China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have vowed to join hands to fight the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to forge a closer community of shared future, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in Vientiane on Thursday.
Participants attend the 14th East Asia Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, Nov. 4, 2019. The summit is an annual regional event gathering 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as well as China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and the United States. (Photo: Xinhua)
The Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting on Coronavirus Disease held Thursday was aimed at seeking concerted efforts to cope with the challenges triggered by the epidemic, Wang said.
China and ASEAN, linked by mountains and rivers, have had the tradition of always supporting and helping one another. Viruses do not respect borders and they are the common enemies of humanity, he said.
At this difficult time, the two sides should stand together through thick and thin, work together to tide over the difficult time, effectively prevent the spread of the virus through closer and positive cooperation and protect the safety and health of the peoples of the countries in the region so as to make contribution to the cause of public health of the region and the world at large, Wang said.
Since the outbreak of the epidemic, the leaders, the governments and people from all walks of life of the 10 member states of ASEAN have offered support to China and China values ASEAN's friendship and help, he said.
Wang believed that while the epidemic is temporary, the friendship and cooperation between China and ASEAN will last forever.
China and ASEAN will seize the opportunity of jointly fighting the epidemic to further boost the friendship between the two sides and push forward the development of bilateral relations to a new high so as to forge a closer China-ASEAN community with shared future, Wang added.
Founded in 1967, ASEAN currently groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.