June 12, 2020 / 12:27 PM / a month ago

Germany says China shouldn't decide if we have face masks

FILE PHOTO: German Health Minister Jens Spahn gives a statement, after the weekly cabinet meeting, on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Berlin, Germany, April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

BERLIN (Reuters) - Europe needs to become more independent in supplying itself with face masks and certain medicines as it battles the coronavirus outbreak, German Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Friday.

“It’s not about calling globalisation into question - it’s about finding the right degree of globalisation,” Spahn told a news conference.

“When it comes to face masks and certain medications, we’ve seen that we should not make ourselves completely dependent on the global market. Decisions should not be made in China about whether we have protective masks for carers or doctors in Warsaw, Amsterdam or Berlin,” Spahn said.

Economy Minister Peter Altmaier has previously said that the coronavirus pandemic has shown Europe is too reliant on other countries for some medical supplies, and European states should work together to further diversify international supply chains.

Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Paul Carrel

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