France, China seek emergency G20 talks over coronavirus: French presidency


PARIS, March 23, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – France and China agree on the need for
emergency talks by leaders of the G20 major economies on coordinating an
international response to the coronavirus crisis, the French presidency said

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke by telephone with his Chinese
counterpart Xi Jinping on Monday, after Saudi Arabia, which currently
presides over the G20, last week called for a “virtual” summit.

“The two leaders agreed a summit would be helpful in particular on the
health front… and on the economic front” the Elysee Palace said in a
statement, citing “coordinated fiscal and monetary measures.”

France sent medical aid to China in January as it battled the virus
outbreak that emerged in the city of Wuhan in December. Beijing returned the
favour by supplying masks and other equipment to Italy, France and other
hard-hit European countries.

“The presidents agreed that their teams will remain in close contact over
technical cooperation as well as material needs to combat this epidemic,” the
statement said.

Saudi Arabia has called for an extraordinary videoconference of G20 leaders
as the economic fallout from the coronavirus lockdowns spreading worldwide
hammered financial markets, putting many countries on course for a recession.