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Xi-Trump call helps ease tensions

By Xu Wei | China Daily | Updated: 2020-03-28 06:43

President Xi Jinping (R) meets with US President Donald Trump in Osaka, Japan on June 29, 2019. [Photo by Feng Yongbin/chinadaily.com.cn]

Chinese leader says country will work together with world to fight pandemic

President Xi Jinping on Friday urged united efforts between China and the United States to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a phone conversation with US President Donald Trump, Xi said bilateral relations are now at a critical juncture, and both nations stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation and that cooperation is the only correct choice for both sides.

He called upon joint efforts from both sides to bolster cooperation in areas such as epidemic containment and developing a China-US relationship featuring non-confrontation, non-conflict, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.

China has consistently shared information on COVID-19-including its genetic sequence-with the World Health Organization and countries including the US in an open, transparent and responsible manner since the start of the pandemic, Xi said.

The country has also shared its experience in epidemic containment and medical treatment, and done its best to support and help countries in need of assistance, he said.

China will continue to do so and work together with the international community to overcome the pandemic, Xi added.

The virus respects no borders or ethnicities and is a common enemy to mankind, and therefore it requires a joint global response to conquer it, he said.

Xi noted that positive outcomes were reached in the G20 Extraordinary Leaders' Summit on Thursday, and different parties must step up coordination and cooperation to ensure implementation of the outcomes.

China stands ready to work with all parties, including the US, to continue to support the important role of the WHO, step up information and experience sharing, accelerate steps in research and development cooperation and promote the betterment of global health governance, he added.

He also underlined the importance of more coordinated macroeconomic policies to stabilize markets and growth and to guarantee public wellbeing while ensuring the openness, stability and security of global supply chains.

Xi said he is deeply concerned and worried about the development of the pandemic in the US, and it is the sincere hope of the Chinese people that the US can control the spread of the virus at an early date and reduce losses among its people.

He said China understands the current predicament of the US over the outbreak and stands ready to provide support within its capacity.

Xi expressed his hope that the US side can adopt concrete measures to protect the safety and health of Chinese citizens, including students, in the US.

The conversation between the two presidents came as data compiled by Johns Hopkins University showed the US surpassed China in confirmed cases of coronavirus on Friday.

Trump said he is glad to see the positive epidemic containment progress in China, and China's experience in combating the virus has been very inspiring to him.

The US president said he will make sure that the two countries can overcome disturbances and stay focused on epidemic containment cooperation.

He also voiced appreciation to China for providing medical supplies, saying the two countries must bolster exchanges in healthcare and cooperation in the R&D of effective pharmaceuticals.

Trump went on to say that he has said publicly on social media that the US people very much respect and love the Chinese people, and overseas students from China are very important to US education, adding that the US side will ensure the protection of Chinese citizens, including students.

Trump said on social media following the phone call that the conversation was "very good" and that "China has been through much and has developed a strong understanding of the virus. We are working closely together."

Yuan Zheng, a senior researcher on US foreign policy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the phone call between the two leaders has served to ease the strained China-US relations since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Bilateral cooperation in epidemic containment could be a new starting point for the two countries to deepen cooperation in various areas, he said.

Cooperation between the two nations will also be of major significance to the global strategic balance and bettering the global governance system, he said.

Xi also spoke over phone with Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Friday.

China stands ready to maintain close communication with Saudi Arabia to maintain and strengthen the cooperation momentum among G20 members and will continue to do its best to help with the nation's epidemic containment, Xi said.

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