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President Xi Jinping Speaks with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö on the Phone

2020-04-14

President Xi Jinping had a phone call with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö on the evening of 14 April.

On behalf of the Chinese government and people, Xi extended sincere sympathies and firm support to the Finnish government and people in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. He noted that humanity is a community with a shared destiny and future, and the world must come together in this difficult time to defeat the virus. China will work with all nations to advance global public health. China is prioritizing the resumption and expansion of medical supply production. This will help keep the global industrial and supply chains stable and contribute to international cooperation against the disease and stability of the global economy.

Noting the video conference held recently between Chinese and European medical experts, including those from Finland, Xi said that China will share more experience with Finland on epidemic response and help it address the shortage of personal protective equipment. He expressed confidence that under the leadership of President Niinistö, the Finnish people will demonstrate their time-honored "sisu" spirit and defeat the virus. He hoped Finland will attach great importance to protecting Chinese nationals and especially students in Finland. He expressed confidence that the friendship between the two nations will be deepened in the course of fighting the outbreak together. Once the outbreak passes, China and Finland need to resume people-to-people exchanges at all levels as quickly as possible, unlock cooperation potential in innovation, ICT and life sciences, and strive for new progress in the future-oriented new-type cooperative partnership between the two countries.

Niinistö said that as the Finnish people battle the severe outbreak, they are closely monitoring the relevant experience of China. He thanked China for its valuable support and assistance in the form of medical supplies and hoped that the two countries will step up cooperation to defeat the virus. Niinistö stressed that he fully shares President Xi's vision of building a human community with a shared future and appreciates China's good cooperation with WHO and European countries as well as its promotion of global public health security cooperation in the G20. He stressed that a speedy recovery of the Chinese economy is critical to the world. Highlighting the excellent relationship between the two sides, he said that Finland will continue to take good care of Chinese nationals in the country and hoped to work with Xi to keep moving the Finland-China relations forward.

Premier Li Keqiang Attends the

Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19

Xinhuanet, 15 April

On the afternoon of 14 April, Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council, attended the Special ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Summit on COVID-19 in Beijing. He was joined by leaders of the ten ASEAN countries, President Moon Jae-in of the ROK, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of the World Health Organization, and ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Viet Nam chaired the Summit.

In his remarks, Premier Li noted that with more than 200 countries and regions affected to date, COVID-19 is gravely threatening the health, safety and life of people around the world and is putting the global economy under severe strain.

At the recent Extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit, President Xi Jinping highlighted the imperative for the international community to strengthen confidence, act in unity and make a collective response by comprehensively stepping up international cooperation.

APT countries need to build greater awareness of our community with a shared future and send a message of partnership, solidarity and mutual assistance to secure an early victory against COVID-19 in East Asia.

Premier Li pointed out that in responding to the outbreak, the Chinese government has consistently adhered a people-centered approach, adhered to the principles of shoring up confidence, strengthening unity, following a science-based approach and taking targeted measures, and has all along been open and transparent.

So far China has achieved major progress in containing the outbreak, and life and work is returning to normal at a faster pace in the country. Going forward, China will keep up the control measures to forestall a resurgence of infection. Any complacency in this regard would be misplaced. In the face of an epidemic of such magnitude, the fortunes of all countries are closely inter-connected; no country can handle the disease all by itself.

Premier Li put forward China's proposals on APT cooperation in fighting the outbreak.

First, APT countries need to enhance all-round epidemic cooperation and build up public health capacity.

To curb the spread of the virus, coordination and collaboration among APT countries need to be strengthened. China will continue to do its best to help ASEAN countries through grant assistance and via commercial channels, and China proposed the setting-up of an APT reserve of essential medical supplies.

APT countries also need to support WHO in playing a leading role, and work together to safeguard regional and global public health security.

Second, APT countries need to revitalize economic growth and deepen regional economic integration.

APT countries need to further ease tariffs, eliminate barriers, boost the flow of trade and investment, and keep markets open to each other. They need to maintain the necessary flow of people and goods and stabilize the industrial and supply chains.

APT countries also need to work toward signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement within this year as agreed and endeavor to take regional economic integration to a higher level.

Third, APT countries need to intensify policy coordination to weather all kinds of risks and challenges. They should remain confident about their ability to overcome the financial risks and challenges brought by COVID-19, and serve as an anchor of stability for the region.

