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Chinese, British FMs hold phone talks over COVID-19

Updated: Mar 10,2020 13:41 PM    Xinhua

BEIJING — State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on March 9 held a phone talk with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab over the fight against the novel coronavirus.

Commending the Chinese side's comprehensive and effective measures to prevent, control the coronavirus outbreak and stop the disease from further spreading, Raab thanked the Chinese side for offering assistance and convenience to British citizens in China.

Raab said Britain looks forward to strengthening cooperation with China in the fight against the epidemic and further discussing with China on establishing a global health partnership.

Britain holds open attitude other than discriminatory measures towards Chinese companies' investment, and would like to deepen cooperation with China in such areas as finance, free trade, investment agreement, and climate change, Raab said.

For his part, Wang said that China is standing at the forefront to fight the epidemic, which has been effectively contained domestically. The efforts China made have safeguarded the health and safety of the Chinese people and bought time for other countries to prepare for the epidemic.

Noting that the epidemic at present has seen outbreaks and spread in many places around the world, Wang said enhancing international cooperation to jointly combat the epidemic is now the highest priority.

Wang said that not long ago, President Xi Jinping had a telephone conversation with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and reached many consensuses on jointly tackling the epidemic and promoting the China-Britain relations.

China is ready to work with the British side to implement the consensuses reached by the two leaders on jointly building a "golden era" of bilateral ties, said Wang, adding that the Chinese side thanks again the British royal family, government and people for their support in China's fight against the epidemic.

Britain has recently seen a rise in the number of confirmed cases in the country, Wang said, expressing his belief that Britain, with its mature public health system, can effectively contain the epidemic.

The two countries can further strengthen their cooperation on epidemic prevention and control, and explore the establishment of a global health partnership, which can add to the connotation of the China-Britain comprehensive strategic partnership and push for new development of the "golden era" of bilateral ties, Wang said.

Wang said the Chinese side appreciates Britain for taking an objective and impartial attitude towards 5G and other issues, adding that it is beneficial for Britain not only to build a fair and nondiscriminatory business environment for all foreign enterprises, but also to improve investment environment and promote a mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

The two sides share broad prospects for developing cooperation in such areas as finance, trade, investment and climate change, he added.