Premier, EU Chief hold talks

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BEIJING: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang spoke over phone with European Commission President Ursula Vonder Leyen, with both sides expressing commitment to beefing up cooperation to fight against the COVID-19 epidemic.
Li said that in the face of the global spread of the epidemic, China and the European Union (EU) have been supporting and helping each other. 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.
China hopes that the EU will continue to provide security guarantee for the Chinese nationals in Europe, he said. Li pointed out that the virus knows no borders, and both China and the EU advocate multilateralism.
The EU has responded positively to the initiatives of the United Nations and the World Health Organization to carry out international cooperation in combating the epidemic, Li said.
China is ready to work with the EU to actively participate in the research, development and production of vaccines, drugs and diagnostic reagents and provide support to those places where the public health systems are weak, he said.
The Chinese premier expects the international community to make joint efforts and overcome the epidemic at an early date.
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.
The response to the global pandemic requires the solidarity and coordination of all countries in the world, she said.
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.