APT countries need to make good use of mechanisms such as the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM), and support multilateral financial institutions in their effort to ensure adequate liquidity. APT countries should also strive to ensure regional grain supply and market security.

Premier Li stressed that viruses are a common enemy of humanity. The Chinese people will continue to stand side by side with other peoples in East Asia and across the world in navigating these tough times. He expressed confidence that together APT countries will prevail over the epidemic.

The participating leaders share the view that in the face of the unprecedented challenge posed by COVID-19, APT countries should carry forward the tradition of cooperation, demonstrate solidarity and join hands in tackling this challenge. It is important to enhance experience and information sharing, conduct joint research and development of drugs and vaccines, and build up regional mechanisms for epidemic control.

APT countries need to enhance macro economic policy coordination, ensure the smooth functioning of the industrial and supply chains, gradually restore social and economic order, and anchor market confidence. They should make the best effort toward signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement within this year. The relations and cooperation among APT countries will only emerge stronger from defeating the virus.

The Summit was held via video link. A Joint Statement of the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) was released after the Summit.

Wang Yi and He Lifeng attended the video conference.

Speech by Premier Li Keqiang

At Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19

(Full Text)

Xinhuanet, 15 April

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc,

Colleagues,

It is good to see you all via video link. We meet at a challenging time when countries around the world are battling COVID-19. This has made our Special Summit all the more relevant. I wish to thank Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc for his tremendous efforts in making this meeting possible.

With more than 200 countries and regions affected to date, COVID-19 is gravely threatening the health, safety and life of people around the world. The global economy has come under severe strain, with simultaneous contraction of supply and demand, massive volatility in the financial markets, and plummeting trade and investment. We are at growing risk of a social governance crisis, a humanitarian crisis, and even a possible food crisis. The outbreak has turned more destructive than anticipated, and has presented a major test for each and every country.

At the recent Extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit, President Xi Jinping highlighted the imperative for the international community to strengthen confidence, act in unity and make a collective response by comprehensively stepping up international cooperation.

Being each other's close neighbors, we, the APT countries, have developed a full-fledged industrial chain and a mutually complementary specialization structure. We have gained valuable experience of jointly tackling crises and have put in place mechanisms for enhancing emergency preparedness.

In fighting the epidemic, our fortunes are closely inter-connected; in sustaining economic growth, our interests are closely aligned.

The battle against COVID-19 has made us more aware that we are in a community with a shared future. We must act with a greater sense of common purpose and stronger resolve. We must make more determined efforts and work together in closer coordination and cooperation. We need to send a message of partnership, solidarity and mutual assistance among East Asian countries to boost confidence in our region and beyond. Together, we must secure an early victory against COVID-19 in East Asia.

Facing this unexpected disease, the Chinese government has consistently followed a people-centered approach. China puts the life and health of all its people front and center. It has adhered to the principles of shoring up confidence, strengthening unity, following a science-based approach and taking targeted measures, and has all along been open and transparent.

Thanks to the painstaking efforts of the whole country and society, China has achieved major progress in containing the outbreak, and life and work is returning to normal at a faster pace in our country.

We introduced massive tax and fee cuts to lessen corporate burdens, boost consumption growth and bolster new forms of industry. We will persist with reform and opening-up and intensify fiscal and monetary policies in an effort to promote economic and social development.

Going forward, we will sustain outbreak control measures targeting priority areas and potential risks to forestall a resurgence of infection. Any complacency in this regard would be misplaced.

We will never forget that fellow APT countries provided valuable assistance to us at a most difficult time. No country can tackle this disease on its own. We are all in this together.

Here, I wish to put forward China's proposals on APT cooperation in fighting the outbreak.

First, APT countries need to enhance all-round cooperation against the epidemic and build up public health capacity.

Protecting and saving lives is a first-order priority. We need to protect the safety and health of the foreign nationals we host, especially students, the same way we protect our own citizens.

We should strengthen coordination and collaboration among the health, customs, transportation and immigration authorities of APT countries. And a liaison mechanism should be explored for smooth and regular communication among us on outbreak development, control measures and management of border entries and exits. This will create greater synergy of our responses which is essential for curtailing the spread of infection.

