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President Xi Speaks to UN Secretary General on the Phone
2020/03/13

On the evening of 12 March, President Xi Jinping spoke to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on the phone.

Xi expressed appreciation to Guterres for his letter of solidarity over the COVID-19 outbreak, recognition of what China had done to contain it, and public remarks supporting China's response measures, adding that this is a case of "adversity revealing true friendship".

Xi noted that thanks to massive interventions, the epidemic situation in China is turning steadily for the better and life and economic activity are quickly returning to normal. He underscored the need to maintain the strong response and attend to every detail. He also called for parallel efforts to advance China's economic and social agenda. "I have every confidence that we will meet this year's economic and social development targets as well as defeating the epidemic," he said.

Xi stressed that China's extraordinary response has bought precious time for other countries to fight the virus and made a significant contribution to the world. Expressing concern over recent outbreaks in multiple places and countries, he called for swift international coordination and a strong global response.

According to Xi, China is prepared to share experience with other countries and conduct joint research and development of drugs and vaccines. In fact, China is actively helping countries that are battling the spread of the disease.

He expressed support for the efforts of the United Nations and the World Health Organization to step up policy coordination, mobilize more resources and, in particular, help developing countries with weak public health systems to strengthen prevention and preparedness, adding that China has announced a $20 million donation to WHO to bolster its good work around the world.

Xi underlined that the outbreak is a fresh reminder that mankind rise and fall together. "Major emergencies like the COVID-19 outbreak won't be the last one in an era of economic globalization," he cautioned, "and mankind will continue to be tested by various traditional and non-traditional security challenges." He underscored the imperative for all in the world to recognize that mankind has a shared destiny and future and must therefore look out for each other and marshal a collective response to global challenges, adding that "we must make the planet – our only home – a better place for all".

Xi said that, as the UN celebrates the 75th anniversary of its founding this year, China supports a global reaffirmation of multilateralism and calls for stronger and more effective global governance centered around the international body. "The UN can count on China's continued support," he assured Guterres.

The UN chief expressed satisfaction at the significant decline of COVID-19 cases in China and congratulated Xi on this positive development. Guterres expressed confidence that, with resolve and resilience, China will not only defeat the epidemic soon, but also achieve a quick economic recovery. This will be in the interest of the Chinese people and a strong contribution to the world.

Guterres thanked China for helping out countries struggling with the outbreak and applauded the sharing of experience with many developing nations and the delivery of drugs and other medical supplies to other countries.

He stressed that China's support is critical to the future of multilateralism. The UN looks forward to deeper cooperation with China on all aspects of the international agenda such as climate change and sustainable development, where he expects China to exercise strong leadership.

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