BEIJING, Oct. 22 – Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday spoke over phone with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon about the growing Ebola threat and urged the international community to join hands against the deadly virus.
The Ebola epidemic in West Africa, Li noted, has jeopardized the health and lives of the people in the affected countries, severely hindered those nations’ economic development and social stability, and posed a pressing threat to global public health.
The international community must strengthen coordination and cooperation to jointly combat the disease, said the Chinese premier.
The top priority now is to provide more supplies, funds and medical workers for Ebola-hit zones, guide the public to look at and deal with the epidemic in the right way, and consolidate the confidence in winning the battle, he added.
For the long run, the world should beef up development aid for African countries and help them improve their competence in public health, suggested the premier.
Pointing out that China and Africa both belong to the developing camp and enjoy a profound traditional friendship, Li said the Chinese side is deeply concerned about the Ebola-stricken countries.
China, he said, sent in humanitarian aid swiftly after the outbreak, and has since offered multiple batches of emergency assistance and dispatched a largest number of medical experts and workers to the affected areas to help with prevention and control efforts.
Now Beijing is actively planning for the next round of assistance, including boosting public-health aid, with the purpose of helping African countries improve their epidemic prevention and control ability, he added.
China attaches great importance to the trust fund set up by the UN and will provide support within its capacity, Li said, adding that Beijing supports the UN playing a leader-and-coordinator role in aiding Africa and combating Ebola.
For his part, Ban briefed Li on the UN’s efforts and concerns, and spoke highly of China’s aid for the Ebola-hit African countries and its support for the UN.
China’s aid, he said, has effectively shored up the fight against Ebola in the affected areas and boosted the confidence of the people there in tackling the epidemic.
The UN will further promote global solidarity and cooperation and give full play to its special taskforce and trust fund, so as to secure more international aid for beleaguered African countries and effectively prevent the spread of the epidemic, Ban added.
The United Nations, he said, is ready to keep close communication and cooperation with China on the matter. (Xinhua-MCONT online news)