China urges G20 nations to cut tariffs, facilitate unfettered flow of trade to combat COVID-19 crisis

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday urged the G20 member nations to take collective actions for cutting tariffs, removing barriers and facilitating the unfettered flow of trade amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

China urges G20 nations to cut tariffs, facilitate unfettered flow of trade to combat COVID-19 crisis

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday urged the G20 member nations to take collective actions for cutting tariffs, removing barriers and facilitating the unfettered flow of trade amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the G20 virtual summit on the COVID-19 pandemic hosted by Saudi Arabia, Jinping said, "I want to call on all G20 members to take collective actions — cutting tariffs, removing barriers, and facilitating the unfettered flow of trade. Together, we can send a strong signal and restore confidence for global economic recovery. The G20 needs to draw up an action plan and promptly set up communication mechanisms and institutional arrangements for anti-epidemic macro policy coordination."

He added, "We need to enhance international macro-economic policy coordination. The outbreak has disrupted production and demand across the globe. Countries need to leverage and coordinate their macro policies to counteract the negative impact and prevent the world economy from falling into recession."

"We need to implement strong and effective fiscal and monetary policies to keep our exchange rates basically stable. We need to better coordinate financial regulation to keep global financial markets stable. We need to jointly keep the global industrial and supply chains stable," he added. 

He also said, "What China will do in this regard is to increase its supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients, daily necessities, and anti-epidemic and other supplies to the international market. What's more, we also need to protect women, children, the elderly, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups and provide for people's basic needs. China will continue to pursue a proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy. We will continue to advance reform and opening-up, widen market access, improve the business environment, and expand imports and outbound investment to contribute to a stable world economy."

Speaking on being the first nation to face the wrath of the COVID-19, he said, "Facing the COVID-19 outbreak that caught us all by surprise, the Chinese government and Chinese people have been undaunted as we took on this formidable task. From day one of our fight against the outbreak, we have put people's life and health first."

"We have acted according to the overall principle of shoring up confidence, strengthening unity, ensuring science-based control and treatment and imposing targeted measures. We have mobilized the whole nation, set up collective control and treatment mechanisms and acted with openness and transparency. What we fought was a people's war against the outbreak. We have put up a strenuous struggle and made tremendous sacrifices. Now the situation in China is moving steadily in a positive direction. Life and work are quickly returning to normal. Yet, there is no way we will lower our guard or relax control," he said.

"At the most difficult moment in our fight against the outbreak, China received assistance and help from a lot of members of the global community. Such expressions of friendship will always be remembered and cherished by the Chinese people. Major infectious disease is the enemy of all. As we speak, the COVID-19 outbreak is spreading worldwide, posing an enormous threat to life and health and bringing a formidable challenge to global public health security. The situation is disturbing and unsettling," he added.

"At such a moment, it is imperative for the international community to strengthen confidence, act with unity and work together in a collective response. We must comprehensively step up international cooperation and foster greater synergy so that humanity as one could win the battle against such a major infectious disease," he also said.