Xi, Trump talk over phone on COVID-19, bilateral ties

BEIJING, March 27 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday spoke over phone with his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, on anti-epidemic cooperation and bilateral ties.

Xi stressed that China has been sharing information on COVID-19 in an open, transparent and responsible manner with the World Health Organization (WHO) and countries including the United States since the onset of the epidemic.

China, he said, wasted no time in releasing such information as the genetic sequence of the virus, and has also been sharing experience on COVID-19 prevention, containment and treatment without reservation, and providing as much support and assistance as it can for countries in need.

He added that China will continue to do so, and work with the international community to prevail over the pandemic.

Epidemics recognize no national borders or races and are a common enemy of humankind, noted the president, adding that only by making a collective response can the international community defeat them.

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the G20 Extraordinary Virtual Leaders’ Summit on COVID-19 via video link in Beijing, March 26, 2020. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

With joint efforts of all parties, the G20 Extraordinary Leaders’ Summit on COVID-19 on Thursday reached many consensuses and achieved positive results, Xi said, expressing his hope that all parties will strengthen coordination and cooperation, implement the outcomes, and inject strong vigor into enhancing international anti-epidemic cooperation and stabilizing the global economy.

China, he added, is willing to work with the United States and other parties to continue to support the WHO in playing an important role, enhance sharing of information and experience on epidemic prevention and control, accelerate cooperation in scientific research, and improve global health governance.

Xi also called for concerted efforts to strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination, in order to stabilize markets, maintain growth, safeguard people’s wellbeing, and ensure the openness, stability and safety of global supply chains.

Upon inquiry, Xi introduced in detail the measures China has taken to prevent and control the spread of the epidemic.

A man wearing a face mask and gloves rides a bike at the Times Square in New York, the United States, March 26, 2020. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Xinhua)

He said he follows closely and is concerned about the development of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States and has noticed that Trump is carrying out a series of policies and measures in response.

The Chinese people, Xi said, sincerely hope that the United States contains the spread of the epidemic at an early date, so as to reduce the losses inflicted by the disease upon the American people.

China has always maintained an active attitude towards international collaboration on epidemic prevention and control, Xi said, adding that under current circumstances China and the United States should unite against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The health departments and medical experts of the two countries have maintained communication over the global pandemic situation and bilateral anti-epidemic cooperation, Xi said, adding that China is willing to continue sharing, without reservation, relevant information and experience with the United States.

Noting that some Chinese provinces and enterprises have been providing the United States with assistance in medical supplies, Xi said China understands the United States’ current predicament and stands ready to provide support within its capacity.

Passengers wait to depart at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, the United States, March 13, 2020. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)

There are currently a large number of Chinese nationals in the United States, including Chinese students, and the Chinese government attaches great importance to their safety and health, Xi stressed, expressing his hope that the U.S. side will take practical and effective measures to safeguard their safety and health.

Xi emphasized that China-U.S. relations are now at an important juncture, and that both will benefit from cooperation and lose from confrontation.

Calling on the United States to take substantive action to improve bilateral relations, Xi suggested that the two sides work together to boost cooperation in epidemic control and other fields, and develop a relationship of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.

Trump, for his part, said that he listened closely to Xi’s speech at the G20 Extraordinary Leaders’ Summit on COVID-19, and appreciates Xi’s views and proposals along with other leaders.

Trump asked Xi in detail about China’s anti-epidemic measures, saying that both countries are facing the challenge of the COVID-19 epidemic, and he is delighted to see the positive progress made by China in combating the disease.

Stressing that China’s experience is very illuminating to him, he said he will make personal efforts to ensure that the United States and China can ward off distractions and concentrate on cooperation against COVID-19.

The United States, he added, is grateful to China for providing medical supplies for its fight against the epidemic, and promoting bilateral medical and health care exchanges, including cooperation in research and development of effective medicines against the disease.

Trump said he has publicly made clear on social media that the American people respect and love the Chinese people very much and that Chinese students are of great significance to the U.S. educational business.

The United States will protect Chinese nationals on its soil, including Chinese students, he added.

The two heads of state agreed to maintain communication on subjects of shared interest. ■

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