|Joint Fight Against COVID-19 Injects Fresh Energy to China-Czech Friendship|
In a recent telephone conversation, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Czech President Milos Zeman spoke highly of the cooperation between the two countries in meeting the challenge of COVID-19. As President Xi said, "Virus knows no borders or races, and we humankind can only win by fighting together."
China and the Czech Republic have supported each other in the battle against the novel coronavirus. This has injected fresh energy to their friendship. When China was facing difficulty, President Zeman expressed Czech people’s solidarity with the Chinese people. “The Czech Republic will stand with the Chinese people,” wrote Zeman in his letter to his Chinese counterpart. The Czech side organized donations from across the nation and dispatched a special plane to deliver urgently-needed medical supplies to China.
Later,when the Czech people had to confront the pandemic in their own country, the Chinese side made tremendous effort to facilitate the Czech purchase and transport of medical supplies. Thanks to effective cooperation and coordination, an air bridge was successfully established within a very short period of time. A race against time, indeed, for more lives would be at risk if necessary protective gears fails to arrive in time.
Chinese and Czech medical experts have also shared their experience diagnosing and treating of the disease. Czech Deputy Health Minister Roman Prymula, who himself is a leading epidemiology expert, attended the video conference between health ministers from China and Central and Eastern European countries. Local governments, companies, and people from all sectors in both countries have made donations to support each other. With every gesture of solidarity, our two countries and peoples are brought closer to each other.
In addition to applauding the joint fight against COVID-19, Xi and Zeman also agreed to work toward a bright future for China-Czech relations after the pandemic. The two sides will step up their coordination of macroeconomic policy and make joint efforts with the international community to meet the challenge to the economy posed by the pandemic.
The pandemic has adversely impacted economic cooperation and trade between China and the Czech Republic,with bilateral trade has declining for the first time in recent years. Direct air links and freight train services have been suspended. Exchanges between business sectors have been significantly reduced.
Under such circumstances, it is our common task to overcome the adverse impacts and restore the momentum of our economic cooperation and trade. China will work with the Czech side to get cooperation back to normal as soon as possible in such fields as trade, investment, finance, interconnectedness, and cultural exchanges. At the same time, it is also important for both sides to grasp new trends in the post-pandemic era. We need to do more in new areas of cooperation such as medical and health care, vaccine research and development, artificial intelligence, digital economy and cross-border e-commerce,to deepen and enrich our Belt and Road cooperation. These are very promising areas in which we can expect significant progress and growth.
We are blessed with favorable opportunities to advance our cooperation. Zeman will visit China and attend the 9th Summit of China-Central and Eastern European Countries. Preparation is underway to ensure more tangible results. The Czech Republic has been invited to participate in the 3rd China International Import Expo. It took part in the previous two and its popular Czech Pavilion did a great job in promoting Czech brands and services. The Czech side is also invited to take part in the 127th Canton Fair, which will be held online this year. Our two trade ministries are exploring concrete measures to facilitate trade between the two countries. Through the above-mentioned major cooperation platforms, we will be able to steer our Belt and Road cooperation onto a new fast lane.
The joint fight against COVID-19 has one important message for us all:we live in one global village and have a shared future. China is committed to working together with the Czech Republic to deepen our strategic partnership and as we do so, make our joint contribution to a better future for the world at large.