Chinese State Councillor & Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday thanked Turkmenistan for its support for China’s fight against COVID-19, saying unity and cooperation are the best weapons to overcome the pandemic.

Wang made the remarks in a phone call with Rasit Meredow, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.

“Regrettably, some countries continue to politicise the pandemic out of their own interests, slandering and smearing China, and even making various lies. Their words and deeds exceed the moral bottom line of human beings, and will be boycotted by the international community,” Wang stressed.

He said that China is willing to carry out exchanges with Turkmenistan to promote cooperation and minimise the impact of COVID-19.

The two sides should sign a cooperation document for the joint construction of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Turkmenistan’s “Revival of the Ancient Silk Road” plan as soon as possible, and continue to develop long-term stable and strategic cooperation in traditional fields such as natural gas, Wang said.

Both sides should also expand cooperation in the field of medicine and health care and constantly enhance bilateral relations. China is willing to strengthen communication and cooperation in international affairs with Turkmenistan, firmly support each other, and safeguard the common interests of both sides as developing countries and emerging markets, he continued.

Meredow spoke highly of China’s efforts and achievements in fighting the pandemic, and thanked China for taking care of Turkmens in China.

The Turkmen side believes that the pandemic should not be politicised under any circumstances, which is not conducive to international anti-pandemic cooperation, said Meredow.

Turkmenistan has always been committed to strengthening traditional friendly relations with China, he said, adding that the Hong Kong and Xinjiang issues are purely China’s internal affairs, and no country should interfere in line with the principles of the UN Charter.