President Xi Jinping of China sent Prime Minister Narendra Modi a message on Friday offering China assistance in resolving the COVID-19 crisis.
Mr. Xi’s message came after a message from Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to his counterpart S. Jaishankar on Thursday, which was the first known contact between the two leaders following the pandemic and last year’s border crisis.
“Concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic in India have piqued my interest. I would like to express sincere sympathies to the Indian Government and people on behalf of the Chinese government and people, as well as in my own name,” Mr. Xi said in the post, which was posted on Twitter by China’s Ambassador to India Sun Weidong.
“Humanity is a group of people who share a common future. Countries around the world can only fight the pandemic through unity and cooperation, he said.
“In fighting the pandemic, the Chinese side stands ready to reinforce cooperation with the Indian side and provide support and assistance.” I am certain that the Indian people will triumph over the pandemic under the leadership of the Indian government.”
“Anti-pandemic materials manufactured in China are entering India at a faster rate to help India battle the epidemic,” Foreign Minister Wang said on Thursday.
China is currently supplying a significant number of orders for oxygen concentrators, ventilators, and other medical supplies. According to Chinese customs info, China has “supplied more than 5000 ventilators, 21,569 oxygen generators, over 21.48 million masks, and about 3,800 tonnes of medicines to India” since April, according to Mr. Sun, the Chinese envoy. This was bought on the open market.
Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, said on Friday that “all social sectors in China are busy taking steps” to support India.
“The Chinese Red Cross Society, local governments, numerous non-governmental organizations, and Chinese businesses are all working hard to collect anti-epidemic supplies desperately needed by India and provide them to Indian citizens as quickly as possible,” he said. “Anti-epidemic supplies and medical equipment manufacturers in China are working against the clock to ensure efficiency. More anti-epidemic materials will be sent to India in the coming days.”
“Freight air routes from China to India are operating normally,” he said, adding that “a number of freight flights from China to India have remained in service for the past two weeks.” “Appropriate Chinese authorities have provided and continue to provide convenience in customs clearance and transportation for India to transport liquid oxygen tanks, oxygen concentrators, and other materials from many Chinese cities,” he added. “China will continue to ensure that the material export channel to India runs smoothly.”
China joined Australia is effectively banning its nationals from returning to India on Friday. While no formal announcement has been made, Chinese nationals in India have been informed that the Embassy in New Delhi will no longer issue “health codes” that are needed for travel to China.
Since there are no direct flights between India and China, the Embassy in Delhi imposed new restrictions last week, prohibiting transit through certain countries, including Nepal. The issuance of health codes on the only permitted transit routes across Germany and Oman has now been temporarily halted as well. Since November of last year, Indian citizens and foreigners based in India have been prohibited from traveling to China.