Boris Johnson speaks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping about coronavirus outbreak

Ted Hennessey
Johnson came under pressure to dismiss adviser Andrew Sabisky: AP

Boris Johnson has spoken with Chinese leader Xi Jinping about the coronavirus outbreak, Number 10 has confirmed.

The Prime Minister offered his sympathies to those affected by the virus, while President Xi thanked the UK for its support.

It is the first time they have talked since the Prime Minister's father met with Chinese ambassador, Liu Xiaoming, to discuss environmental issues two weeks ago.

After the visit, Stanley Johnson warned that Chinese officials were concerned over the lack of support they had recieved from the Prime Minister following the outbreak.

Boris Johnson's father Stanley (AFP via Getty Images)

An email was sent by Mr Johnson to environment minister Lord (Zac) Goldsmith and other officials, but mistakenly included the BBC among the recipients.

But the Prime Minister spoke to President Xi over the phone on Tuesday, where he reiterated the crucial relationship between the UK and China.

China's president responded by telling Mr Johnson that he was thankful to the UK for its donation of medical equipment to battle the virus.

Chinese President Xi Jinping was thankful to the UK after its donation of medical supplies (AP)

A Downing Street spokeswoman said: "The Prime Minister spoke to President Xi of China this morning.

"He offered his sympathies for those affected by the outbreak of coronavirus in China.

"President Xi thanked the UK for its support and in particular welcomed the donation of vital medical equipment to China.

"The Prime Minister and president agreed on the importance of the UK-China relationship and resolved to work together across a range of issues including strengthening the economic partnership, to benefit the people of both China and the UK.

"Ahead of COP26 in Glasgow and the Convention on Biological Diversity Summit in China, the two leaders resolved to work closely together on the issue of climate change.

"They agreed that biodiversity and climate change are two sides of the same coin and must be addressed in tandem if we're to protect the planet for future generations."

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