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Combating Covid-19: Toward closer China-Asean community

 This meeting is convened at a critical moment when China and Asean are battling the severe challenge of Covid-19.

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Updated: February 20, 2020

The Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) will be held in Laos on Thursday.

This meeting is convened at a critical moment when China and ASEAN are battling the severe challenge of COVID-19. It reflects the firm resolve of China and ASEAN to fight the epidemic and the unique, friendly relationship between our two sides. It will also be a leading example of responding to epidemics through cross-border cooperation.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak at the end of 2019, under the strong leadership of President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government promptly set up a nationwide framework to mobilize personnel and resources from across the country.

The most comprehensive, strict and thorough prevention and control measures have been taken. The utmost efforts have been made to save lives and prevent COVID-19 from further spreading.

The situation is currently on the whole under control, and we are fully confident and capable of winning the battle.

China, as a responsible country, has been updating the international community on COVID-19 at the earliest time possible in an open and transparent manner and engaged in international cooperation to curb the spread of the virus beyond its borders.

While going all-out to protect the safety and health of the Chinese people, China is also making great sacrifices and contributions to the global public health safety.

Six ASEAN member states have also been hit by COVID-19 to different degrees and thus face pressure in prevention and control.

However, all ASEAN countries still have assisted the Chinese government with support.

The ASEAN chairman’s recent statement on “ASEAN Collective Response to the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019” expresses solidarity and the heartfelt support for the Chinese government and people in their tremendous endeavor to address the outbreak of COVID-19.

Leaders of all 10 ASEAN countries expressed, through letters, phone calls, and visits to China, sympathies to China and their confidence and resolve to jointly defeat COVID-19.

People from all walks of life in ASEAN have also cheered on the Chinese people through donations, prayers and video messages. The Chinese people are deeply moved and will keep these heartwarming blessings forever in our heart.

As the current situation remains grim and complicated, China proposes to act as below together with ASEAN:

• China and ASEAN could enhance communication through political channels, especially the upcoming Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, as well as top-level coordination. The confidence and resolve of the people in our region to prevail over the epidemic are thus expected to be strengthened.

• China and ASEAN could deepen public health cooperation, enhance exchange of technology and experiences as well as personnel training in response to COVID-19.

Both sides are determined to work hard to uproot the threat of the epidemic and jointly safeguard the health and safety of the people in our region.

• Restrictive measures disrupting normal trade and movement could hopefully be lifted and cooperation in tourism and other sectors strengthened, as the situation turns for the better.

Both sides will endeavor to minimize the negative impact of the epidemic and maintain the momentum of economic development in East Asia and the larger Asia region.

From the Asian financial crisis to the Indian Ocean tsunami, from the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic to the Wenchuan earthquake, both China and ASEAN have always stood side by side and helped each other in difficult times.

There is no doubt that we will achieve the final victory against this epidemic with the joint efforts of both sides and the larger international community as well.

There is no doubt that close anti-epidemic cooperation will further energize the building of a China-ASEAN community with a shared future.

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The Jakarta Post
About the Author: The Jakarta Post is one of Indonesia's leading English-language daily newspapers.

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