On the evening of 23 March, President Xi Jinping spoke with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the phone.
On behalf of the Chinese government and people, Xi extended sincere sympathies to the UK government and people over their fight against COVID-19. Xi gave an update on China's epidemic prevention and control measures upon request and expressed the hope that the UK will strengthen coordination with China to minimize the risk of the epidemic's spread while ensuring necessary flow of people and unimpeded trade. China stands ready to provide support and help to the UK. We are confident that under Mr. Prime Minister's leadership, the British people will ultimately prevail over the epidemic.
Xi highlighted the great emphasis that the Chinese government places on the health and safety of Chinese nationals overseas and expressed his hope that the UK will take effective measures to safeguard the health, safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens in the UK, particularly those of Chinese students.
Xi pointed out that viruses know no borders or races and the only way to defeat them is for mankind to work together. It is imperative that countries enhance cooperation under the frameworks of the United Nations and the G20, and make greater efforts in sharing information and experience, collaborating on scientific research, supporting WHO in playing its due role and improving global health governance. Countries must also step up coordination on macro-economic policies to ensure market stability, economic growth and people's livelihood and keep the global supply chains open, stable and secure. Xi expressed his confidence that when the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us, China and the UK will enjoy deeper mutual understanding, more extensive consensus and broader prospects for bilateral cooperation.
Johnson congratulated the Chinese government and people on the remarkable achievements in outbreak containment thanks to the extraordinary efforts and enormous sacrifices. He said that in the face of the severe epidemic situation at home, the UK is studying and drawing upon China's experience and taking science-based and effective response measures. The UK appreciates China's valuable support and help and will do its best to look after Chinese nationals in the country, especially the Chinese students.
The Prime Minister said he fully agrees with President Xi in that no country can stay immune to the pandemic and countries must enhance cooperation. The UK supports the WHO in playing an important role and hopes that parties will deepen cooperation within the G20 and other multilateral frameworks. China will host the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and Britain will hold the 26th UN Climate Change Conference this year. They are good opportunities for the two sides to promote international cooperation in health and epidemic prevention.
Prime Minister Johnson added that he looks forward to keeping in close contact with President Xi and visiting China at an early date when the pandemic is over in an effort to jointly advance UK-China relations.