Xi talks with UN chief, calling for urgent int’l action against COVID-19

Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday spoke with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres over phone, urging the international community to take urgent action in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic.

Xi recalled that since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease, Guterres has written to him to extend sympathies and express appreciation of China’s prevention and control measures, and has publicly voiced support for China’s anti-epidemic efforts on multiple occasions, China Economic net reported.

The Chinese president conveyed his gratitude to the UN chief, pointing out that as Chinese people often say, a friend in need is a friend indeed.

Thanks to arduous endeavors, China has been witnessing a domestic trend in which the situation of epidemic prevention and control is making sustained progress and the order of life and production is being restored at an increasing pace, Xi said.

For the next step, he added, China will act as prudently at the end as at the beginning, and carry on its prevention and control efforts in an unrelenting, solid and meticulous fashion, and meanwhile earnestly advance all aspects of work in economic and social development.

Technicians work on the manufacturing line of China’s ARJ21 aircraft at a factory in Shanghai, east China, March 6, 2020. The factory of Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. in Shanghai has resumed production amid epidemic prevention and control efforts. (Xinhua/Ding Ting)

The Chinese people will definitely prevail over the COVID-19 epidemic and will also definitely realize its intended targets for economic and social development, Xi said. “I am fully confident in that.”

Xi stressed that the Chinese people’s hard work has won precious time for and made important contributions to other countries’ epidemic prevention and control.

Noting that with COVID-19 having recently occured and spread in a number of countries, the situation is worrying, he urged the international community to take urgent action and carry out effective international cooperation in joint prevention and control, so as to form a strong concerted force to beat the disease.

China stands ready to share its experience with other countries, carry out joint research and development on drugs and vaccines, and offer as much assistance as it can to countries where the disease is spreading, Xi said.

He added that China supports the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) in mobilizing the international community to enhance policy coordination, expand resources input, and particularly help developing countries with poor public health systems prepare themselves for prevention and response.

China, he said, has announced a 20-million-U.S.-dollar donation to the WHO in support of its efforts to organize international actions against the epidemic.

The epidemic has once again demonstrated that mankind is a community with a shared future that shares weal and woe, Xi stressed, adding that in the era of economic globalization, COVID-19 will not be the world’s last major emergency, and various traditional and non-traditional security issues will constantly bring about new tests.

Photo taken on March 1, 2020 shows medical supplies, including masks, gloves and protective suits, donated to Italy by Lishui City, east China’s Zhejiang Province. (Xinhua)

The international community has to see humanity as one community with a shared future, look out for one another, and join hands to tackle risks and challenges and build a beautiful planet, said the Chinese president.

Noting that this year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, Xi said China supports the international community in taking that as an opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to multilateralism, and reinforce and improve the global governance system with the United Nations at the core.

The Chinese side, he added, will continue supporting the work of the world body.

For his part, Guterres said he is very pleased with and congratulates China on the significant decrease of COVID-19 cases in China.

The UN chief said he believes that with firm determination and strong resilience, China will both overcome the epidemic and restore economic order in a rapid manner, which not only serves the interests of the Chinese people, but also represents an important contribution to the world.

The United Nations thanks China for helping countries currently in difficulties to fight against COVID-19, said Guterres, adding that the world body appreciates China’s sharing of experience in epidemic prevention and control with developing countries and provision of such valuable assistance as medical supplies, vaccines and medicines.

He said that China’s support is crucial to multilateralism, and that the United Nations hopes to further deepen its cooperation with China in climate change, sustainable development and various other fields, and looks forward to China playing an important leading role in international affairs.