Xi expresses concern, offers help for India in message to PM Modi

The Chinese President also said that human beings are a community of destiny, and only through solidarity and cooperation can the nations of the world finally overcome the epidemic.
India is yet to officially acknowledge China’s offer of help, which was first made by the Chinese foreign ministry through the media last week.(PTI photo)
India is yet to officially acknowledge China’s offer of help, which was first made by the Chinese foreign ministry through the media last week.(PTI photo)
Published on May 01, 2021 03:58 AM IST
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BySutirtho Patranobis, Beijing

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday expressed serious concern on the coronavirus pandemic in India, and offered to help fight the outbreak in a message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“China is willing to strengthen anti-pandemic cooperation with India, and provide support and help to the country,” official news agency Xinhua quoted Xi as saying. “I am very concerned about the recent outbreak of new coronary pneumonia in India and would like to express sincere condolences to the Indian government and people on behalf of the Chinese government and Chinese people, and on my own behalf,” Xi added in the message.

The Chinese President also said that human beings are a community of destiny, and only through solidarity and cooperation can the nations of the world finally overcome the epidemic.

“China is ready to strengthen anti-epidemic cooperation with India and provide support and assistance to India. I am confident that under the leadership of the Indian Government, the people of India will be able to overcome the epidemic,” Xi said.

Earlier in the day, the Chinese foreign ministry said local companies have exported more than 3,800 tonnes of medical supplies and ventilators to India in April to help fight the surging Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

The Chinese customs department is also providing clearance to transport liquid oxygen storage tanks and oxygen generators to India from many cities, foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, adding that Chinese provincial governments, NGOs and companies are raising anti-epidemic material that India needs urgently.

The medical and equipment supplies from China to India, however, are mostly being done between companies as New Delhi and Beijing are yet to open a government-to-government route.

India is yet to officially acknowledge China’s offer of help, which was first made by the Chinese foreign ministry through the media last week.

Xi’s remarks come at a time the armies of the two countries are engaged in high-level talks to disengage troops from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) amid a months-long border standoff in eastern Ladakh.

Friday’s update from the foreign ministry came a day after state councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi promised external affairs minister S Jaishankar to do the utmost in supporting India’s fight against current outbreak in India at a faster pace.

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

Following up on minister Wang’s promise, foreign ministry spokesperson Wang said China has always been paying close attention to the development of the pandemic situation in India.

Wang said many sections of Chinese society have taken action to collect material to send to India and to “deliver them to the Indian people as soon as possible”. He added that many donations in this context are being made through unofficial channels.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2022