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People's Daily Online

China, ASEAN join hands in fighting COVID-19

People's Daily Online

(People's Daily Online) 09:24, April 15, 2020

As the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has swept across the globe during the past months, China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have worked closely in fighting the pandemic, offering strong support to each other all along.

"China and ASEAN, as close neighbors, have been going through the test for two months. The even closer friendly bonds between our peoples will further energize the building of a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future," Chinese ambassador to ASEAN Deng Xijun said in his recent signed article published by The Jakarta Post, a daily English newspaper in Indonesia.

On Feb. 20, China and the ASEAN held a special foreign ministers' meeting on the COVID-19 outbreak in Vientiane, Laos, the first multilateral conference on the disease since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Seeing the ASEAN members facing severe pressure in preventing the spread of COVID-19,China quickly extended a helping hand to them and provided as much assistance as possible for these countries.

The country has continuously sent medical supplies to ASEAN countries including the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Malaysia, and dispatched anti-epidemic medical expert teams to such countries as Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, and Myanmar.

China and ASEAN countries have also held video conferences on prevention and control of COVID-19 multiple times, enabling an in-depth exchange of ideas on topics such as detection means, tracing COVID-19 cases, prevention and control measures, clinical treatment, as well as asymptomatic cases.

According to ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi, ASEAN has carried out cooperation with China on jointly fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and will enhance sharing of experience in information technology.

China and the ASEAN enjoy a good cooperation mechanism, and have cooperated with each other in the field of public health for a long time, Xu Liping, researcher of National Institute of International Strategy of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told People's Daily.

Explaining that China's experience in fighting the disease has, to some extent, helped ASEAN countries avoid detours and have a better understanding of the nature, as well as prevention and control of the new virus, Xu said China and the ASEAN have seen good results in their joint efforts to combat the pandemic.

China has provided a great deal of positive energy for ASEAN countries in various aspects of the global fight against the COVID-19, including epidemic information, anti-epidemic supplies, technologies, and confidence, Xu noted.

"Cooperation between China and the ASEAN on jointly fighting the pandemic will be focused on more concrete and pragmatic issues," Xu pointed out, disclosing that the top priority at the moment is to take comprehensive measures to help ASEAN countries contain the spread of the disease.

Such fields as scientific measures and methods, joint efforts in developing vaccines and new medicine, as well as mechanisms for epidemic prevention efforts would be the key areas of cooperation between China and the ASEAN, according to Xu.

"Cooperation between China and the ASEAN on jointly fighting the pandemic serves as a good example, as it has not only demonstrated that cooperation needs mutual trust, but fighting the disease needs firm confidence," Xu said, adding what's more important is that the international community should unite as one and focus efforts on jointly combating the pandemic.

Myanmar government had looked forward to the arrival of the Chinese medical expert team, Union Minister Dr. Myint Htwe of Myanmar's Ministry of Health and Sports said recently.

The help from the Chinese side would help improve Myanmar's capacity for such issues as prevention, control, diagnosis, as well as treatment of the disease, and contribute to Myanmar's early control and defeat over the disease, Dr. Myint Htwe said.

While fighting the virus at home, China has actively offered assistance to various countries around the world and shared its experience in combating the disease with the world, said deputy general director of Lao National Television.

China provided massive medical supplies for various countries, including the ASEAN countries to assist them with efforts to fight the COVID-19, which has shown the country's sense of responsibility as a major country, he noted.

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