CHINA Chinese, Chilean presidents discuss COVID-19 epidemic, bilateral ties over phone

CHINA

Chinese, Chilean presidents discuss COVID-19 epidemic, bilateral ties over phone

Xinhua

06:59, February 29, 2020

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(Photo: Xinhua)

BEIJING, Feb. 29 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Chilean counterpart, Sebastian Pinera, held a telephone conversation on Friday night to discuss the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic and how to further deepen bilateral ties.

Xi said the COVID-19 outbreak is a major public health emergency that features the fastest speed of transmission, the most extensive range of infection and the highest level of containment difficulty in the country since the founding of the People's Republic of China.

"Since the outbreak of the epidemic, I have been personally commanding the work and making arrangements. The whole country has become a nation of one mind sharing the same boat, and has taken the most comprehensive, rigorous and thorough prevention and control measures," said Xi, adding that the positive trend in preventing and controlling the epidemic is gaining momentum thanks to the hard work.

"We have full confidence, capacity and certainty to win the battle against the epidemic," he added.

In this anti-epidemic fight, he stressed, China has always adhered to the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind and an attitude of openness, transparency and responsibility, sharing information with the WHO and the international community in a timely fashion as well as actively responding to the concerns of various sides and strengthening international cooperation, so as to prevent the epidemic from spreading around the world.

The WHO and the international community have spoken highly of China's prevention and control work, he said, adding that the governments and people of many countries, including Chile, have offered China strong support in various ways, for which China is sincerely grateful.

Xi pointed out that the Chinese nation has experienced many ordeals in its history, but has never been overwhelmed, and that the impact of the epidemic on China's economy is temporary and generally manageable, and the fundamentals of China's long-term sound economic growth remain unchanged.

While making unrelenting, solid and meticulous efforts in epidemic prevention and control, China will roll out a series of policies and measures to gradually restore orderly production and life and ensure realization of this year's economic and social development goals, he added.

With China and Chile being comprehensive strategic partners, their relationship has long been taking the lead in China-Latin America relations, Xi said, recalling that Pinera's China visit last year bore rich fruit.

Noting that this year marks the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations, Xi urged the two sides to take it as an opportunity to maintain close high-level exchanges and ensure the success of celebration events.

He also called on the two sides to expand cooperation in such fields as trade, investment, technological innovation and infrastructure construction by promoting high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.

At the same time, the two sides should work together to firmly safeguard multilateralism, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and tackle such global challenges as climate change, he added.

In so doing, Xi said, the two countries can carry forward their friendship, ensure a sound development of bilateral cooperation and bring more benefits to both peoples.

Pinera, on behalf of the Chilean government and people, extended sincere sympathies to the Chinese people over the COVID-19 outbreak and offered firm support to the Chinese people for their united efforts in fighting the epidemic.

He said that under the strong command of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government, the Chinese side has taken very effective measures to deal with the epidemic, whose spread has been gradually put under control.

Noting that China is a great country that has gone through numerous hardships and difficulties, Pinera said he believes that under the strong leadership of Xi, China will surely achieve a complete victory over the epidemic at an early date.

The Chilean side stands ready to strengthen cooperation with the Chinese side to jointly tackle the challenge of infectious diseases and safeguard global public health security, he added.

Chile, he said, has always regarded its relations with China as a foreign policy priority, and is willing to take the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties as an opportunity to join hands with China to further bolster collaboration in various fields, promote Belt and Road cooperation, safeguard multilateralism, and strengthen coordination in international affairs, so as to lift Chile-China relations to a new level.

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