BEIJING, April 2 (Xinhua) -- China and Vietnam should strengthen cooperation with regional countries to curb the spread of COVID-19, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in a phone conversation with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Thursday afternoon.
China and Vietnam are important neighbors to each other, Li said.
The virus is currently spreading in many places around the world, including Southeast Asia, Li said, adding that China and Vietnam should work together with other countries in the region, keep close coordination and strengthen cooperation and experience-sharing on epidemic prevention and control, so as to jointly curb the COVID-19 spread in the region, stabilize the industrial chain and supply chain, and maintain regional economic development.
At the beginning of the outbreak in China, Vietnam expressed sympathies and provided material assistance to the Chinese side, Li said, adding that China is ready to provide necessary help and support within its capacity for the Vietnamese side in the anti-virus fight.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to protecting the health as well as legitimate rights and interests of Chinese nationals overseas, Li stressed, expressing his hope that the Vietnamese side will take practical measures to guarantee the safety and living convenience of Chinese nationals in Vietnam.
Li said he also hopes that Vietnam, as the rotating chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for 2020, will continue to make positive efforts to push for the development of China-ASEAN relations.
Nguyen Xuan Phuc, for his part, said that Vietnam and China are good neighbors linked by mountains and rivers.
The Vietnamese side speaks highly of China's important achievements in its fight against the epidemic, and appreciates China's support and assistance provided to Vietnam, he said.
Vietnam is ready to work with China to learn from each other's experience on epidemic prevention and control, and gradually resume exchanges and cooperation in various fields, he said, adding that his country will take measures to guarantee the health and safety of Chinese nationals there.
The prime minister also said that Vietnam is committed to solidarity with all parties to jointly safeguard regional public health and push for the development of ASEAN-China relations.