Envoy hails ASEAN+3 States co-op on virus combat

DM Monitoring

JAKARTA: The ASEAN Plus Three (APT) cooperation mechanism has been running in high gear since the outbreak of COVID-19, and the collective response fully demonstrates “our close neighborliness and friendship,” Chinese Ambassador to ASEAN Deng Xijun said.
The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) plus China, Japan, South Korea (ASEAN Plus Three countries or 10+3) cooperation mechanism incorporates the 10+3 as well as the 10+1 framework. The latter stands for ASEAN’s respective cooperation mechanism with China, Japan and South Korea.
In a written interview with Xinhua recently, Deng said East Asian countries responded immediately by offering each other assistance and working together in the collective fight since the outbreak of COVID-19.
“Our efforts have proved to be highly effective in protecting people’s health and lives, maintaining normal exchanges and minimizing the impact of the disease on economy and society,” he said.
Ambassador Deng further said that APT health authorities have maintained close communication through the APT health development framework to find ways of strengthening cooperation in public health emergencies.
According to the ambassador, the APT cooperation mechanism was set up in response to the Asian financial crisis in late 1990s and then emerged even stronger from the international financial crisis in 2008.
Through mutual help under this mechanism, APT countries also stood strong against SARS, the highly pathogenic avian influenza and the Indian Ocean tsunami, he said.
As an important member of APT mechanism and a major country of the region, Deng said China has been a strong advocate and productive participant of APT’s collective response to the COVID-19 outbreak via medical supplies, policy coordination, information sharing and medical personnel support.
With regard to the upcoming special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19 via video conference, Deng said it will be the first leaders’ meeting that covers the East Asia region in response to COVID-19 and also the first special meeting so far among APT leaders since the mechanism was born.