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China ready to step up coronavirus cooperation, Xi tells Putin

China ready to step up coronavirus cooperation, Xi tells Putin

Chinese President Xi Jinping wearing a mask as he gestures to a coronavirus patient and medical staff via a video link at the Huoshenshan hospital in Wuhan, in China's central Hubei province.(Xie Huanchi/XINHUA/AFP)

BEIJING: China is prepared to "work with all other countries" to intensify the global fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic, state media on Friday (Mar 20) 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.

READ: As coronavirus moves west, China offers medical kits to Europe

LISTEN: What's behind the different approaches countries are taking towards COVID-19?

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.

READ: Slovakia gets face masks, coronavirus test kits from China to replenish supplies

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 on Thursday.

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Source: AFP/de


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