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China’s Yang Jiechi Told Pompeo, Our Countries Must Cooperate on Fighting COVID-19 Pandemic

March 17, 2020 (EIRNS)—U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo initiated a call yesterday with China’s Yang Jiechi, the Politburo member in charge of foreign policy, to lodge a complaint over the statements made by Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhang Lijian about the U.S. military possibly having transmitted COVID-19 to Wuhan during military exercises last October. The State Department presented the call as Pompeo giving the Chinese a tongue-lashing.

The Chinese read-out was rather different. Xinhua reported that Yang had spoken with Pompeo “at the latter’s request, noting that the top priority now is for the international community to carry out active cooperation in fighting COVID-19.” Yang emphasized “that the epidemic prevention and control situation has steadily made headway in China as a result of the arduous nationwide efforts led by Chinese President Xi Jinping.” He stressed that China had been transparent and cooperative throughout, and that it was now carrying out

“international cooperation and provided some countries with donations and support within its capability.... [Yang warned that] any move to harm the interests of China will be countered resolutely. China urges the United States to take into consideration the common interests and will of the peoples in both countries and around the world.”

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