JAKARTA, Nov 12 — The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-China relations set an example for the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, boosted regional economic recovery, promoted regional peace and stability, and strengthened people-to-people ties, said Chinese Ambassador to ASEAN Deng Xijun.
In his article written on the threshold of the 23rd ASEAN-China Summit slated for Nov 12 within the framework of the 37th ASEAN Summit, Deng said the two sides have been conducting close anti-pandemic cooperation to protect people’s health, reported Vietnam News Agency (VNA).
“China will continue to assist ASEAN countries to prevail over the pandemic, including by sharing experience, providing most-needed medical supplies, working together on vaccine R&D, production and application, building nucleic acid testing laboratories and supporting the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund as well as the ASEAN reserve of emergency medical supplies,” he asserted.
According to the diplomat, China and ASEAN have jointly promoted resumption of work and production to boost regional growth. China has established “fast tracks” and “green lanes” with Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Indonesia to facilitate the better movement of people and goods and resumed direct flights with multiple ASEAN countries.
These endeavours will be conducive to stabilise regional production and supply chains and cultivate new growth models and business forms, thus driving the economic growth of regional countries, he said.
He went on to say that China and ASEAN have maintained resilient trade ties despite COVID-19
ASEAN has stayed as China’s largest trading partner so far through the year, with two-way trade reaching US$481.8 billion in the first three quarters, accounting for one-seventh of China’s foreign trade in the same period.
China has already made US$10.7 billion of direct investment in ASEAN countries, up by 76.6 per cent year-on-year. These figures demonstrate the strong resilience and full potential of China-ASEAN cooperation.
In addition, China-ASEAN people-to-people exchanges have deepened mutual understanding.
Three virtual Jakarta Forums were held, where Chinese and ASEAN scholars were engaged in in-depth exchanges on China-ASEAN relations and cooperation in East Asia. The first China-ASEAN short video contest focused on friendship and cooperation and received more than 30,000 entries. The ASEAN-China Young Leaders Scholarship is in sound implementation, with a successful online opening ceremony for the autumn semester in October.
In future, Deng added China will strengthen coordination with ASEAN to adapt to pandemic prevention and control in the long run, further synergise development strategies and advance cooperation against COVID-19 and on regional economic recovery.
“We will join hands, as always, to champion our Asian values of solidarity and collaboration, support the ASEAN-centered regional architecture and pursue multilateralism and win-win cooperation. Together we strive for a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future,” he noted.
As next year marks the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-China dialogue relations, he expressed his belief that the joint fight against the virus and cooperation on economic recovery will lift China-ASEAN relations to an even higher level.