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Xi says China willing to strengthen health cooperation with France

(Xinhua)    08:07, February 19, 2020

BEIJING, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- China is willing to strengthen practical cooperation with France in the health sector so as to jointly safeguard regional and global public health security, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday.

In the phone call, Xi expressed gratitude and appreciation that Macron called again to extend sympathy and support to China at a critical moment in China's fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, adding that it fully demonstrates the profound friendship between the two countries and the high level of the China-France comprehensive strategic partnership.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, a people's war against the epidemic has been launched in China, featuring full mobilization, comprehensive arrangements and national solidarity, Xi said.

China, he added, will definitely win the battle as it has strong mobilization capability, great comprehensive strength, and experience in dealing with public health incidents.

Noting that China's various measures are achieving positive results, Xi said that on the basis of effective prevention and control, China supports and encourages all kinds of enterprises and institutions to resume work and production, so as to ensure sufficient supply for the society.

The epidemic's impact on China's economy will be temporary, Xi said, expressing confidence that with efforts, China will still be able to achieve this year's set goals for economic and social development.

A friend in need is a friend indeed, Xi said, stressing that China not only safeguards the lives and health of the Chinese people, but acts in a highly responsible manner for global public health security.

While China mainly relies on the strength of the Chinese people to fight against the epidemic, it is grateful for the help offered by the international community, he said.

China has always been open and transparent in its cooperation with other countries, including France, to deal with the epidemic, Xi said, adding that China stands ready to work with France to boost practical cooperation in the health sector and jointly safeguard regional and global public health security.

For his part, Macron once again expressed solidarity with the Chinese government and people in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, as well as appreciation for China's timely and effective measures and its high degree of openness and transparency.

Macron noted that France has provided a batch of medical supplies to China and stands ready to provide more assistance.

France respects the professional guidelines proposed by the World Health Organization in responding to the COVID-19 epidemic, and its response to the outbreak is generally objective, Macron said, adding the French Consulate General in Wuhan is still operating.

France is ready to work with China in the fight against the epidemic and take the joint battle as an opportunity to strengthen health cooperation, he said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: He Zhuoyan, Bianji)

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