India and China today agreed that the best way to surmount the challenge posed to India by COVID-19 is to keep global supply lines open to ensure material and logistical support is always hand. In a telephonic chat between Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, the two countries also reiterated the need for coordination on a concerted response to the pandemic.
The phone conversation between the two leaders was arranged at the request of the Chinese side to convey their sympathy and solidarity with India at this juncture, a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said today.
The Indian Foreign Minister apprised Mr Wang of the efforts to battle the second COVID-19 wave, saying the government was determined to do whatever was necessary.
“External Affairs Minister highlighted in this regard that Indian entities were already in the process of commercially procuring required products and raw materials from suppliers in China,” the release said.
“The Minister said that this process would be facilitated if various transport corridors and cargo flights remained open and the necessary logistics support ensured expeditiously,” it said, referring to Mr Jaishankar’s emphasis on the need for “serious international cooperation”.
Mr Wang agreed with Mr Jaishankar and described COVID-19 as a common enemy of mankind. He said China would ensure that all the required materials flow to Indian entities without any delay.
“Chinese companies would be encouraged and supported to deliver requisite materials. Airports, customs and airlines would also be instructed to smoothly facilitate movement of goods,” the release said citing Mr Wang’s assurance.
“Chartered flights from India would be welcome and specific problems raised by the Indian side sorted out quickly. Foreign Minister Wang Yi offered any other appropriate assistance required from the Chinese Government,” it said.