Whenever an epidemic occurs, rumors spread and cause panic, and there should be someone to be impartial and tell the truth, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Saturday when meeting with World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.
As head of the WHO, Tedros has treated the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic with professionalism and scientific attitude, affirmed the effective measures which China has taken, and called for all parties to maintain confidence, resist rumors and strengthen cooperation. “We appreciate it,” said Wang.
No epidemic is invincible, and this one is no exception. With the great efforts of the Chinese people, the prevention and control of epidemic is heading in a positive direction, Wang said.
China welcomes the visit of the WHO expert team and is willing to work closely with the WHO to defeat the epidemic as soon as possible, not only safeguarding the lives and health of Chinese people, but also contributing to the international public health cause, he noted.
For his part, Tedros said epidemics knows no borders, and the international community must unite against this common enemy of mankind.
The WHO chief said he has called for all countries to unite and cooperate in the scientific approach and on the basis of factual evidence, instead of spreading fake news and stigma.
Given the misinformation about the COVID-19 epidemic, the WHO has communicated with some companies including Google to ensure that the public will get the authoritative information from the WHO, Tedros noted.
He also said China protects not only its own people but also people from other countries in the world. The WHO sent experts to China not because China lacks capacity but to show the solidarity and cooperation.
ICRC appreciates China’s commitment to international public health security
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) highly appreciates China’s commitment to international public health security, especially offering aid to Africa and building medical capacity in countries with fragile health conditions, Peter Maurer, president of the ICRC, said on Saturday when meeting with the Chinese foreign minister.
In their meeting on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, Wang briefed Maurer on China’s battle against the COVID-19 epidemic, noting that the ICRC’s traditions and spirit of upholding the humanitarian bottom line of respecting life have been perfectly and thoroughly embodied in China’s fight against the epidemic.
China has spared no effort to save each and every life that is threatened by the virus, to protect the life and safety of the people with the strongest will, and to take on its due responsibility for global public health, Wang added.
He also said China is ready to deepen its cooperation with the ICRC, to enhance medical cooperation in regions such as Africa and to make contributions to the international pursuit on the humanitarian and health front.
Maurer said the ICRC speaks highly of the Chinese government for making great efforts to fight the epidemic, particularly to contain its spread. Having delivered aid to the Chinese side, the ICRC will continue to provide full support to China, with confidence that the country will win the battle against the epidemic as soon as possible.
South Korean FM hopes epidemic will be fully contained soon
South Korea highly appreciates the great efforts by the Chinese government and its people in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic and hopes that the epidemic will be fully contained as soon as possible, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said on Friday when meeting with her Chinese counterpart.
South Korea is also willing to work with China to prepare for a series of high-level exchanges this year, and deepen cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, industry, environment, health and culture, in a bid to achieve new progress for the South Korea-China strategic cooperative partnership.
South Korea is willing to maintain communication with China over the situation on the peninsula, added Kang.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) shakes hands with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, Munich, Germany, February 15, 2020. /Photo via Chinese Foreign Ministry website
The Chinese foreign minister called for mutual understanding and support in the international community, especially between neighboring countries.
China hopes that the exchanges with South Korea will soon resume after the epidemic. China is willing to strengthen communication with South Korea, in a bid to prepare the already scheduled high-level exchanges between the two countries this year, Wang said.
China is also willing to continue close coordination with the South Korean side and jointly play constructive roles for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and a political solution to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Wang added.
Japanese FM: China makes great efforts to prevent spread of epidemic
China has made great efforts to prevent the spread of the epidemic, which Japan highly appreciates, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said on Saturday when meeting with the Chinese foreign minister.
Japan believes that China will be able to overcome the epidemic as soon as possible, and Japan is willing to continue to fully support and help China, Motegi added.
He also said Japan will work closely with China to further deepen cooperation in various fields, jointly prepare for important high-level exchanges between the two countries this year, and promote new progress in Japan-China relations.
The Chinese foreign minister appreciated Japan’s support, adding that stories of Japanese people lending China a hand during the epidemic had exploded on the Chinese internet.
Noting that China and Japan are separated only by a narrow strip of water, Wang said Chinese people can feel the friendship and warmth from their neighbor.
The mutual support between China and Japan in the epidemic fully embodies the fine tradition of helping each other in times of need as Oriental countries, Wang noted, adding that the friendship between the two peoples will be further deepened as a result.
China’s economy has been affected by the epidemic, but the country can make up for the losses through greater effort, he also pointed out.
China is willing to continue to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation with Japan in various fields and jointly push bilateral strategic and mutually beneficial relations to a new level, bringing more benefits to the two countries and their peoples, Wang added.
All attempts to alienate Sino-Russian relations are in vain
Russia and China have a solid foundation for mutual trust. Therefore, all attempts to alienate our relations will come in vain, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday, expressing Russia’s resolute support for China.
During his meeting with the Chinese foreign minister in Munich, Lavrov said Russia will spare no efforts to support China’s battle against the epidemic and will continue to provide China with all the necessary aid. Russia appreciated China’s great efforts in containing the epidemic.
