Wang Yi Attends the 21st ASEAN Plus Three Foreign Ministers' Meeting
2020/09/09

On September 9, 2020, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the 21st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Plus Three (APT) Foreign Ministers' Meeting via videolink.

Wang Yi said, since the beginning of this year, the APT countries have led East Asia to stand at the forefront of the global fight against the pandemic and post-pandemic recovery. We have successfully held the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19, and mapped out regional anti-pandemic cooperation. By sharing experience and helping each other, we are better able to control the pandemic in our countries. We timely established a "fast lane" to resume work and production, and boost confidence in revitalizing economic growth. These successful practices echo the theme of a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN put forward by ASEAN this year, and demonstrate the determination of regional countries to jointly meet challenges.

Wang Yi pointed out, the current global pandemic has not yet been brought under full control and it will take time for the world economy to recover. All countries face the formidable task to defeat the virus, stabilize the economy, and protect people's livelihood. We should continuously coordinate the anti-pandemic and development needs, adhere to unity and cooperation, and uphold openness and inclusiveness to maintain the sound momentum of East Asian cooperation. In the post-pandemic era, we should seize the opportunity for development, break new ground for cooperation and promote the APT cooperation to a new high. The Chinese side proposes that:

We should improve public health governance. We should strengthen cooperation on vaccine development and jointly contribute to developing an available and affordable vaccine. On the basis of the ASEAN reserve pool of emergency medical supplies, the Chinese side is willing to take the lead in the development of the APT reserve center for emergency medical supplies to strengthen the docking with the ASEAN reserve pool. We will continue to support WHO's important role in the global response to the pandemic and oppose politicizing the pandemic and stigmatizing the virus, in a bid to promote the building of a global community of health for all.

We should promote the level of economic recovery. We will actively explore the path of post-pandemic recovery on a regional basis. We will promote the establishment of regional networks of "fast lanes" and "green channels" to speed up the resumption of work and production and promote regional economic circulation. With firm support for multilateralism and free trade, we should sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement as scheduled within this year. We should support the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and expand cooperation in emerging fields in response to digital, networked and intelligent development.

We should improve our response to the crisis. We should enhance the effectiveness of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM). We should expand areas of financial cooperation, expand the use of local currencies, and help develop regional free trade zones. We should enhance regional disaster management and emergency response capabilities and safeguard regional food security.

We should enhance sustainable development. We should continue to implement the East Asia Cooperation Initiative on Poverty Reduction to promote regional poverty reduction. Through the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) and sub-regional mechanisms such as China-East ASEAN Growth Area, we should carry out more practical cooperation projects in infrastructure, water resources and agriculture to promote balanced development in the region. We will make good use of the "China-Japan-ROK plus X" cooperation model and carry out more projects to inject new impetus into sustainable development.

The Foreign Ministers of Japan, the Republic of Korea and ASEAN countries spoke highly of the remarkable results of the APT cooperation and looked forward to the conclusion of the RCEP agreement as scheduled within this year to send a clear signal of advancing regional economic integration. All parties stated, facing the dual tasks of pandemic prevention and control and economic recovery, the APT countries should adhere to unity, cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, deepen cooperation in public health, economic and trade investment, digital transformation, food security, tourism and other fields, strengthen interconnection, ensure the smooth flow of industrial and supply chains, facilitate personnel exchanges, and enhance the resilience to deal with various challenges, so as to jointly promote regional stability, development and prosperity.

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