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State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Had a Phone Call with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif


On 3 February, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone call with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Foreign Minister Zarif said that the Chinese government has taken timely and decisive measures in a responsible and transparent manner to respond to the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak. What China has done not only helped manage the outbreak in China, but also curbed its spread globally, which is widely recognized by the international community. We are firmly opposed to the practice of certain Western countries to take advantage of the difficult situation, and are fully confident that the Chinese government and people will overcome the difficulties. The Iranian side has provided some much needed medical supplies, and will continue to offer assistance and work with China to fight the epidemic.

State Councilor Wang expressed appreciation for Iran's support to China's efforts against the outbreak, and thanked Minister Zarif for being the first foreign minister to publicly speak up for China. It demonstrates the friendship of the Iranian people toward the Chinese people. He also thanked Iran for its medical supplies to China at such a crucial moment in the fight against the outbreak. He pointed out that China has put in place a nationwide mechanism and taken the most rigorous and thorough measures against the outbreak. With China's tireless efforts, the nationwide case-fatality rate of the epidemic is kept under 2.1 percent, far lower than that of other epidemics, and lower than the 17.4 percent rate of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic in the US. Starting from 1 February, the number of cases cured has notably exceeded the number of fatalities, an important sign that the epidemic is controllable and curable. We have full confidence, capacity and determination to defeat the epidemic.

Wang said that in fighting the outbreak, China is, first and foremost, responsible to its own people, and is also responsible to the international community. The current number of infected cases in other countries is less than one percent of that in China, whereas the 2009 H1N1 pandemic in the US spread to 214 countries and regions. The WHO Director-General, following his visit to China, expressed deep appreciation for the extraordinary measures China has taken to contain the outbreak, and commended China for setting a new standard for outbreak response. The WHO has made it clear that it opposes unnecessary travel or trade restrictions against China. We understand the reasonable and necessary screening measures of some countries, but we oppose overreactions, and even fear-mongering. We will continue to share information with all other countries in an open and transparent manner and enhance cooperation to jointly uphold public health security in the region and the world.

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