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Wang Yi Speaks with Maltese Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Evarist Bartolo on the Phone

2020-12-01

On December 1, 2020, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone conversation with Maltese Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Evarist Bartolo at the latter's request.

Wang Yi expressed his gratitude for the understanding and support given by Malta to China in the COVID-19 battle, noting that China also provided Malta with anti-pandemic supplies and assistance, and shared its experience in combating the virus. He believes that under the leadership of the new administration, Malta will eventually defeat the virus. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 in China, the country has mobilized the whole nation and adopted the most rigorous and resolute measures to effectively contain the pandemic. At present, China is accelerating its economic and social development while containing the virus on an ongoing basis, and is expected to become the world's first major economy that can achieve positive growth. Vaccines are a powerful means for the eventual victory against the pandemic. China has made smooth progress in vaccine research and development, and is willing to give active consideration to providing countries in need with the vaccines, once being available for use.

Wang Yi said, China and Malta will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2022, and both sides should plan commemorative activities at an early date. China stands ready to work with Malta to consolidate and deepen mutual political trust and expand practical cooperation based on the principle of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, so as to usher in the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties with more fruitful results. Malta has an important strategic position, and can serve as a gateway for Chinese enterprises to enter EU and African markets. The Chinese government will continue to encourage and support Chinese enterprises to invest and do business in Malta.

Wang Yi said, China highly appreciates Malta's adherence to the basic norms governing international relations, including independence, self-reliance and non-interference in other countries' internal affairs, when dealing with international relations. China hopes and believes that Malta can play a constructive role in boosting China-Europe relations, and encourage the EU to take a more positive, cooperative and constructive attitude in viewing and developing relations with China.

Bartolo thanked China for giving Malta great support and aid when his country needed them most in the anti-pandemic fight. Malta greatly values China's commitment to making COVID-19 vaccine a global public good, as it will help expand the accessibility and affordability of the vaccine to its utmost level. Malta-China relations have seen great progress since establishment nearly 50 years ago. Malta expects to further develop bilateral relations on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, and welcomes more Chinese enterprises to invest in Malta and hold active discussions over tripartite cooperation in the EU member states and Africa.

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