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China calls for G20 cooperation to fight virus

By Zhong Nan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-03-31 13:25

Port employees help a cargo vessel dock at the container terminal of Qingdao Port, Shandong province. [Photo/Xinhua]

China called on G20 members to enhance coordination and cooperation and adopt open trade policies to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on global supply chains to facilitate cross-border flow of goods and services, according to the country's top commerce official.

Zhong Shan, minister of commerce, urged G20 members to ensure stability in global industrial and supply chains by reducing or removing tariffs, eliminating barriers and facilitating unfettered trade, among others.

All parties should uphold an open environment for global cooperation, keep their markets open, safeguard the multilateral trading system and oppose protectionism, he said during a virtual meeting on the issue of COVID-19 outbreak attended by G20 trade and investment ministers on Monday evening.

The Chinese official stressed all G20 members should step up international cooperation on disease prevention and control supplies, and protect the life and safety of people and medical workers in all countries.

At the meeting, ministers discussed the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the G20's response. The parties agreed the outbreak is a tremendous shock to international trade and investment, and the joint statement of the Extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit on COVID-19 should be implemented collectively, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

The event was chaired by Saudi Arabia, which holds the G20 presidency. After the meeting, the statement of the Extraordinary G20 Trade and Investment Ministers Virtual Meeting on COVID-19 was issued.

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