BEIJING -- China stands ready to work with France to push for closer cooperation within multilateral frameworks, joint control of COVID-19 and better global health governance, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on March 23 in a phone conversation with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron.
Recalling that at a critical moment in the fight against the coronavirus disease, he and Macron have had three phone calls since January, Xi said that has demonstrated the high level of both the mutual trust between the two presidents and the China-France relationship.
By carrying forward their friendly tradition of mutual sympathy and support, and helping each other with medical supplies, China and France have set an example for people in all countries to help each other and overcome difficulties together, he added.
The Chinese president, who introduced the situation of epidemic prevention and control in China upon request, said he pays close attention to the COVID-19 outbreaks in France and Europe, noting that France is taking a series of active and effective prevention and control measures.
Expressing his sincere sympathies to and firm support for the French government and people, Xi said China is willing to continue to provide support and assistance within its capacity for the European country.
Both China and France shoulder the arduous responsibility of safeguarding international and regional public health security, Xi stressed, suggesting that they carry out sincere cooperation to promote joint research programs, strengthen cooperation in frontier health and quarantine inspection, support the work of the World Health Organization (WHO), help African countries enhance epidemic prevention and control, and strive to build a community of common health.
Xi said China stands ready to work with France to encourage all relevant parties to step up coordination and cooperation within such frameworks as the United Nations and the Group of 20 (G20), engage in joint prevention and containment, improve global health governance, help developing countries and other countries in need with capacity-building, and cushion the epidemic's impact on the world economy.
For his part, Macron briefed Xi on the current epidemic situation in France and the relevant measures that have been taken.
He said he highly appreciates the fact that the Chinese government and people, with great courage and decisive measures, have effectively contained the disease in a short period of time.
The French side, he added, is sincerely grateful for China's valuable support and help, and is willing to make concerted efforts with China to boost bilateral health cooperation and encourage all relevant parties to promote cooperation within such frameworks as the G20 and the WHO, so as to beat the pandemic and cope with its impact on the world economy.
The two heads of state also agreed to maintain close communication and promote bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields, so as to ensure continuous development of China-France relations at a high level, and maintain the stability of China-France as well as China-Europe industrial chains and supply chains.