This year, the presidents of the two countries will visit each other again, Lavrov said. Russia will take advantage of this chance to implement the consensus reached between the two leaders and further deepen bilateral cooperation in all fields, according to the Russian foreign minister.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) holds talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, Munich, Germany, February 15, 2020. /Photo via Chinese Foreign Ministry website
Lavrov said that Russia is also willing to strengthen communication with China on issues in the Central Asian region and concerning Iran, Libya, Afghanistan and others. Russia and China will also further coordinate with their stances on international issues and jointly play their roles.
For his part, Wang said that during China’s ongoing fight against the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Russian President Vladimir Putin voiced his support for China repeatedly and Russia sent aid supplies to China on a chartered flight.
Russia’s response showed the high level of China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era, and the good tradition of the mutual support between the two countries, said Wang, who appreciated Russia’s support and believed that the solidarity and mutual trust of the two countries will be strengthened in the process of the anti-coronavirus fight.
As both China and Russia are facing the threat of hegemonism and power politics, the two countries should continue to firmly support each other on issues concerning respective core interests. China is willing to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with Russia in the Central Asian region, in a bid to jointly safeguard peace and stability of the neighboring regions of both countries.
France-China friendship stands up to the test
Noting that the French consulate in Wuhan is still operating, with which France would like to testify to the true friendship between the two countries, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Saturday that France would like to stand in solidarity with China in this rough times.
When meeting his Chinese counterpart, Le Drian said that France appreciates China’s arduous efforts to stem the epidemic, and will stand in solidarity with China and staunchly support China in its fight against the epidemic.
He also promised that his country will not adopt or tolerate any discriminatory measures, and will remain calm and rational in handling the matter.
“The epidemic allows us to learn who are China’s friends indeed,” Wang said, expressing confidence that the Sino-French friendship will stand up to the test and deepen further.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) holds talks with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, Munich, Germany, February 15, 2020. /Photo via Chinese Foreign Ministry website
Emerging from the epidemic, the Chinese economy will achieve more solid and sustainable growth, and the Chinese people will rally closer together and march confidently toward their goals, Wang added.
The Chinese side is ready to carry out close high-level exchanges with the French side, and to make concerted efforts to advance various important political agendas this year, while promoting Sino-European cooperation, Wang stated.
Turkey firmly supports China in the battle against the epidemic
Turkey firmly supports China in the battle against the epidemic and believes that China is fully capable of achieving victory as soon as possible, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday when meeting with the Chinese foreign minister.
Cavusoglu added he is glad to hear that the novel coronavirus epidemic situation has stabilized in China, and that is good news for China and the rest of the world.
Turkey supports the stable development of China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and the measures adopted by China to counter terrorism and eradicate extremism, said Cavusoglu, adding that Turkey will maintain a fair and objective stance in this regard and will not be used as a tool for certain countries to oppose or suppress China.
COVID-19 is the common enemy of mankind and the international community needs to join hands to deal with it, Wang said.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) shakes hands with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, Munich, Germany, February 15, 2020. /Photo via Chinese Foreign Ministry website
He said China has made arduous efforts to fight against the virus, and the prevention and control work has achieved positive results, adding that he believed that China will become stronger after the epidemic is over.
The top Chinese diplomat also noted China and Turkey, both as important emerging economies, should strengthen strategic coordination, enhance mutual understanding and trust, offer mutual support on issues involving each other’s core interests and major concerns, and jointly safeguard the sovereignty of each other and the common interests of developing countries.
EU stands for an objective assessment of the epidemic situation
The EU stands for an objective assessment of the situation and avoiding panic, Josep Borrell, the European Union (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said Saturday, adding that it is inappropriate that some countries have overreacted by closing borders.
During his talks with the Chinese foreign minister, Borrell said that criticisms and accusations against China from individual countries are out of jealousy for China’s success, since China is the only country in human history that has been able to achieve such great accomplishments within a short period of time.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) shakes hands with Josep Borrell, the European Union (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, Munich, Germany, February 15, 2020. /Photo via Chinese Foreign Ministry website
China is not a belligerent country and it is fully justified to have a military that is able to ensure its own security, Borrell said, adding the EU welcomes China’s greater role on the international stage and will try to find ways to live peacefully together with China and the United States.
Wang said China always supports the growth and prosperity of the EU, regardless of whether the bloc is in good times or adversity, and China hopes to see the EU play a greater role in the international arena.
There is no fundamental disagreement between China and the EU, and the two sides are partners, not rivals, he said, noting that both China and the EU support free trade, multilateralism, a multipolar world and democracy of international relations.
Manfred Weber, chairman of the European People’s Party (EPP) group in the European Parliament, also voiced his support for strengthening ties between the EU and China during his meeting with Wang.
He noted that the EPP is willing to strengthen exchanges with China, enhance understanding and play a positive role in promoting the development of EU-China relations.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) shakes hands with Manfred Weber, chairman of the European People’s Party (EPP) group in the European Parliament, on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, Munich, Germany, February 15, 2020. /Photo via Chinese Foreign Ministry website
Wang called on the EPP to support Sino-EU cooperation and play a constructive role in this regard.
As comprehensive strategic partners, China and Europe share important consensus on issues such as upholding multilateralism and free trade, Wang noted, reminding that the world is facing the challenges of unilateralism, the rise of power politics and the resurgence of Cold War mentality.