Mr. Ambassador, this year you give interviews to the Turkmen media almost every month, during which you respond to the concern and interest of readers in relevant issues. Today I would like to ask you 4 questions that have been attracting everyone’s attention lately.
- China has taken control of the COVID-19 epidemic for the first time in the world and is now promoting the resumption of operations and production in an orderly manner. Please share specific information with us.
A: After the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, China adopted the most comprehensive and stringent preventive and control measures, effectively breaking the chains of transmission of the coronavirus and curbing the trend of the epidemic’s spread, it was possible to bring the epidemic under control in a short time. On this basis, China, in the context of normalization of prevention and control of the epidemic, coordinatedly promoted the fight against the epidemic and socio-economic development, launching 90 projects of policy actions in 8 areas aimed at restoring production and work, as well as increasing economic macro regulation. At the end of May, the average level of utilization of production facilities of enterprises and the average rate of return of people to jobs were close to 100%, in general, it was possible to reach the usual level. In the second quarter, the GDP growth rate in China turned from negative to positive, reaching an increase of 3.2% compared to the same period last year, the main indicators of the economy gradually began to grow again, the Chinese economy returned to the path of stabilization and is growing contrary to the trends. This year, the International Monetary Fund predicts a 4.9% contraction in the global economy and a 1% growth in China’s economy, making it the only major economic power to achieve growth in 2020; meanwhile China is expected to grow by 8% in 2021 which will allow it to take first place among all the economies in the world.
As the world’s second largest economy, China’s economy has gradually stabilized and has become a major driver of global economic growth, giving confidence and energy to the global economic recovery. Our country by all means supplies other countries with the necessary medical supplies, actively protects the stability of international supply and production chains, adheres to a policy of openness to the outside world and expanding imports, promotes the resumption of work and production on cooperation projects within the framework of “One Belt, One Road”, provides support and assistance to economic development in different countries. China stands ready to work with all parties to coordinate macroeconomic policies, strengthen cooperation in epidemic prevention and control, restore production and work, and other areas, create an open world economy together, and provide Chinese wisdom, Chinese options and Chinese forces for sustainable recovery and the earliest possible withdrawal of the world economy from the recession.
- China is committing enormous material and human resources to develop a vaccine against the COVID-19 coronavirus and is taking the lead in this field, when will the Chinese vaccine be released?
Answer: After the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, the development of a vaccine in China was immediately included in important research projects, its emergency development is being carried out in strict accordance with the sequence of animal tests and subsequent three-phase human trials along five technical routes: live attenuated influenza, recombinant subunit, inactivated, based on adenoviral vector and based on nucleic acids. Currently, Chinese developments account for a quarter of the 29 coronavirus vaccines worldwide that have entered clinical trials. 3 out of all 6 vaccines admitted to the third phase of clinical trials have been developed by Chinese scientists, among them 2 inactivated vaccines of the Chinese state corporation Sinopharm will be released in December, their annual production capacity is 220 million doses and two vaccine injections can % protect the body from the virus. The recombinant vaccine, created by a team of researchers led by Chen Wei, an academician at the Institute of Military Medicine of the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, has already received the first patent for a COVID-19 vaccine. It is characterized by a fast and simple manufacturing method and can be carried out on a large scale emergency production in a short time.
The pandemic is not over yet and the challenges remain serious, vaccines provide a reliable shield against the virus. At the opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly, President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, speaking in a speech, said that the prospectively developed Chinese vaccines against coronavirus, after commissioning, will be available to the whole world and will serve as a worthy contribution of China to ensuring the availability of vaccination in developing countries. China is leading the way in developing a vaccine against COVID-19. I am convinced that the Chinese vaccines will contribute to the international anti-epidemic fight and ensure the health and safety of the lives of the peoples of different countries, and China will make a new contribution to building a community of the common destiny of mankind.
- This year, China has made great strides in high technology and innovation. Could you tell us more about this?
