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Chinese President Xi Jinping writes to PM Modi, offers to help India fight COVID-19

Beijing, April 30

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and expressed readiness to strengthen cooperation with India to fight the pandemic and provide support and help to deal with the current surge of COVID-19 cases in the country.

President Xi sent a message of sympathy to Prime Minister Modi over the COVID-19 pandemic in India, the official media here reported.

“I am very concerned about the recent situation of COVID-19 pandemic in India. On behalf of the Chinese Government and people, as well as in my own name, I would like to express sincere sympathies to the Indian Government and people,” according to the message from President Xi to Prime Minister Modi.

“The Chinese side stands ready to strengthen cooperation with the Indian side in fighting the pandemic and provide support and help in this regard. I believe that under the leadership of the Indian Government, the Indian people will surely prevail over the pandemic,” Xi said.

“Humanity is a community with a shared future. Only through solidarity and cooperation can countries around the world ultimately defeat the pandemic,” the Chinese president said.

India on Friday logged 3,86,452 new coronavirus infections, the highest single-day rise so far, pushing the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 1,87,62,976, while active cases crossed the 31-lakh mark. The death toll increased to 2,08,330 with 3,498 new fatalities.

On Thursday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi promised to do the utmost in supporting India’s fight against the COVID-19 surge and said that anti-pandemic materials produced in China were entering India at a faster pace.

In his letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Wang said that the Chinese side “shares empathy for the challenges facing India and expresses sincere sympathy”.

“The coronavirus is the common enemy of mankind, and the international community needs solidarity and coordination for a concerted response. The Chinese side firmly supports the Indian Government and people in fighting the pandemic,” he wrote in the letter.

Wang said that anti pandemic materials produced in China are entering India at a faster pace to help India fight the epidemic.

The messages from President Xi and Foreign Minister Wang to Prime Minister Modi and External Affairs Minister Jaishankar came amidst  tensions along the disputed border between India and China.

The militaries of the two countries are yet to agree on disengagement from the remaining areas of eastern Ladakh after the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the North and South banks of Pangong Lake in February following a series of military and diplomatic talks.

The two sides are now engaged in talks to extend the disengagement process to the remaining friction points.

Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told media briefing here on Friday that China has exported 26,000 ventilators and oxygen generators to India this month. 

Since April, China has exported more than 26,000 ventilators and oxygen generators, more than 15,000 medical monitors, and nearly 3,800 tonnes of medical materials and medicines to India, he said in response to a question.

China’s relevant anti-epidemic materials and medical equipment companies are working hard and working around the clock to speed up production, he said.

He also said cargo flights to India are in smooth operation. In the recent two weeks, multiple flights have been conducted from China to India, he said.

On April 26, state-run Sichuan Airlines, which operates 11 cargo flights to India has suspended causing disruption of procurement of oxygen concentrators by private companies to from India to augment supplies. 

After media reports, the airline has retracted its decision and said it is working out a new plan to resume the services.

But so far it has not announced any new schedule.

China reported the first COVID-19 case in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019 and since then the deadly disease has become a pandemic, affecting more than 150,618,000 people and over 3,168,500 deaths worldwide.