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FM discusses virus, trade with Germany

By MO JINGXI | China Daily | Updated: 2020-02-15 06:40

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel meet in Berlin, Germany, Feb 13, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Wang on his first overseas trip since contagion outbreak began in Wuhan

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi highlighted on Thursday the importance of concerted efforts from the international community in dealing with novel coronavirus pneumonia.

He made the remark when jointly meeting the press with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas after the fifth round of China-Germany strategic dialogue on diplomacy and security in Berlin, Germany.

Wang is on his first foreign trip since the outbreak of the epidemic in China.

In the ongoing battle to preserve the health of humans, mutual understanding, mutual trust and mutual support across borders are most important, Wang said.

China's efforts to curb the spread of the virus are having an effect and China has the confidence, capacity and faith to win the battle against the virus, he added.

Wang said China has effectively prevented the spread of the epidemic in other countries, with the number of infections overseas accounting for less than one percent of total infections.

China has made contributions, as well as sacrifices, for global public health, he said.

Though the contagion has temporarily affected the Chinese economy, Wang said China will strive to limit the impact to a minimum and expects a surge of consumption demand after the epidemic.

When meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the same day, Wang said Sino-German trust and cooperation will be further enhanced after being tested by the epidemic.

Wang said Germany has adopted a calm and rational attitude toward the epidemic, valued the World Health Organization's advice and dedicated itself to maintaining normal exchanges between China and Germany. China appreciates this, he added.

China welcomes Merkel to pay a visit to China again this year, Wang said, and China hopes Germany will provide an open, fair and nondiscriminatory business environment for Chinese companies.

Merkel said her country speaks highly of the decisive and strong preventive measures, as well as huge efforts that China has taken to fight the contagion.

Germany believes China will surely win against the novel coronavirus, she said.

In terms of the country's 5G network construction, Merkel said Germany is willing to open markets and will not exclude specific companies.

Noting that China and the EU have agreed on an array of key political agendas for this year, Wang said during the strategic dialogue that China and the EU should closely coordinate with each other and speed up negotiations on a China-EU investment agreement so as to lead the development of China-EU relations.

Maas said the common interests of Germany and China far outnumber their differences, and he urged the two countries to strengthen dialogue and realize the high-level development of bilateral ties.

Germany shares the same position with China in terms of safeguarding free trade, he said, adding that his country is opposed to engaging in trade wars with tariffs and proposes keeping markets open.

Germany will not take restrictive measures on specific companies and is willing to deepen digital cooperation with China, he added.

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