10,000 confirmed cases and 213 deaths in China.

Speaking during the Samoa Observer Tusitala Short Story Competition on Friday evening, the diplomat took the opportunity to thank the Samoans who had reached out to express their sympathies about the epidemic sweeping through the country.

"That is when I felt deeply that China-Samoa friendship is not restricted to distance, which is the same as literature; I want to stress that since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus epidemic," he said.

"The Chinese Government has been taking the most comprehensive and rigorous prevention and control measures with a high sense of responsibility for people's health. 

"At the same time, China has been in close communication and cooperation with WHO. 

"Acting with openness, transparency and a responsible attitude, the Chinese side informed relevant sides and shared the genome sequence of the coronavirus in a timely manner."

Mr. Xiaoliang said China will continue working with the U.N. global health agency and other countries to safeguard regional and global public health security.

"We have full confidence and capability to win this fight against the epidemic," he said.

"However, the sympathy, understanding, confidence and support of Samoa and other countries still means a lot for Chinese People to overcome the novel coronavirus epidemic."

The diplomat said his confidence stems from living through the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome crisis in 2003 to 2004 where he saw citizens in Beijing defeat the crisis over time. 

"Thus, I have faith in the strong leadership of the Chinese Government will bring about the final victory of the war against coronavirus, along with the support of international community," he said. 

The Ambassador expressed his support of the Samoan border control measures preventing potential coronavirus sufferers from entering the country after his Fijian counterpart criticised the recent deportation of Chinese nationals.  

Early last week, Beijing's Ambassador to Fiji criticised Samoa’s decision to return six Chinese nationals who arrived in Apia from Nadi as "not fully justified".

However, Ambassador Chao, told the Samoa Observer that he respects the law of Samoa and its right to border control. 

“It is not right for me to comment on this but in my opinion I respect the law of Samoa as the Chinese Ambassador to Samoa," he said. 

“We know that Samoa just experienced the measles epidemic and I understand your people’s [Samoan people] concern about the safety 

"The Samoan students studying in China are well taken care of not only the universities but also by the local Government representatives’ in China   

"I would like to thank Samoan Government and its people for their support and understanding as our country fights against the coronavirus."

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