China's long-term growth will not be affected by COVID-19: stats bureau

People wear face protective mask at Beijing's Central Business District as the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in China, April 17, 2020, REUTERS/Thomas Peter

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s long-term growth potential will not be affected by the short-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic, a spokesman for the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday.

Spokesman Mao Shengyong told reporters during a briefing that the COVID-19 outbreak has been the most difficult public health emergency since the founding of the People’s Republic of China but that the country’s economic fundamentals remain unchanged.

COVID-19 is the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Reporting by Gabriel Crossley; writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Christian Schmollinger