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State Councilor Wang Yi: Upholding Multilateralism and Supporting WHO in Steering Global Fight Against COVID-19

2020/04/10

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi took a phone call from French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on 9 April.

Wang reaffirmed sympathies to France over the outbreak and thanked the French embassy in Beijing for flying its flag at half-mast during China's national mourning for the heroes who died fighting COVID-19 as well as those who succumbed to the virus.

Noting the progress made in the purchase of anti-epidemic supplies by France in China, Wang promised continued assistance and facilitation by the Chinese side. Chinese civil aviation authorities have fast-tracked the approval of charter cargo flights for the sake of smooth and efficient shipment of urgently needed supplies. The Chinese government places great emphasis on the quality of exported goods and has adopted stringent regulations over medical and other anti-epidemic supplies for export. Wang also underscored his hope that the French authorities protect the health, security and lawful interests of Chinese nationals there, and particularly students.

Wang said that the magnitude of the challenge highlights the shared responsibility of China and France, as permanent members of the UN Security Council, to strengthen solidarity and coordination and support multilateralism as well as their commitment to a collective global response to the outbreak. It is irresponsible for anyone to scapegoat or shift the blame on others.

We noted that in a phone call yesterday, President Macron emphasized to WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus his confidence in and support for the international body. China commends France for taking such a position. Committed to science and objectivity, WHO has been leading and coordinating the global fight in the front lines. Dr. Tedros and his colleagues have been working non-stop and put in tremendous efforts for the sake of global health. Their important contribution needs to be recognized by the international community and their professional opinions need to be respected by all countries.

Like France, China actively supports WHO in promoting international cooperation against COVID-19. China will partner with France to uphold global health security. China is also ready for greater cooperation with France in helping Africa combat the disease.

Noting China's nationwide mourning for the heroes and deceased in the fight against the virus, Foreign Minister Le Drian once again extended sympathies on behalf of his country. He thanked China for facilitating French procurement, clearance and shipment of anti-epidemic supplies and equipment from China. France would like to strengthen multilateral coordination with China on responding to the outbreak, which will further enrich the comprehensive cooperative partnership between the two countries. Le Drian said that he fully shares Wang's views on WHO. France firmly supports the organization in playing an important role in the global response and in scaling up its support for Africa.

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