We need to share diagnostic and treatment experience, research data and information, and conduct joint research and development of drugs and vaccines.

We need to coordinate the production, demand and supply of medical supplies, and facilitate each other's purchase of these supplies on a commercial basis.

China will provide support and assistance to ASEAN countries to the best of our capability as grant assistance and via commercial channels, and will send more medical experts to ASEAN countries in light of your needs.

Various groups in Chinese society are also mobilizing resources to provide anti-epidemic and humanitarian assistance for the ASEAN countries in need.

China supports ASEAN in setting up a COVID-19 ASEAN response fund, and will provide necessary support through the ASEAN-China Cooperation Fund and APT Cooperation Fund to boost its capacity.

In view of both current and longer-term needs, China suggests an APT reserve of essential medical supplies be established to make our response faster and emergency supplies more readily available.

We need to carry out tabletop exercises for public health emergencies and make better use of the APT Cooperation Fund to conduct more public health training programs.

We should also support WHO in leading a global response to the outbreak. We need to beef up coordination and cooperation with WHO, and work jointly to safeguard regional and global public health security.

Second, we need to revitalize economic growth and deepen regional economic integration. We APT countries enjoy high economic complementarity, strong business ties, full-fledged industrial systems and closely-entwined interests. These are our strengths that must be brought out to the full.

On this basis, we should further ease tariffs, eliminate barriers, boost the flow of trade and investment, and keep markets open to each other, in an effort to restore growth in East Asia as quickly as possible.

With all the necessary control measures in place, we should consider opening a "fast-track lane" for essential personnel on urgent visits in the areas of commerce, logistics, production and technological services. China is discussing this idea bilaterally with the ROK and Singapore, and hopes that in time such arrangements will be expanded to other countries with similar needs. This will be conducive to maintaining the necessary flow of people and goods and stabilizing the industrial and supply chains without compromising outbreak control.

We need to conduct joint research on enhancing the industrial and supply chains among APT countries to shore up the weak links and make them more resilient.

We should advance cooperation on health and medical care, smart manufacturing, big data, and 5G to foster new drivers of growth.

We also need to work toward signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement within the agreed time-frame, and speed up the Trilateral FTA negotiations to enhance regional economic integration.

Third, we need to intensify policy coordination to weather all kinds of risks and challenges. The APT framework played a positive role in tackling the Asian and global financial crises. We should remain confident about our ability to overcome the financial risks and challenges brought by COVID-19, and serve as an anchor of stability for the region.

We should expand the use of local currencies in regional trade and investment and improve the currency-swap network. Mechanisms such as the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM) and the APT Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) need to be fully leveraged to enhance crisis preparedness.

We should support the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and other multilateral financial institutions in taking prompt actions to ensure adequate liquidity.

China will earmark US$10 million in its Poverty Reduction and Regional Cooperation Fund under the ADB to support outbreak control programs in the region.

We also welcome the AIIB's proposal of a COVID-19 Recovery Facility with an initial capitalization of US$5 billion.

Our region is one of the world's main grain producers. It is home to over a quarter of the world's population, and most of us are developing countries. Ensuring food security is vitally important. We must make full use of the APT Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR), intensify collaboration to ensure regional grain supply and market security, and fend off a food crisis.

Viruses are a common enemy of humanity. It falls on all of us to rise to the occasion and meet this challenge with solidarity and concerted action. Working together in partnership is the right way forward.

The Chinese people will continue to stand side by side with other peoples in East Asia and across the world in navigating these tough times.

I have every confidence that together we will prevail over the epidemic. We will revitalize the regional economy, and contribute to the prosperity and stability of the world.

Thank you.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Speaks by Phone with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

www.mfa.gov.cn, 14 April

On 14 April, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi took a phone call from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Wang said that the mutual support and assistance between China and Russia since the outbreak began testifies to the strength of the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era. We noted the heavy pressure Russia is facing in outbreak control at the moment. The first batch of Chinese medical supplies has reached Moscow, protective supplies Russia purchased from China are being delivered, and the expert team dispatched by the Chinese government is now working in Russia. China will continue to firmly support Russia in fighting the virus and has full confidence in Russia's ability to defeat the outbreak. Our joint fight against the epidemic will surely add new dimensions to the bilateral relationship, and bring the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination to a new level.

