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State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi
Speaks on the Phone with UK Secretary of State for Foreign and
Commonwealth Affairs Dominic Raab

2020/03/20

On 20 March, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone call with UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and First Secretary of State Dominic Raab.

Wang noted the COVID-19 eruptions in various places of multiple origins across the world and the increase of confirmed cases in the UK and other European countries. He expressed China's sincere sympathies to the UK and confidence in its people's solidarity in ultimately defeating the virus. China cherishes the help extended by the UK when the Chinese people were in the most challenging stage of battling the outbreak. In the same spirit, China is ready to work with the UK in its fight against the virus at this difficult time. Despite the daunting task of epidemic control remaining at home, China will provide medical supplies to the UK as much as its ability permits and facilitate UK's commercial procurement of those materials from China.

Wang pointed out that the current priority in China's epidemic control is to prevent its resurgence. China is ready to enhance joint prevention and control arrangements with the UK, including more rigorous epidemic control measures at UK's borders, to help maintain the necessary travel between the two countries while minimizing cross infections.

Wang also underscored that China has acted with openness, transparency and a sense of responsibility since the start of the outbreak and has been sharing information and cooperating with the global community in response. He said that China is providing support in various forms to nearly one hundred countries in need. Alarmingly, however, some people are attempting to politicize the epidemic, label the virus and stigmatize China. Such moves are extremely harmful to international cooperation and solidarity, and will only disrupt the joint efforts of various parties to tackle the virus. It is believed that the world, including the UK, will respond in an objective and fair manner and reject such narrow-minded actions.

Wang also noted that there are many overseas Chinese, including those working, studying and living in the UK. They are the bridge of friendship between the two countries. He expressed hope that the UK government will give high attention to and take good care of their health and safety, and ensure their timely and adequate access to medical services.

Raab highly commended China's substantial progress in fighting the epidemic, and thanked China for its sympathies, assistance of medical supplies as well as facilitating UK's procurement of those materials. He noted that the UK values China's experience in tacking COVID-19 and would like to work with China to garner international common ground and push for global cooperation in areas such as epidemic response, vaccine development and support to countries with vulnerable health systems, stressing that these efforts will contribute to an early victory against the virus. He said that the UK government will do its best to protect the health and safety of the Chinese community and citizens in the UK.

Raab also expressed UK's firm opposition to politicizing the COVID-19 outbreak and fully agrees with China that the source of the virus is a scientific issue that requires professional and science-based assessment. Confronting the virus, countries must work together to tide over this trying time.

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