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State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Had a Phone Call With ROK Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha

2020/02/27

On the evening of 26 February, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone call with Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha of the ROK.

Wang updated Kang on the latest progress made in China’s on-going fight against the epidemic. As close neighbors, China and the ROK have rendered each other assistance and stood together in times of difficulties. China will always remember with appreciation the strong support the ROK has provided in its fight against the epidemic. Wang said China truly feels for the ROK as the latter sees the epidemic spreading in the country. He commended the ROK for its swift and robust response, and expressed confidence in its ability to defeat the epidemic at an early date. The ROK’s difficulties are China’s own difficulties. China is ready to provide assistance as needed to support the ROK government and its people in fighting the epidemic. The two sides could establish new exchange mechanisms or enhance existing ones between their diplomatic, health and disease control authorities to keep each other updated on the steps being taken and collaborate on epidemic control, medical treatment, and research and development of therapeutics and vaccines.

Wang said that as demonstrated by epidemic control practices around the world, including the experience China has gained from fighting COVID-19, early control and reduction of non-essential cross-border travel flow is critical to stopping the spread of the virus. China is ready to discuss with the ROK efforts in this regard. The goal for both sides is the same, which is to better protect the safety and health of people in China and the ROK. The Chinese side is confident that when the epidemic is over, the friendship between China and the ROK will surely have deepened with even more bilateral exchanges and cooperation in all areas.

Wang said that the epidemic will have an impact on bilateral exchanges and economic and trade cooperation. The two sides need to work together to minimize the impact. In addition to containing the outbreak, the two sides also need to assist the industries and companies affected in tiding over their difficulty, keep the industrial and supply chains between the two countries stable and push forward concrete cooperation.

Kang said that the ROK and China have supported and helped each other in the fight against the epidemic since it began. She briefed Wang on the ROK’s containment measures and noted that the ROK government has elevated its response to the highest level and President Moon Jae-in has been to the main affected area to inspect and direct the response effort. There is reason for the rapid increase in confirmed cases in the past few days. The ROK is confident in curbing the spread of the disease and hopes to communicate and collaborate more closely with China to tackle the challenge together.

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