Wang Yi: China provides over 190m COVID-19 vaccine doses to ASEAN members
Updated 14:02, 04-Aug-2021

China has provided over 190 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said while attending the ASEAN-China Ministerial Meeting on Tuesday.

Wang hailed ASEAN's key position in China's overall diplomacy, saying China always views ASEAN as a high priority in its neighborhood diplomacy.

China's development is a growing force for peace and an enhancing factor for regional stability, he noted, adding that China will always be a good neighbor, friend and partner that ASEAN countries can rely on.

Wang also called on the two sides to actively promote the establishment of the China-ASEAN Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

The Chinese foreign minister also reiterated China's position over the South China Sea issue and called for preserving peace and stability in South China Sea amid the COVID-19 pandemic and external interference.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends the ASEAN-China Ministerial Meeting via video link, in Beijing, China, August 3, 2021. /Chinese Foreign Ministry

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends the ASEAN-China Ministerial Meeting via video link, in Beijing, China, August 3, 2021. /Chinese Foreign Ministry

Deepening anti-pandemic cooperation

Calling ASEAN as primary partner in anti-pandemic cooperation, Wang said the two sides have launched the China-ASEAN public health cooperation initiative and continued to improve "China-ASEAN vaccine friends" platform to promote policy communication and information sharing on vaccines.

Wang urged the two sides to deepen cooperation in the fight against pandemic while voicing China's willingness to help ASEAN country fully meet their needs for vaccines and other anti-epidemic supplies and support ASEAN countries in building a regional vaccine production and distribution center.

China has always participated in international origin-tracing cooperation with an open and transparent attitude, and twice received WHO experts to carry out joint research on origin-tracing, he reiterated

Wang added China is willing to work with ASEAN countries to resolutely oppose the politicization of scientific issues and resist the ravages of the "political virus", so as to ensure that international cooperation in combating the epidemic will continue smoothly and healthily.

Increasing trade volume

The Chinese foreign minister noted the trade and investment cooperation between China and ASEAN is remarkable, citing the figure that the trade volume between the two sides in the first half of this year exceeded $410 billion with a 38.2-percent year-on-year growth.

Wang said the two sides have overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and established "green lanes" and "fast lanes" for goods and personnel movement respectively to maintain the safety and stability of the regional industrial chain.

The policy dividends of the upgraded protocol of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area continued to be released, he added.

ASEAN continues to be China's largest trading partner, with the cumulative investment between the two sides exceeding $310 billion, according to Wang.

Wang also called for promoting economic recovery. "China is ready to work with ASEAN to build a new pattern of recovery cooperation between the two sides on all fronts, taking the implementation of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF) as the main lines, regarding trade and investment cooperation as basis and seeing the digital economy and green development as new growth points."


Consolidating regional cooperation architecture

Wang urged efforts to consolidate regional cooperation architecture, saying China firmly supports the centrality of ASEAN in the regional affairs and its greater role in international affairs.

China understands the original intention of ASEAN to put forward its own vision and ideas on the regional architecture, and is willing to explore with ASEAN to promote concrete cooperation in areas of consensus, the foreign minister said.

"At the same time, any new cooperation ideas should be conducive to maintaining the openness and inclusiveness of the existing architecture and ensuring the right direction for regional cooperation."

Wang added China does not endorse or participate in any cooperation mechanism that undermines the centrality of ASEAN.

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