External Affairs Minister S. Jayashankar called his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi to discuss the effect of the novel coronavirus in both the countries. In the telephonic conversation on Tuesday, Wang urged India not to brand the virus as ‘Chinese’ as it would be detrimental to China’s image in the world, Hindustan Times reported.
China’s request to India comes days after US President Donal Trump called coronavirus- Chinese virus, and refused to budge from his stance.
China said it hopes that India is “opposed” to the narrow mindset of using the phrase “China virus”.
Chinese ambassador to India Sun Weidong said in a tweet: “Dr. Jaishankar agreed not to label the virus and the international community should send a strong signal of solidarity.’’
Weidong elaborated on the conversation between the two foreign ministers and wrote: “China is confident that India can handle and win the battle against Covid-19. China and India should support each other, and jointly safeguard global public health.”
Wang extended China’s solidarity with India in the fight against Covid-19. Weidong quoted Wang as saying: “China is ready to share our experience, provide assistance within our capacity and open its channel for procurement to India.”
Jaishankar thanked China for its solidarity message and the assistance of medical materials to India.
Recently, China and US had engaged in the war of words where they put the blame on each other over the spread of the virus. China accused the US military of spreading the virus in the Asian country, while the US filed a $20 trillion lawsuit against China accusing the country of developing the virus in the first place.
The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at the regular ministry briefing on Tuesday: “China has repeatedly reiterated that some individuals in the US have deliberately linked the new coronavirus to China and constantly stigmatized China. The Chinese people are strongly indignant and resolutely opposed to this. Both WHO and the international community are clearly opposed to linking viruses to specific countries and regions and against stigma,” as per the Hindustan Times report.