State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Speaks with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on the Phone

On 3 April, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on the phone.

Wang noted the valuable support given by the German government and people to China at the critical moment of its outbreak response. China feels keenly for Germany in this difficult time and stands firmly with the German people in combating the outbreak until a complete, common victory is secured. While China still needs to concentrate on preventing a possible domestic resurgence, it will do its best to help Germany in light of its needs. Wang expressed confidence that the German people will stay united in fighting the disease and that Germany has the capability to tackle this challenge. China will strengthen bilateral cooperation with Germany to fight the virus. The two countries may also work together to help other countries in need.

Wang said that as major economies and manufacturers, China and Germany should guard against a new round of protectionism arising from the outbreak, jointly safeguard the openness of the multilateral trading regime, and together keep the global industrial and supply chains stable and secure. The Chinese side stands ready to help German companies in China address difficulties they face in resuming work and production. There are many Chinese nationals, including students in Germany, who form a bond of friendship between the two countries. China hopes and believes that Germany will do what is needed to ensure their health and safety.

Wang said that there are individual comments out there accusing China of wasting time in reporting the outbreak. This is completely untrue. China acted at the earliest possible time to report the outbreak to WHO, share the genome sequence of the virus with the rest of the world, engage in international cooperation among epidemic experts, and provide help to other countries hit by the outbreak. These are basic facts and have been fully recognized and applauded by the international community.

Wang stressed that China always attaches great importance to the quality of its exported goods and has put in place strict regulatory measures. Qualified Chinese companies are now operating at full capacity to meet other countries' need for medical supplies. All parties should adopt a fact-based attitude and resolve individual cases regarding product purchase through consultation on an equal footing. Stigmatization of product will do no good to the cooperation against the outbreak.

Maas said he totally shares Wang's observation and noted that given the severe situation, it is unwise to blame others and inappropriate to sensationalize the issue of product quality. No one can deny the fact that China has successfully contained the outbreak through effective measures. The rapid spread of COVID-19 in Europe and across the world calls for stronger international cooperation and joint response. Germany will work with China to enhance cooperation against the outbreak, and jointly safeguard the stability of international supply chains, including the supply of medicines. Germany will maintain communication with China on upcoming important exchanges between Europe and China, and together work for more results from EU-China cooperation.

Wang expressed confidence that China-Germany relations will be further strengthened and expanded through the joint fight against COVID-19.

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