|President Xi Jinping Speaks to French President Emmanuel Macron on the Phone|
On the evening of 23 March, President Xi Jinping spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron on the phone.
Xi recalled his three phone conversations with Macron since January during this intense period of fighting COVID-19, and said the discussions attested to the deep trust between them and the strength of China-France relations. With a tradition of mutual sympathy, support and friendship, the two countries have assisted each other with medical and other epidemic control supplies, setting a good example of solidarity in the face of a common challenge. Xi said he pays close attention to the situation in France and in Europe at large. He noted the proactive and effective measures France is taking and expressed sincere sympathy and firm support for the French government and people. China will continue to support and help France to the best of its ability, Xi said.
Xi gave an update on China's prevention and control efforts. He emphasized that China and France both shoulder the heavy responsibility of upholding regional and international public health security, and must work closely to advance joint research, enhance cooperation on health quarantine at borders, support the work of WHO, and help African countries enhance preparedness and response, all of which will contribute to building a community of public health. China is ready to work with France for greater coordination and cooperation in the UN, the G20 and other frameworks to promote joint prevention and control and improve global health governance. He stressed the necessity to help developing countries and other countries in need to build capacity and to counteract the impact on the global economy. Cooperation, Xi noted, is like sunshine that can drive away the dark clouds of the epidemic.
Macron discussed the ongoing epidemic situation in France and the measures in place. He hailed the tremendous courage of the Chinese government and people and the decisive measures they have taken, which led to effective containment of the outbreak within a short span of time. He expressed thanks for China's valuable support and assistance. France stands ready to carry out health cooperation with China and will work with China to encourage other parties to step up cooperation through the G20 and WHO to defeat the virus and offset its impact on the world economy.
The two presidents agreed to stay in close contact to enhance bilateral exchange and cooperation in various fields, ensure the continued growth of China-France relations at a high level, and safeguard the stability of China-France and China-Europe industrial and value chains.