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Chinese Consulate General in Manchester and Greater Manchester Combined Authorities Jointly Held a Press Conference


On the morning of February 13th 2020, Consul General Zheng Xiyuan and Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, held a press conference on the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia at Yang Sing Restaurant in Manchester Chinatown. There were nine Chinese and British media attended the conference including CCTV Europe, Xinhua News Agency London Bureau, Phoenix TV Europe station, Phoenix CNE, Global Manchester, BBC Radio, ITV, etc.

During the conference, Consul General Zheng briefed on the unprecedented efforts made by the Chinese government and the Chinese people to control the epidemic and the openness, transparency and responsibility of the government in responding to the outbreak of novel coronavirus pneumonia. He stated that there has been a positive turn in the prevention and control of the epidemic thanks to the all-out effort of the Chinese people from all ethnic groups. It has now reached a critical moment calling on all Chinese people to form a united front to fight this people’s war to the end.

Consul General Zheng expressed his grratitude to local councils, universities and social organisations in North England for their prompt support in the fight against the epidemic by sending letters, issuing statements and raising medical supplies. He also commended Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and other cities for standing by sister cities in China in such difficult time. He was deeply touched by the compatriotic spirit of local Chinese communities, Chinese students and Chinese enterprises and gave his thanks to them for taking initiatives to support the nation. Moreover, he spoke highly of the Manchester China Forum for leading and coordinating local response to NCP outbreak day and night in Greater Manchester.

Consul General Zheng said that China was devoting herself to the fight against the epidemic, not only for the health of Chinese people, but also for the rest of the world. Our efforts have been fully recognized and highly commended by the United Nations and the World Health Organization. This is a time for international solidarity hence we call on all parties to stay calm, rational and collected to fight alongside and to support each other. He emphasised that the epidemic is temporary, but our friendship and cooperation can stand the test of time. He expressed belief in a stronger sisterhood between Chinese and UK cities and a brighter prospect for the China-UK cooperation.

Mayor Burnham said all parties need to work together hand in hand as agreed by Greater Manchester Combined Authorities and Manchester City council following the outbreak of the epidemic. The city government hopes to deliver a clear message of solidarity, support, anti-discrimination, anti-hatred and anti-panic through social media. Chinese ethnic group is an important part of the population of Greater Manchester. It is time for the city, know for its openness, inclusiveness, solidarity and friendliness, to lend a helping hand and to show firm support to the group. He stressed that we should not put a label to the virus as the outbreak could happen anywhere, and the city has zero-tolerance for any form of discrimination, abuse and stigmatization. He confirmed that there will be a round table meeting next week to make arrangements for the impact and response to the epidemic.

At the end of the conference, Consul General Zheng and Mayor Burnham were interviewed and questioned by Chinese and British media.

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