|Premier Li Keqiang Talks by Phone with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen|
On the evening of March 18, Premier Li Keqiang had a phone call with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Premier Li noted EU institutions' messages of sympathy and coordination efforts in providing batches of supplies to support China's battle against the COVID-19 outbreak in its early stage. He said that China feels for Europe's situation and difficulties as the virus spreads in EU countries. Response to the epidemic should not stop at national borders. Reaffirming China's position to stand firmly with Europe, Li expressed support for Europe's outbreak response and China's readiness to facilitate Europe's purchase of medical supplies via commercial channels. China will also actively carry out international cooperation to protect the health of the humankind. Li urged the EU side to pay high attention to protecting the safety and providing for the essential needs of Chinese nationals, including Chinese students, in its member states.
Premier Li said that China values its relations with the EU and will work with the EU to advance the negotiation on the China-EU investment treaty and cooperation in all fields to sustain the sound and steady growth of China-EU relations. He expressed confidence in even deeper friendship and broader cooperation between the two sides after the virus is defeated.
President von der Leyen said the virus is now spreading in Europe. She expressed appreciation for China's support for the EU's fight against the outbreak and the hope for continued coordination and support from China given Europe's current urgent need for medical goods. The joint effort of the EU and China in combating the virus at this difficult time is reflection of the strong friendship and cooperation between the two sides. The EU will work with China to keep up the momentum of EU-China relations, push forward the negotiation of the bilateral investment treaty, and enhance trade and commerce ties. The EU will provide necessary social protection to Chinese nationals, including Chinese students, in EU countries.