China ready to step up virus cooperation, Xi tells Putin

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 20 2020 10:18 AM

China ready to step up virus cooperation, Xi tells Putin 1
A woman with a protective mask is seen past a portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping on a street as the country is hit by an outbreak of the coronavirus, in Shanghai, China March 12, 2020. Aly Song, Reuters

BEIJING - China is prepared to "work with all other countries" to intensify the global fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic, state media on Friday quoted President Xi Jinping as saying.

Xi made the comments in a late-night telephone call with Russia's Vladimir Putin, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Chinese leader said Beijing was "willing to make concerted efforts with Russia and all other countries to... safeguard global public health security," the report added.

"China has the confidence, capacity and certainty to achieve the ultimate victory over the epidemic," Xinhua quoted Xi as telling Putin.

The disease, which has now claimed more than 9,800 lives worldwide, first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

It has since spread to 158 countries and territories, according to an AFP tally.

China has faced criticism for not acting quickly enough -- and not disclosing enough information -- as the outbreak erupted.

"Certainly the world is paying a big price for what they did," US President Donald Trump said Thursday.

© Agence France-Presse