The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and it’s member states together with China has expressed closer ties to boost cooperation in the health sectors in fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the 26th Asean-China Senior Officials’ Consultation held via videoconference for the first time last July 1, China and the regional bloc review the progress of the partnership and discussed its future direction.
Philippines, the country coordinator for Asean-China Dialogue Relations for 2018 to 2021 hosted the meeting with China. Asean-Philippines and the Philippine temporary Senior Officials’ Meeting leader director-general Junever Mahilum-West noted in the meeting since the establishment of Asean-China Dialogue Partnership in 1991, mutual cooperation with Beijing has expanded across the region’s Community pillars namely political-security, economic and sociocultural.
The ASEAN senior officials exchanged their views on the recent developments in the region and collectively agree to uphold the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea that will help the region’s peace and stability in accordance with international law.
The Asean and China also discussed the possibility of maritime cooperation to further build trust and confidence in the region.
But the most important partnership with be in mitigating the effect of Covid-19. Mahilum-West said that Asean and China hopes to maximize engagements towards positive outcomes especially in collectively responding to the health crisis. The meeting also highlighted the year as the Asean-China Year of Digital Economy Cooperation where initiatives to enhanced digital connectivity, ecommerce and platforms to help support micro, small and medium enterprises to strengthen the economic growth.