NATIONAL

China thanks India for support during health crisis

Sun Weidong

Sun Weidong  

We will look after Indian nationals as our own, says envoy

China appreciates the support and solidarity that India has extended in its fight against COVID-19, Beijing’s envoy said on Tuesday. At a press conference, Sun Weidong said China and India had been in close contact to deal with the threat, and promised that Beijing would look after Indian nationals in China as its own.

“Virus is borderless and a common threat to everyone in the world. Facing this common challenge, we need to strengthen cooperation, enhance mutual understanding, show solidarity, and jointly overcome difficulties,” Mr. Sun said emphasising that the threat from the virus would be defeated by the joint efforts of China and the global community. He said kind gestures from common people in India had left a lasting impression on him.

The envoy said the infection was “preventable, controllable and curable” and that China had acted in a decisive manner to deal with the public health crisis. The embassy here had established a “contact mechanism” with the Health Ministry of India for regular updates.

On February 9, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote to President Xi Jinping extending India’s assistance to fight the outbreak. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar had spoken to his counterpart, Wang Yi, and sought an objective evaluation of the crisis. “We appreciate and thank the solidarity and support rendered by India,” the envoy said.

Economic impact

Elaborating on the multi-layered measures activated by Beijing, he highlighted the roles played by President Xi and Premier Li Keqiang in setting up emergency measures. He acknowledged that the health crisis had made a “certain impact” on the Chinese economy but described the setback as “local, temporary and limited”.

“So far there is no report of infection for the Indian citizens in China,” he added.

The envoy said both China and India were facing similar public health challenges and there was “huge potential” for collaboration. “We are ready to explore opportunities with India for cooperation in areas of public health and science,” the ambassador added.

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