The pandemic has shown frailty in nations that we never thought could be vulnerable, with being a developed status and having the best scientist and healthcare systems, the coronavirus has flushed out weaknesses even in the most confident of governments.
It is times like this when we as a human race need to reflect and look at ourselves as one single being sheltering in this planet, we must come together and find ways to combat this devious enemy by helping each other. A collective effort no matter what background we affiliate to is now glaringly obvious, if we as mankind want to climb out of this predicament the world is under going at the moment.
Collectively, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN is one such organisation that brings leaders in the region together to have comprehensive discussions on issues that plagues the region. The 23rd ASEAN-China Summit which involves our biggest trading partner is another session held on the backdrop of the 37th ASEAN Summit that seeks to elevate cooperation between ASEAN nations and China.
In his commentary recently, Chinese Ambassador to ASEAN Deng Xijun noted the good relations between the region and China in areas such as Covid-19 pandemic response and economic recovery has been top of the agenda in Beijing, both sides have been already conducting close anti-pandemic cooperation.
“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.
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.
Next year marks the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-China dialogue relations, the tone is set to jointly fight against the virus and increase cooperation on economic recovery which will undoubtedly lift China-ASEAN relations to an even higher level.