BEIJING, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- The impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on China-South Korea economic cooperation and people-to-people exchanges will only be temporary, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a phone conversation with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday.
Noting that at the special moment when the Chinese people are fighting against the infectious coronavirus disease, Moon chose to call to express sympathies and support and exchange views on deepening bilateral ties, Xi said that reflects the friendly bond between the two nations, which are close neighbors that always support each other through thick and thin.
Since the novel coronavirus outbreak, Xi stressed, the Chinese government has mobilized resources throughout the country, united all the Chinese people as one, and taken the most comprehensive, rigorous and thorough measures to prevent and control the spread of the COVID-19.
Thanks to those arduous efforts, the situation has witnessed positive changes, he said, stressing that the epidemic will by no means shake the solid foundation of China's long-term stable development.
China, he added, will endeavor to minimize the impact of the epidemic and realize its economic and social development goals.
China's forceful prevention and control measures are not only aimed at safeguarding the lives and health of the Chinese people, but also contributing to the world's public health cause, Xi said.
Xi expressed China's deep gratitude for the care and sympathies as well as the considerable help and support the South Korean government and society have offered to China since the COVID-19 outbreak.
China will continue to strengthen communication and cooperation with South Korea and other countries in an open and transparent manner, so as to tackle the epidemic together and promote the health and well-being of people across the world, said the Chinese president.
He pointed out that China and South Korea are close neighbors and important cooperation partners, and that bilateral relations are enjoying good momentum of development.
Recalling that during their meeting in Beijing at the end of 2019, the two heads of state reached a series of important consensuses, Xi expressed the hope that the two sides will lift the China-South Korea strategic cooperative partnership to higher levels.
Xi said he believes that following the victory against the COVID-19, the friendly feelings between the Chinese and South Korean people will grow even deeper, and bilateral exchanges and cooperation more flourishing.
Moon, for his part, conveyed the South Korean government and people's sincere sympathies to the Chinese people over the epidemic.
The South Korean side applauds China's great efforts in tackling the COVID-19, and believes that under the strong leadership of Xi, the Chinese people will unite as one and win the battle against the epidemic at an early date, he said.
Noting that the two countries are close neighbors and South Korea takes China's difficulties as its own, Moon said his country will firmly stand together with China, and is willing to provide China with more assistance, carry out epidemic prevention cooperation with China, and take this battle as an opportunity to strengthen bilateral health cooperation.
This year is of significance to the development of South Korea-China relations, Moon said, pledging that South Korea stands ready to work with China to deepen cooperation in various fields and score new progress in bilateral relations.