Chinese President Xi Jinping held a phone conversation with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday, with both sides expressing confidence in China's victory in fighting the novel coronavirus epidemic.
Calling Mahathir an old friend of the Chinese people, Xi said that as the Chinese people are sparing no effort in combating the epidemic, the prime minister's proposal to have a phone conversation with him at the critical moment reflects Malaysia's friendly feelings and support for China.
The epidemic will inevitably affect bilateral regular exchanges for the moment, but it will by no means shake the profound friendship between the people of the two countries, Xi said.
While jointly tackling the challenges brought by the epidemic, Xi said, the two sides should continue to deepen their relationship, especially cooperation on the joint construction of the Belt and Road, and create more cooperation results for the benefit of the two countries and their peoples.
Xi said that since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the Chinese government has paid high attention to the situation, mobilized the whole country, united as one and taken the most comprehensive, thorough and rigorous measures on epidemic prevention and control.
Xi said China's efforts have achieved positive results, with the fatality rate kept low, continuous breakthroughs achieved in treatments and the recovery rate steadily rising.
The Chinese government will lead the Chinese people to strengthen confidence, work together, put in place scientific measures for prevention and control, implement targeted strategies, and resolutely win the fight against the epidemic, Xi said.
China will minimize the impact of the epidemic, maintain the momentum of its economic development, strive to achieve the development goals for this year, and continue to firmly move toward its long-term goals, he added.
Noting that the Chinese side has taken strong measures in response to the epidemic, Xi pointed out that China not only takes the responsibility for the health of its people, but also contributes to the cause of global public health, which has been fully recognized by the World Health Organization and other countries in the world.
China will continue to uphold the ideal of building a community with a shared future for mankind, and strengthen cooperation with the international community to achieve a victory against the epidemic, Xi said.
China appreciates the valuable understanding and support extended by the international community to China, Xi said, noting that in China's friendly neighboring countries, including Malaysia, both the governments and civil societies have taken active action to provide China with needed help like "sending charcoal in snowy weather."
It also vividly demonstrates the spirit of helping each other among countries in the region, Xi added.
China will continue to strengthen cooperation on prevention and control of the epidemic with Malaysia and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in an open and transparent manner to jointly safeguard regional public health security, Xi said.
China will also continue to take good care of the Malaysian nationals and other foreign nationals in China as it treats its own people, Xi added.
On behalf of the Malaysian government, Mahathir expressed sympathies to the Chinese government and people over the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Mahathir said that the Malaysian side appreciates China's great efforts and positive progress in the fight against the epidemic, and considers such actions as China's contribution to safeguarding world public security as a responsible major country.
As a sincere friend of China, Malaysia has provided a batch of medical supplies to China and stands ready to offer more assistance, he said, adding that ASEAN countries are willing to cooperate with China on epidemic prevention and control.
Malaysia believes that under Xi's command and leadership, the Chinese people will eventually overcome the epidemic and China will definitely restore normal development, he said.
Mahathir also said that his country highly appreciates China's contribution to promoting Malaysia's development over the years and is willing to deepen practical cooperation with China and advance the bilateral friendly relationship.