ASEAN, China enhance cooperation in response to COVID-19
Updated : 2/21/2020 10:52:49 AM (GMT+0700)

A special meeting of the ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) anda special conference of ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers on cooperation inresponding to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) took place in Vientiane, Laos,on February 20.

At the meeting - Photo: VNA

The ACC’s special meeting, initiated by Vietnam as Chair ofASEAN, was attended by the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN member countries and theASEAN Secretary-General.

Chairing the meeting, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister andForeign Minister Pham Binh Minh said the event was a step to timely implementthe ASEAN Chair’s Statement released on February 14 on the bloc’s collectiveresponse to COVID-19.

Minh stressed that in the face of the epidemic, ASEAN needsto promote its cohesive and responsive spirit, and intensify cooperation withinthe bloc as well as between the bloc and its partners for the effectiveresponse to challenges posed by COVID-19, thus preventing negative impacts onpeople’s life and member countries’ development as well as the process ofcommunity building and ASEAN’s joint activities.

Listening to the ASEAN Secretary General’s update on theCOVID-19 epidemic situation and ASEAN’s response so far, the ACC welcomed thetimely and effective measures of member countries, the health care cooperationchannel and ASEAN specialized agencies in sharing information and experience inpreventing, diagnosing, treating and controlling the disease.  

Deputy PM Minh proposed the next steps for ASEAN based on theASEAN Chair’s statement, including promoting joint efforts and actions of theASEAN Community through the transparent sharing of information; smooth andeffective coordination among relevant agencies in the ASEAN system and at bothnational and regional levels as well as international cooperation for theeffectively response to and control of the disease.

He also urged more support for nationals of ASEAN membercountries in needy situations, and mutual trust and help among membercountries.

At the same time, Minh suggested pursuing a balanced approachto combating the epidemic and maintaining open economic connectivity policieswhile upholding responsibilities of the Governments in disseminating preciseand timely information related to the epidemic situation and preventionmeasures to their citizens and member countries.

The ACC will compile a report on the COVID-19 situation to besubmitted to ASEAN leaders at the 36th ASEAN Summit, slated to takeplace in Vietnam in April.

On the occasion, Deputy PM Minh affirmed that ASEANactivities in Vietnam in 2020 will go ahead as schedule, and Vietnam will takemeasures to ensure safety for participants.

After the ACC special meeting, the Foreign Ministers of 10ASEAN member states and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yiattended another special meeting to discuss ways to cope with the COVID-19 epidemic.

FM Wang Yi informed the meeting on the situation of COVID-19in Wuhan and other localities of China. He thanked the regional countries andthe international community for their material and spiritual support for China,and pledged to work to ensure the safety and the best support for ASEANcitizens living, working and studying in China.

ASEAN Foreign Ministers affirmed their solidarity and supportfor China’s efforts in combating the epidemic. They offered sympathy to Chinafor the great losses caused by COVID-19 while expressed the belief that withthe Chinese Government’s resolve, capacity and strong measures, the countrywill overcome difficulties and put the epidemic under control

The Foreign Ministers of ASEAN and China agreed to push aheadwith the sharing of information and best practice, and help enhance capacity indiagnosis and research on vaccine and medicine for COVID-19 through availablecooperative channels between the two sides. ASEAN and China also affirmed thatthey will try to minimise the epidemic’s impacts on their respective countries’socio-economic development while maintaining economic, trade, investment andtourism exchange between the two sides.

Deputy PM and FM Minh shared Vietnam’s disease control workand cooperation with China over the recent time in the field, and pledged thatVietnam will continue to promote effective cooperation within ASEAN and betweenASEAN and partners, especially China, in fighting COVID-19.

At the end of the meeting, the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN andChina passed a statement of the Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’Meeting on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Source: VNA

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