Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday met with the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Germany on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.

Referring to the critical moment when China is fighting the Covid-19 (novel coronavirus) epidemic, Gallagher, on behalf of Pope Francis and Vatican’s secretary of state, conveyed the Holy See’s support for China.

No epidemic is invincible, and this one is no exception. With the great efforts of the Chinese people, the prevention and control of epidemic is heading in a positive direction, Yi said.

China welcomes the visit of WHO expert team and is willing to work closely with the WHO to defeat the epidemic as soon as possible, not only safeguarding the lives and health of Chinese people but also contributing to international public health cause, he noted.

Wang said he believed that the mutual trust and cooperation between China and the WHO will be further consolidated through the fight against this epidemic.

Gallagher said the provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops signed by the two sides in 2018 is of great importance, which is conducive to promoting the well-being of Catholics and the Chinese people as well as world peace.

He said China protects not only its own people but also people from other countries in the world. The WHO sent experts to China not because China lacks capacity but to show solidarity and cooperation.

These important facts need to be understood by the world, and China’s efforts and sacrifices deserve appreciation and gratitude from all countries, Ghebreyesus said.

On Friday, German President Frank Walter Steinmeier accused Washington, Beijing and Moscow of jeopardising the international order by stoking global mistrust and insecurity with a “great powers competition”.

According to Steinmeier, Germany’s response should be to raise defence spending and contribute more to European security and maintain its alliance with the US, recognising that Washington’s interests were shifting away from Europe toward Asia.

Turning to Moscow, Steinmeier accused Russia of annexing Crimea “regardless of international law”.

The German president also addressed China’s crackdown on minorities. “China’s actions against minorities in its own country are disturbing for us all,” he said, referring to reports of the mass detention of Uighurs, a Muslim minority group.

(With inputs from agency)