|Wang Yi Speaks by Phone with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian|
On 19 March, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi took a phone call from French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Le Drian commended China's victory in basically controlling the outbreak. He expressed sincere appreciation to China for sending medical supplies to France and allocating resources to meet France's purchase demand, and spoke highly of the cooperation between the two countries against the outbreak. He said that in the face of a growing epidemic, France would learn from China's experience, take strong measures, and strive for an early victory over the epidemic.
Wang conveyed sympathies to France over the challenges posed by an epidemic that is breaking out in various countries across the world. He shared his confidence in France's ability to ultimately prevail over the disease under the leadership of President Macron.
Wang noted the tradition of mutual support between the two countries. The valuable support and assistance that the Chinese people have received from France in its fight against the virus shall never be forgotten. With this friendship in mind, China has overcome its own difficulties and provided a batch of medical supplies to France. On the package of the shipment was printed a line of Chinese poem, "Though thousands of miles apart, our friendship is as solid as gold". This is a vivid illustration of the solidarity between the Chinese and French peoples in trying times. China will do its best to give necessary help to meet France's procurement needs. China will also do more to share experience with France through video conference and other means, and work with France on the prevention and control of emerging infectious disease, virology, and vaccine development.
Wang stressed that the epidemic, a common enemy of mankind, requires a collective response from the international community. Since the start of the outbreak, China has been acting in the spirit of openness and transparency and with a great sense of responsibility. We have shared epidemic-related information with the rest of the world, thus buying precious time for containment efforts in other countries. In pursuit of its vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, China is supporting in the various ways the epidemic responses of nearly 100 countries, by providing badly needed medical supplies, sharing experience on epidemic control, and sending expert teams. Regrettably, some country is trying to politicize the epidemic, label the virus and stigmatize China. Such attempts are not conducive to the solidarity of the international community. They will seriously undermine a joint response to the outbreak, and must therefore be firmly and unequivocally rejected.
Wang described the large number of Chinese living, studying or working in France as envoys for China-France friendship who would be happy to contribute to the cooperation between the two countries. To help them cope with the challenges posed by the epidemic, the Chinese embassy in France has provided care and assistance to them and will continue to do so. He expressed the hope for the French government to take care of their safety and health and help ensure they get necessary protection and medical support. In response, Le Drian assured Wang of France's commitment to the health and safety of the Chinese community and the Chinese students in France and continued support and care for them, especially the Chinese students.