Xi calls for 'China-France contributions' to winning global COVID-19 fight

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Medical materials from China arrive at the Liege airport in Belgium, on March 18, 2020. A batch of 1 million donated medical masks were flown in Belgium, en route to France. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday called for "China-France contributions" to winning the global battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

China and France need to continuously support the international community joining hands against the pandemic, Xi said in a phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Xi stressed that China and France have maintained high-level strategic coordination since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak. Noting that the spread of the coronavirus has not been effectively contained globally, Xi said that solidarity and cooperation are the right way forward.

The two countries, he added, should promote joint research, support international cooperation in vaccine and drug research and development, step up efforts to implement the consensus reached at the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA), and enhance support for the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Chinese president said the two countries should also carry out more trilateral cooperation against the COVID-19 pandemic among China, France and Africa and support countries in such underdeveloped regions as Africa in fighting the epidemic.

China and France should uphold multilateralism and promote world peace and stability, he added.

Xi said he stands ready to maintain close communication with Macron, work to chart the course, and push for sound and stable development of bilateral relations.

He said the two countries should look to the post-pandemic future, draw a blueprint for exchanges at all levels in the next stage and carry out dialogue and exchanges in a prudent, orderly and flexible manner.

China and France, Xi added, should strengthen coordination and alignment of their macro-economic policy for post-pandemic recovery, tap the potential of cooperation in traditional areas and expand cooperation in emerging sectors.

Noting that the Chinese market is open to France, Xi said he hopes that the French side will make full use of the "fast track" arrangement to facilitate business trips to China so as to help French enterprises in China resume business, and meanwhile create a fair and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies.

Xi pointed out that China and the European Union (EU) are comprehensive strategic partners sharing broad common interests.

He said China is pleased with the progress achieved in EU integration and stands ready to strengthen strategic cooperation with the EU, advance major political agendas between the two sides, support multilateralism, and jointly tackle such global challenges as public health, climate change and biodiversity, so as to work for sound and steady development of China-EU relations.

For his part, Macron said that France and China have carried out good cooperation and demonstrated solidarity in the fight against the pandemic, adding that the French side hopes to continuously strengthen cooperation with the Chinese side by upholding this spirit.

Noting that the French side appreciates the announcement made by Xi that China's COVID-19 vaccine, once available, will be made a global public good, Macron said that France stands ready to work with China to implement the consensus reached at the WHA, support the WHO in playing its important role, enhance cooperation with the WHO, and increase support to African countries in fighting the pandemic.

Expressing his wish to visit China again at an early date, Macron said he hopes that related departments of the two countries could maintain dialogue and communication, deepen mutual understanding, and promote key cooperation projects, adding that the most urgent task is to speed up resumption of work and production.

Macron also said that France is willing to work with China to safeguard multilateralism and strengthen cooperation in such fields as climate change and biodiversity, so as to inject more positive factors into world peace and stability.

France attaches great importance to a series of major exchanges between the EU and China in the next phase, Macron said, adding that the French side stands ready to play an active role in this regard.

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