Xi: China and US must unite to fight virus; G20 leaders pledge $5 T to global economy

Published March 27, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Agence France-Presse

Beijing/Riyadh- China and the United States should ”unite to fight” the deadly coronavirus pandemic that has ravaged the globe, said President Xi Jinping in a call with US counterpart on Friday, according to state media.

 

The US has overtaken China as the country with the most confirmed coronavirus cases (AFP Photo/Frederic J. BROWN)
The US has overtaken China as the country with the most confirmed coronavirus cases (AFP Photo/Frederic J. BROWN)

The two countries have clashed in recent weeks over the virus, but Xi told President Donald Trump that China ”wishes to continue sharing all information and experience with the US,” said state broadcaster CCTV.

The two leaders appeared to strike a conciliatory tone after Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo angered Beijing this month by repeatedly referring to ”the Chinese virus” when discussing the COVID-19 outbreak first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Earlier this month a foreign ministry spokesman in Beijing also suggested in a tweet that the US military brought the virus to Wuhan.

Friday’s call also took place as the US overtook China as the country with the most coronavirus cases — the pathogen has now infected more than 82,400 people in the world’s largest economy.

Xi said Sino-US relations were at a ”critical juncture,” CCTV said, adding that cooperation was mutually beneficial and ”the only right choice.”

”I hope that the US will take substantive actions to improve Sino-US relations, and both sides can work together to strengthen cooperation in fighting the epidemic,” he said.

Some provinces, cities and companies in China have provided medical supplies and support to the US as well, Xi added.

United front

G20 nations pledged a ”united front” Thursday in the fight against coronavirus, saying they were injecting $5 trillion into the global economy to counter the pandemic amid forecasts of a deep recession.

US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin joined the emergency videoconference chaired by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, who called for coordinated action while facing pressure to end an oil price war between Riyadh and Moscow that has roiled energy markets.

The talks come amid criticism that the G20 has been slow to address the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left more than 21,000 dead worldwide and triggered financial shock waves as more than three billion people are locked down.

”We are strongly committed to presenting a united front against this common threat,” the leaders said in a joint statement after the summit.

”We are injecting over $5 trillion into the global economy, as part of targeted fiscal policy, economic measures, and guarantee schemes to counteract the social, economic and financial impacts of the pandemic.”

The figure was a sum total of the fiscal stimulus packages adopted by individual G20 states, the Chinese foreign ministry said, adding that Beijing’s share amounted to $344 billion.

As concerns mount for poorer countries without access to capital markets or adequate health facilities, G20 leaders also pledged to work with bodies such as the International Monetary Fund to deploy a ”robust” financial package to support developing nations.

 

 
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