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State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Speaks with Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on the Phone

2020-03-18

On 18 March, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi took a phone call from Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

Wang said that under the strong leadership and personal direction of President Xi Jinping, China has marshaled national efforts and waged an arduous people's war against COVID-19; victory is now within sight. Next, we will coordinate efforts to lock in the hard-won gains and prevent imported cases on the one hand and resume production and return to the normal order of work and life on the other.

Wang expressed deep concern about global outbreaks in various countries and of multiple origins and China's empathy with countries facing difficulties and challenges posed by the disease. As virus knows no borders, it is the shared responsibility of the international community to fight COVID-19 together. From the very beginning, China has acted in an open and transparent manner and engaged in close communication with WHO and the international community. To curb the spread of the virus beyond its borders, China has paid a huge price and made great sacrifice, which bought time for other countries to get prepared and contributed to global public health security.

As a concrete step to implement President Xi Jinping's vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind and out of a sense of responsibility, China will continue to engage in international cooperation, readily share its experience of epidemic control, diagnostics and therapeutics, send medical teams to countries in need and provide medical supplies as much as it can. China will also open up the export channels for medical supplies and fully harness its production capacity to help meet the purchasing needs of relevant countries. We are ready to work closely with Singapore to explore a joint prevention and control mechanism, and to participate in and champion regional and international cooperation on epidemic control.

Wang stressed the importance of forging international consensus on fighting the virus in solidarity. Attempts to use the outbreak to stigmatize China are despicable and will only divide the international community. It will do no good to our collective response to the pandemic or efforts at the national level. China appreciates Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's caution against turning COVID-19 into a matter of nationality or ethnicity on several occasions and his call for global efforts to overcome the challenge. We trust that Singapore will continue to uphold its just position.

Balakrishnan congratulated China on its very effective response to the outbreak in a short period of time. China's achievement has offered useful experience for the global community. Singapore commends China for timely experience sharing with the world, generously sending medical expert teams and opening up export channels of medical supplies. It is unfortunate that the good work China has done and the time this has saved has not been fully tapped by some countries who have not moved quickly enough to get prepared. And now, the virus is spreading on a global scale. For Singapore and China, a main priority is to solidify epidemic control results, prevent imported cases, and jointly respond to the long-term impact of this outbreak not only on public health but also in economic, political and social dimensions.

He agreed that the outbreak is a common challenge for the international community. Stigmatization is unhelpful as it does no good for both epidemic control within countries and the building of trust and cooperation between them.

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