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Joint Press Release of The Vice Ministers' Special Meeting on COVID-19 Between The People's Republic of China and Pacific Island Countries

2020/05/13

On May 13, 2020, China and Pacific Island Countries held a special meeting on COVID-19 via video link. Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang of China and Foreign Minister Patrick Pruaitch of Papua New Guinea co-chaired the meeting.

Present at the meeting from the Pacific Island Countries side are: Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, The Federated States of Micronesia, Cook Islands, Tonga, Niue, Solomon Islands, Kiribati.

1. Both sides reviewed the important progress made in the relationship between China and Pacific Island Countries in recent years, especially since President Xi Jinping met with Leaders of Pacific Island Countries in 2018, and agreed to keep deepening their comprehensive strategic partnership on the basis of mutual respect and common development. They fully recognized that this special meeting held amidst the fight against COVID-19 is of unique significance for the two sides' joint response to the virus.

2. Both sides were of the view that COVID-19 is a grave threat which has afflicted the people of China, Pacific Island Countries and other parts of the world and dealt a serious blow to the economic and social development of countries. They expressed deep condolences for all lives lost to the virus, conveyed sincere sympathies to the patients and their families, and paid high tribute to the health workers fighting at the front line.

3. Both sides shared the view that the virus, which respects no borders, is a common enemy of humanity. Countries need to advocate multilateralism, adopt a science-based approach, increase information sharing and coordination of policies and actions, oppose any attempt at stigmatization, politicizing or labeling the virus, support the leading role of the World Health Organization in promoting global cooperation against COVID-19, and strive for an early victory in the fight against the disease.

4. The Pacific Island Countries commended China for its open, transparent and responsible approach in adopting timely and robust response measures and sharing its containment experience. The Pacific Island Countries spoke highly of the "China-Pacific Island Countries Joint COVID-19 Response Fund" established by China and expressed gratitude for the medical supplies provided by the Chinese Central government, Guangdong Province and various sectors across the Chinese society. China appreciated Pacific Island Countries for their support and help, and would continue to help the Pacific Island Countries to the best of its ability. China understood the severe impact of COVID-19 on Pacific Island Countries and called on the international community to fully accommodate Pacific Island Countries' concerns and needs.

5. Both sides agreed to maintain and strengthen their mutual support and coordination in global and regional affairs, jointly maintain the UN-centered international system, stay committed to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and safeguard the legitimate rights, interests and development space of developing countries.

6. Both sides affirmed their commitment to advancing practical cooperation in various fields in the "post COVID-19 era" by exploring new ways and tapping new potentials of cooperation so as to bring about greater progress in China-Pacific Island Countries relations, and deliver more benefits to the both peoples.

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