China, ASEAN, other regional countries to step up cooperation in post-pandemic recovery | Eurasia Diary -

25 October,

China, ASEAN, other regional countries to step up cooperation in post-pandemic recovery

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 Foreign ministers of China, member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other regional countries agreed to further strengthen cooperation in economic recovery in the post-COVID-19 era during the 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting and related meetings which wrapped up here Saturday, Chinese news reports. 

As COVID-19 response and post-pandemic recovery took up a bulk of the meetings' topics, China, the ASEAN member countries and other regional countries repeatedly stressed the importance of joint efforts in effectively addressing the issue.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi addressed on the issue on multiple occasions during the meetings, which were held under the chair of Vietnam, the rotating chair of ASEAN for this year.

"The most urgent task of the summit is to gather consensus in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, promote the revival of economic cooperation, and maintain the overall situation of regional peace and development," Wang said via a video link at the East Asia Summit on Thursday, which celebrates the 15th anniversary of its founding this year.

He called for providing new impetus to the fight against the pandemic, supporting the World Health Organization (WHO), and jointly building a regional "anti-pandemic firewall."

Wang also stressed new measures for economic recovery and striving to make East Asia a source of stable growth for the world economy in the post-pandemic era.

At the ASEAN-China Ministerial Meeting held on Wednesday, the ASEAN applauded China's cooperation and support in the fight against COVID-19, and suggested China actively participate in the bloc's initiatives such as the COVID-19 response fund, regional reserves of medical supplies and recovery framework.

In a joint communiqué published after the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting, the foreign ministers called for the effective operationalization of the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund, and looked forward to further progress on the various initiatives to respond to COVID-19. They also looked forward to the submission of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework and its implementation plan to the ASEAN summit later this year.

Moreover, they stressed enhanced collaboration and sharing of experience with ASEAN's partners in research, development, the production and distribution of vaccines, providing access to medicines for COVID-19 and other diseases in future public health emergencies, and making them available and affordable to all as global public goods.

Key issues including the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, sub-regional cooperation multilateralism, non-traditional security challenges and others were also discussed during the meetings.

Founded in 1967, the ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Vietnam is the ASEAN chair for 2020.

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