Wang described the outbreak as a comprehensive test for the governance system and capacity of all countries, one that will have profound and far-reaching impacts on the global political and economic landscape. He expressed confidence that both China and Russia will tackle the challenge in a way that stands the test of time, thus making due contribution to world peace and prosperity. China is ready to step up communication and coordination with Russia to deliver the outcomes of the Extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit and push for the international community to send out a clear message of solidarity and cooperation in fighting the outbreak.

Lavrov thanked China for providing medical supplies and sending health experts to Russia. He said that the mutual political support and close anti-epidemic cooperation speak volumes about the special strategic relationship between the two countries. Russia highly commends China's achievements in outbreak control, shares China's vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, and opposes the practice of certain countries to politicize the outbreak and shift blame on others. COVID-19 will have a huge impact on the international order and the global economy. Sharing highly convergent views on major international and regional issues with China, Russia stands ready to enhance communication and coordination with China to better respond to global challenges and safeguard common interests.

Wang noted the vigorous efforts made by Chinese citizens in Russia to advance the friendship and cooperation between the two countries, and expressed his hope and confidence that Russia will continue to provide facilitation for their stay and life in Russia and protect their health, safety and legitimate rights and interests. China and Russia need to step up coordination and cooperation, avoid disorderly movement of people, prevent risks of cross infection and strengthen outbreak control at land points of entry.

Lavrov said that Russia agrees with China and will treat Chinese citizens in Russia like its own, fully protect their legitimate rights and interests, and provide them with necessary assistance.

The two sides also coordinated positions and exchanged views on UN-related matters and regional hotspots like Afghanistan.

NHC Update on Cases in China

NHC Emergency Response Office

Last updated: 24:00, 14 April

1. Between 00:00 and 24:00, 14 April, the following were newly reported by the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps:

a) 46 confirmed cases (36 imported and 10 local cases, i.e. 8 in Heilongjiang and 2 in Guangdong);

b) 1 fatal case (in Hubei);

c) 11 suspected cases (10 imported cases, i.e. 5 in Heilongjiang, 4 in Shanghai and 1 in Liaoning and 1 local case in Liaoning);

d) 78 cured and discharged cases;

e) 1,058 close contacts released from medical observation; and

f) 3 fewer severe cases.

2. As of 24:00, 14 April, among all the imported cases, 904 confirmed cases (including 45 severe cases) are still under treatment and 72 suspected cases are pending test results. In total, 1,500 imported cases have been confirmed, 596 cases cured and discharged, and no fatal case reported.

3. As of 24:00, 14 April, the following had been reported by the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps:

a) 1,137 confirmed cases (including 113 severe cases) still under treatment;

b) 77,816 cured and discharged cases;

c) 3,342 fatal cases;

d) 82,295 confirmed cases;

e) 73 suspected cases pending test results; and

f) 721,295 close contacts traced (including 8,309 still under medical observation).

4. Between 00:00 and 24:00, 14 April, the following were newly reported by Hubei:

a) no confirmed case;

b) 39 cured and discharged cases (all in Wuhan);

c) 1 fatal case (not in Wuhan); and

d) no suspected case.

As of 24:00, 14 April, Hubei had reported:

a) 179 confirmed cases still under treatment (all in Wuhan);

b) 57 severe cases still under treatment (all in Wuhan);

c) 64,402 cured and discharged cases (including 47,250 in Wuhan);

d) 3,222 fatal cases (including 2,579 in Wuhan);

e) 67,803 confirmed cases (including 50,008 in Wuhan); and

f) no suspected case pending test result.

5. Between 00:00 and 24:00, 14 April, the following asymptomatic cases were newly reported by the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps:

a) 57 new cases (3 imported);

b) 7 developed into confirmed cases (5 imported);

c) 32 cases released from medical observation (7 imported); and

d) 1,023 cases still under medical observation (228 imported).

6. As of 24:00, 14 April, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan had altogether reported 1,450 confirmed cases:

a) 1,012 in the Hong Kong SAR (including 434 discharged cases and 4 fatal cases);

b) 45 in the Macao SAR (including 15 discharged cases); and

c) 393 in the Taiwan region (including 124 discharged cases and 6 fatal cases).

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