A: Over the past 70 years since the founding of the PRC, China’s scientific and technological development has traveled a difficult path and has achieved successes that attract the attention of the whole world. China has become the second largest country in the world in investment in research and development, the release of scientific publications, ranks first in the number of patent applications for inventions and their authorization, important scientific and innovative achievements appear one after another. China has successfully developed the fastest supercomputer and the largest radio telescope in the world, independently built the world’s longest sea bridge Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao and Beijing Daxing International Airport, which has set several world records, established a number of high-tech enterprises with global influence, a striking example of which is the company Huawei. At the same time, such highly innovative technologies as aviation and astronautics, satellite navigation, cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, etc. are rapidly developing.
For China, this year marks historic breakthroughs in science, technology and innovation. In June, the last satellite of the navigation system, Beidou-3, was successfully launched into orbit six months earlier than planned, and China’s independently developed and operated global satellite navigation system, Beidou, was officially launched. “Beidou-3” is characterized by high accuracy, high level of reliability, high security and versatility and has been recognized by the UN as one of the four global satellite navigation networks. National services based on Beidou are delivered to hundreds of millions of customers in over 120 countries and regions of the world. In July, the Tianwen 1 Mars probe was launched using the Changzheng 5 launch vehicle, marking the start of China’s first mission to explore Mars and China’s first step in exploring the planets of the solar system. It is expected that the probe “Tianwen-1” in February 2021 will enter the highly elliptical orbit of the Red Planet and begin scientific research. If everything is successfully implemented, then our country will immediately realize three goals, namely bypass, landing and inspection.
- Does the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic have any impact on the Sino-Turkmen bilateral relations?
A: This year, due to the epidemic of the new coronavirus infection, regular air traffic between China and Turkmenistan has been suspended and many previously approved bilateral events have been postponed. Both sides actively adapted to the development of the situation, broadened their horizons, initiated actions, created new channels of online communication such as telephone conversation, videoconference, etc., launched a new communication format – fast, convenient and free “cloud communication” that allowed to firmly maintain the frequency and warmth of bilateral ties at different levels in the context of a pandemic. Government departments and experts in the field of medicine and health between China and Turkmenistan held multiple videoconferences and an in-depth discussion of the prevention, control, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 pneumonia.
It should be especially emphasized that in June, a member of the State Council, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yi held a telephone conversation with Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs R.O. Meredov, during which both sides agreed to vigorously maintain high-level interstate contacts and interdepartmental relations, to promote bilateral exchanges and cooperation in all areas, and also identified the priority areas of the Chinese-Turkmen anti-epidemic interaction and cooperation on all spectra in the post-epidemic era. Deputy Foreign Minister Le Yucheng held regular consultations between foreign ministries via video link with Deputy Foreign Minister V.S. Khadzhiev. in order to exchange views and agree positions on key issues of bilateral cooperation. The foreign affairs agencies between our countries maintain close ties and contacts. In June, China and the Central Asian states jointly established the China-Central Asia ministerial meeting mechanism and successfully hosted the first videoconference meeting. The meeting focused on common understanding and confidence in jointly confronting the pandemic for the sake of common development and prosperity. A new platform for collective dialogue and exchanges has been created for China and the countries of Central Asia, and a new breakthrough in multilateral ties and cooperation between China and Turkmenistan has been made. In August, a video conference was held between the leadership of the twin cities of Xi’an and Mary, the Sino-Turkmen friendly regional ties and cooperation are continuously deepening. At the same time, in September, the two countries will hold a meeting of the Sino-Turkmen Subcommittee on Trade and Economic Cooperation and discuss issues of further strengthening bilateral trade and economic partnership amid the epidemic.
The pandemic has stopped direct face-to-face dialogues between China and Turkmenistan, but the desire to develop ties and cooperation between both sides is becoming stronger and more urgent, “cloud communication” is becoming more active and closer. Deep friendly feelings between our countries were demonstrated, reflected in close-knit cooperation and assistance to each other during the epidemic, which has become a living and powerful practice on the way to promoting the construction of a community with a common destiny for humanity. I am convinced that with the joint efforts of China, Turkmenistan and different countries of the world, we will certainly overcome temporary difficulties and achieve a final victory over the pandemic, we look forward to a more wonderful future development of the Chinese-Turkmen relations of strategic partnership and building a community of the common destiny of mankind! /// nCa, 31 August 2020