China, EU discuss cooperating on coronavirus vaccine
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen discussed cooperation between China and the European Union (EU) on coronavirus research and vaccine development in a phone call on Wednesday.
Premier Li said that China is willing to strengthen cooperation and communication with the EU on containing COVID-19 and restoring the economy. Li also said he hoped the EU would continue to protect the safety of Chinese citizens in Europe.
Under the current circumstances, China is ready to join hands with the EU to carry forward the spirit of solidarity and boost exchanges and cooperation on the prevention and control of the epidemic as well as on economic recovery, Li said, adding that the virus knows no borders, and both China and the EU advocate multilateralism.
Von der Leyen, for her part, said since the COVID-19 outbreak, the EU and China have maintained close coordination to tide over the difficulties, and the response to the global pandemic requires the solidarity and coordination of all countries in the world.
The EU stands ready to reinforce cooperation with China to fight against the epidemic jointly, restore economic development gradually and carry out international cooperation on the research and development of vaccines and drugs, she added.
EU finance ministers agreed on April 9 to provide 590 billion euros' (640 billion U.S. dollars) worth of support, bringing EU's total fiscal response to the epidemic to 3.2 trillion euros (3.5 trillion dollars).
A host of countries across Europe have started easing their coronavirus lockdowns, allowing people to move around more and businesses to reopen.
Many of these governments have warned that the process of lifting the lockdowns will be slow, and that any sign that loosening the restrictions is causing the virus to spread further will result in old rules being re-implemented.