BEIJING, April 21 (Xinhua) -- China and Japan should cherish their friendship gained in joint anti-epidemic efforts and constantly push forward cooperation, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday during a phone conversation with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.
China and Japan are close neighbors separated by only a narrow strip of water and sharing weal and woe, Wang said, expressing again his sincere sympathies to the Japanese people while expressing the belief that under the leadership of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan will contain the COVID-19 epidemic as soon as possible and eventually defeat it.
By making arduous efforts, Wang said, China has gone through the most difficult time and basically contained the epidemic domestically, but China will not relax or drop guard in the face of risks of imported infections and a relapse.
The Chinese side is trying to speed up work and production resumption on a regular basis as well as to make up for the losses caused by the epidemic as soon as possible, he said.
Since the COVID-19 epidemic broke out, Wang said, the Chinese and Japanese people have been voicing support to each other, deepening their friendship as depicted in the saying: "Though miles apart, we are under the same sky," which shows that the friendship between China and Japan enjoys solid public support and is based on a common cultural heritage, and that there is a good momentum for China and Japan to constantly push forward their relations.
Despite its own difficulties in epidemic prevention and control, China is ready to overcome them and extend a helping hand to the Japanese side, continuing to provide assistance to Japan as needed to the best of its capacity.
The two sides should speed up the implementation of the important consensus reached during the special meeting of leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ASEAN Plus Three), and push forward anti-virus cooperation of countries in the East Asia region, Wang said.
Noting that virus knows no borders, Wang said that countries can only beat the virus through joint response.
Wang said that China has from the start acted in an open, transparent and responsible manner, notified the World Health Organization and other countries of the epidemic situation in a timely manner, shared genome sequencing findings of the virus and shared China's experience without reservation.
Groundless accusations and smearing against China are not constructive, Wang said, noting that compared with the novel coronavirus itself, the "political virus" that sows division and hatred is more destructive and should keep all countries on high alert.
For his part, Motegi expressed appreciation for China's anti-epidemic achievements, and briefed Wang on the current epidemic situation in Japan, while thanking China for its assistance and support to Japan in fighting the epidemic.
Motegi said he believes that China will further share its anti-epidemic experience and facilitate the procurement of medical supplies.
The top priority of the international community is to stay united in the fight against the epidemic, Motegi noted.
He said that as a friendly neighbor, Japan is willing to continue to strengthen international and regional anti-epidemic cooperation with China, earnestly implement the outcomes of the special meeting of leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus China, Japan and South Korea, and jointly provide support to African countries with vulnerable medical systems.