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Wang Yi: China-Italy Friendship Will Grow in Joint Fight Against COVID-19 Outbreak

On 10 March, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi took a phone call from Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio of Italy.

Di Maio briefed Wang on the latest developments in Italy's epidemic response. He thanked China for offering sympathies and support, and hailed it as a full reflection of the tradition of friendship between the Chinese and Italian people. He said that given the serious situation in Italy, the Italian government is following closely and drawing on China's successful experience and taking strong measures to prevent the spread of the disease. He asked for China's assistance to help address the urgent need for medical supplies and equipment in his country. He also commended the Chinese community in Italy for playing a positive role in the outbreak response, and affirmed Italy's continued willingness to do everything it can to take good care of their health and safety.

Wang said that China, a good friend and comprehensive strategic partner of Italy, fully understands the challenge confronting Italy, and reiterated China's sympathies and support. The epidemic, which knows no boundaries, is a common enemy of mankind and thus requires a united response from the international community. Guided by its vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, China will not only do whatever it takes to protect the health of its own people but also contribute to public health security in the world. In addition to its recent donations to WHO in support of the international cooperation against the outbreak, China is doing its best to help other severely affected countries and those with weak medical systems.

Wang noted that China will never forget the invaluable support from Italy when China was at the most trying moment of its epidemic response. Likewise, China will firmly stand by the Italian people under the current circumstances. Although demand for medical supplies remains high in China, we will overcome difficulties to provide masks and other medical supplies to Italy and increase export of materials and equipment badly needed in Italy. China is ready to send a medical team to Italy if Italy so wishes. Chinese provinces and cities will support and help their sister provinces and cities in Italy, while Chinese companies are also ready to help. Wang expressed confidence that in this joint fight against the disease, relations between the two countries will be deepened and friendship between the two peoples further elevated. He thanked Italy for taking care of the health and safety of Chinese citizens in Italy, and hoped that Italy will continue to provide them with necessary support and assistance. Hand in hand, we will prevail over the epidemic.

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