President Xi Jinping spoke with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali on the phone on 25 February.
President Xi noted that at this critical moment of the Chinese people's fight against the COVID-19 outbreak, this phone call as well as the two letters of sympathies from the Prime Minister attest to the profound friendship and mutual support between China and Ethiopia as comprehensive strategic cooperative partners. Ethiopia has followed WHO recommendations and kept its normal ties and exchanges with China. China appreciates such expression of confidence.
President Xi stressed that the fight against the epidemic is the top priority of the Chinese government. Out of a strong sense of responsibility for the life and health of its own people and that of the world community, China has activated a national response mechanism and taken the most comprehensive, thorough and rigorous measures. Our efforts are producing notable results, leading to a positive turn in the trajectory of the epidemic. The epidemic will not undermine the solid foundation of China's steady development in the long run. Not only do we have the confidence, capability and determination to win this battle, we will also minimize its impact and strive to meet this year's economic and social development targets.
President Xi noted that when African countries were struck by Ebola in 2014, the Chinese government and personnel were the first to provide help, which contributed to controlling the epidemic. Now as China is fighting the COVID-19 outbreak, African countries and people are rendering support through one way or another, fully demonstrating a brotherly friendship of solidarity and mutual assistance between China and Africa in times of difficulty.
African countries also face some challenges in epidemic control. China stands ready to provide additional, urgently needed medical supplies including test reagent. China is also prepared to speed up the implementation of the health care initiative, one of the eight initiatives announced at the FOCAC Beijing Summit, advance work on building the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and step up China-Africa cooperation on public health and disease prevention and control. As for Ethiopian students and all other international students in China, the Chinese side will do its best to care for them like its own.
On behalf of the Ethiopian government and people, Prime Minister Abiy expressed sincere sympathies to the Chinese people, and commended China for its effective response measures. Prime Minister Abiy noted that following a people-centered approach, China has placed the life and health of the people front and center. China's whole-of-nation response to the outbreak has not only effectively contained it in China, but also played an important part in curbing its spread across the world. The international community has witnessed President Xi's strong leadership and China's efficiency in fighting the epidemic, which is truly admirable. Ethiopia is proud of what China has managed to do, and firmly believes that under the wise and strong leadership of President Xi, China will overcome the epidemic at an early date and minimize its impact on economic and social development.
As a close friend and brother, China has always been there whenever Ethiopia needed help. Now that China encounters difficulties, the Ethiopian people will stand with the Chinese people and brave the challenge together. Ethiopia attaches great importance to its comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership with China, and will work with China to deepen cooperation in various fields and pursue greater progress in bilateral relations and Africa-China relations.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Ghana.