Chinese, Cuban presidents discuss COVID-19 epidemic, bilateral ties over phone

Image result for cuban president miguel diaz-canel with China's Xi

BEIJING, Feb. 29 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping talked over phone with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Friday night to compare notes on the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic and how to further promote bilateral ties.

Xi noted that after the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, Raul Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, and Diaz-Canel immediately extended their sympathies to him, and the Cuban president also paid a special visit to the Chinese embassy in Cuba to express support for China.

That, said the Chinese president, has fully demonstrated the profound traditional friendship between China and Cuba.

In line with the professional guidelines proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO), Cuba has maintained normal exchanges and cooperation between the two countries, which means respect and support of China’s prevention and control work, Xi said.

China, he added, highly appreciates the understanding and support the Cuban side and the Cuban president himself have shown for China’s anti-epidemic efforts.

Xi stressed that since the outbreak of the epidemic, he has been personally leading the response, and the country, with its people united as one, has taken the most comprehensive, rigorous and thorough prevention and control measures.

China has put forward the principle of early detection, early reporting, early isolation and early treatment for prevention and control, and the principle of pooling together patients, experts and resources for concentrated treatment for treatment efforts, he said.

Meanwhile, China has made it a prominent task to improve the admission and cure rates and reduce the infection and mortality rates, added the Chinese president.

Thanks to those arduous endeavors, the positive trend in COVID-19 prevention and control is gathering steam, Xi said, stressing that China has full confidence, capacity and certainty to win the battle against the epidemic.

In this anti-epidemic fight, he stressed, China has always adhered to the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind and an attitude of openness, transparency and responsibility, sharing information with the WHO and the international community in a timely fashion as well as actively responding to the concerns of various sides and strengthening international cooperation, so as to prevent the epidemic from spreading around the world.

Meanwhile, China has also taken strong and effective measures to ensure the health and safety of foreign nationals in China, including Cuban citizens, Xi said.

The WHO and the international community have spoken highly of China’s prevention and control work, he said, adding that China is willing to continue exchanges and cooperation with Cuba in the fields of medicine and epidemic prevention and control.

Xi pointed out that the Chinese nation has experienced many ordeals in its history, but has never been overwhelmed, and that the impact of the epidemic on China’s economy is temporary and the fundamentals of China’s long-term sound economic growth remain unchanged.

The Chinese president added that his country has made coordinated efforts to both contain the epidemic and promote economic and social development.

While making solid and meticulous efforts in epidemic prevention and control, China has adopted a series of policies and measures to restore orderly production and life and ensure realization of this year’s economic and social development goals, he said, reiterating that China has full confidence in it.

China and Cuba are good friends, good comrades and good brothers who can rely on each other in difficult times and are as close as lips and teeth, Xi stressed, adding that bilateral relations have withstood major tests of winds and waves and remained resilient and vibrant.

Xi said the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese government will, as always, support Cuba’s pursuit of a socialist path suitable for its national conditions and its just fight to defend national sovereignty and oppose foreign intervention, and stands ready to continue to provide support and assistance within their capacity for Cuba.

As this year marks the 60th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties, China is willing to work with Cuba to organize the celebrations, and take that as an opportunity to sum up the successful experience in the development of bilateral ties and lift bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields to new levels from a new historical starting point, Xi said.

Diaz-Canel, for his part, said Cuba highly appreciates and firmly supports China’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 epidemic and thanks China for providing help and care for Cuban nationals in China.

Facing the severe challenge of the epidemic, China has united its people as one and adopted swift and effective measures, which have gradually achieved positive results, noted the Cuban leader.

That, he added, has fully demonstrated China’s strong mobilization ability and the great advantages of the socialist system.

China’s timely and effective response made outstanding contributions to restraining the spread of the epidemic, which has been highly appreciated by the international community, including the United Nations and the WHO, Diaz-Canel noted.

He said he is confident that under the strong leadership of the CPC with Xi at its core, and with China’s great comprehensive national strength and experience accumulated in fighting the SARS outbreak in 2003, China will definitely achieve a resounding victory against COVID-19.

Cuba, he added, will stand firmly with China at this difficult time and is willing to provide all possible help for its Chinese brothers at any time.

Cuba sincerely thanks China for its long-standing support for Cuba’s just cause and its assistance for Cuba’s development and construction, Diaz-Canel said.

He added that Cuba stands ready to work with China to further consolidate their traditional friendship, and take the opportunity of celebrating the 60th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties to expand and deepen practical cooperation in various fields, so as to push for greater development of their relations for the benefit of both peoples.

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