Xi says China ready to help South Africa fight COVID-19
Updated 23:26, 08-Apr-2020

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Wednesday night that China stands ready to provide assistance within its capacity for South Africa's battle against COVID-19.

Xi, in a telephone conversation with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, also said China is ready to share useful COVID-19 prevention and control experience with South Africa and strengthen cooperation in the field of health care.

Calling the two countries "comrades and brothers", Xi recalled that the South African government and the community have expressed their sympathy and support to China in various ways when the COVID-19 outbreak hit China.

"We encourage Chinese expatriates in South Africa to actively support and cooperate with the anti-epidemic efforts in South Africa, and hope that the South African government will attach great importance to the safety, health and legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese expatriates." 

The Chinese president also said the Chinese side is willing to enhance political mutual trust with South Africa, understand and support each other on issues concerning each other's core interests and major concerns, promote positive progress in bilateral cooperation, and strengthen cooperation within the framework of BRICS and the G20. 

Noting China and Africa are brothers that share weal and woe, Xi said China has paid close attention to the epidemic situation in Africa and provided anti-epidemic material assistance to the African Union (AU) as well as all African countries that have established diplomatic relations with China.

He added experts from both sides have carried out video exchanges many times, and many Chinese enterprises, local and non-governmental organizations have also actively provided Africa with anti-epidemic materials. 

The international community should uphold the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind, strengthen solidarity, coordination and cooperation, resolutely curb the spread of the pandemic and protect people's life and health, the Chinese president stressed.

He added China is willing to work with South Africa to implement the outcomes of the G20 Leaders' Summit on COVID-19, jointly promote international cooperation on the epidemic prevention and control and safeguard African and global public health security.

Ramaphosa for his side highly appreciates the outstanding achievements China's anti-virus efforts have scored, which he said have set an example for countries across the world.

He expressed gratitude to China for its long-term support to South Africa and African countries, especially for providing valuable assistance in fighting the pandemic at this difficult time.

"This is very important for South Africa and African countries and increases our confidence in fighting the epidemic," the South African president added.

South Africa will continue to support China on issues involving China's core interests and firmly promote the development of the relations between African countries and China, said Ramaphosa.