|State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Speaks with Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena of Sri Lanka on the Phone|
State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a telephone call with Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena of Sri Lanka on 24 April.
Wang noted the long-lasting friendship and the tradition of sincere mutual assistance between the peoples of China and Sri Lanka. He expressed appreciation for Sri Lanka's firm support for China in the joint fight against COVID-19. As a demonstration of solidarity, the Prime Minister and people of Sri Lanka prayed together for China. The Embassy of Sri Lanka in China flew its flag at half-mast on China's national day of mourning. China will always remember these heart-warming acts.
Wang said that China feels for Sri Lanka as it battles COVID-19 and will continue to provide anti-epidemic supplies needed by Sri Lanka and share containment, diagnostic and treatment experience. China is confident that Sri Lanka will prevail over the virus at an early date. Wang thanked Sri Lanka for looking after the Chinese nationals there like family, and reassured Minister Gunawardena that China will continue to protect the safety and health of the Sri Lankans in the country.
Wang underscored China's readiness to work with Sri Lanka for an effective joint response to COVID-19, resume major cooperation projects in an orderly way, and ensure continued functioning of production and supply chains. He also expressed confidence in the further deepening of China-Sri Lanka relations after the eradication of COVID-19.
Wang stressed that the virus is not just a threat to the health and safety of people around the world, but also a test of human conscience and morality. This is a time for international solidarity in the face of a common challenge, yet some people are using the situation for political manipulation, shifting the blame for their ineffective response to COVID-19, and even hitting out at WHO. This is simply inhumane as countries are under grave threat from the virus, particularly when patients are struggling against death. By doing so, they are turning themselves against the people by siding with the virus and must be pushed back by the whole international community. China will stand with Sri Lanka to firmly support WHO in playing its due role in the world's fight against COVID-19.
Gunawardena applauded China's achievements in its COVID-19 response and stressed that China's action has not only safeguarded the health and safety of the Chinese people, but also given strength to other countries' battle against the virus. He extended Sri Lanka's appreciation for China's anti-epidemic supplies assistance and the contribution of the Chinese nationals in Sri Lanka to its containment efforts. The virus is mankind's common enemy and requires a collective and united response. Sri Lanka appreciates China's firm support to WHO, which is important for Sri Lanka and other developing countries. Sri Lanka will firmly stand on China's side and hopes to see WHO continue to play an important role in fighting COVID-19.