Champagne discusses coronavirus response, evacuation with China counterpart

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OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne has spoken to his Chinese counterpart about the coronavirus outbreak, a day after the World Health Organization called it a global health emergency.

A statement from Champagne’s office today says he and China’s Wang Yi also discussed the situation of the two Canadians imprisoned in China without access to lawyers or family members for more than a year.

Canada is seeking Chinese approval to send a plane to the Chinese city of Wuhan to collect the 196 Canadians who have asked for help to leave.

Champagne says Wang responded positively to that request.

Champagne says he expressed solidarity with the Chinese people’s suffering from the outbreak and offered Canada’s help during their Thursday phone call.

Champagne also commended the Chinese government for its “fact-based response” to the crisis.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 31, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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