President Xi says China will continue to support South Africa, Hungary over COVID-19

Chinese President Xi Jinping held separate phone talks with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday.

Speaking to Ramaphosa, Xi said China and South Africa are "good brothers" and China will continue support for South Africa against the pandemic and provide assistance within its capacity.

China is willing to maintain regular communication with South Africa, advance the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two nations and strengthen cooperation within such frameworks as BRICS and the G20, Xi said.

He also offered sympathies over the economic difficulties amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

As of Friday, South Africa has reported a total of 12,739 cases of COVID-19 with 238 deaths nationwide, according to the latest statistics compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Ramaphosa said South Africa and China share a consensus on many issues and enjoy sound and strong relations.

Expressing gratitude for China's help in fighting the disease, Ramaphosa said China is a "true friend" and "reliable partner" of South Africa and African countries.

South Africa is willing to support China on issues concerning its core interests, he said.

Medical supplies donated by the Chinese government are seen at the Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport in Budapest, Hungary, April 29, 2020. /Xinhua

Medical supplies donated by the Chinese government are seen at the Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport in Budapest, Hungary, April 29, 2020. /Xinhua

In the phone call with Orban, Xi said China firmly supports the Hungarian government and people's efforts in fighting the coronavirus and will continue to provide support to the Hungarian side.

China firmly supports the United Nations and World Health Organization in fighting the pandemic and is ready to work with all countries including Hungary in the prevention and control of the coronavirus. 

Hungary has reported 3,417 infections and 442 deaths, according to a tally by the John Hopkins University.

The Chinese government and companies have donated several batches of medical supplies including face masks, test kits, ventilators and protective suits to Hungary since March.

Orban expressed gratitude to the Chinese government and people for their support and praised China's successful containment of the epidemic.

Xi also stressed the bilateral cooperation after defeating the pandemic. He said the two sides should maintain high-level exchanges, strengthen economic, trade and financial cooperation and explore cooperation in the digital economy and AI.

Orban echoed Xi. He said Hungary is willing to strengthen cooperation with China in areas such as trade and finance and is ready to support and participate in the framework of the China and Central and Eastern European countries.

He also said the Hungarian government always upholds the one-China principle.

(Cover: Medical supplies donated by China arrive at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, April 14, 2020. /Xinhua)