Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung, head of ASEAN SOM of Vietnam, representing Vietnam in the role of ASEAN Chair, attended the event.

During the event, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and Head of ASEAN SOM of China Chen Xiaodong underscored the important role of ASEAN in promoting dialogue and cooperation to maintain stability and prosperity in the region.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung. Photo: BNG

He affirmed that China would further boost cooperation with ASEAN countries in sharing information, experience, and production and distribution of vaccines and drugs against the COVID-19. In addition, the Chinese representative suggested to use the ASEAN - China cooperation fund to support disease collaborative response activities, organize the ASEAN - China forum on health cooperation, and establish safe corridors between China and ASEAN countries, among other specific initiatives.

China also proposed to soon establish the ASEAN - China ministerial meeting on disaster response and coordination to promote economic corridors in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), identify the theme of cooperation in 2021 as the Year of ASEAN - China cooperation development, and upgrade the ASEAN - China strategic partnership to a comprehensive strategic partnership on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of ASEAN - China relations in 2021.

ASEAN countries affirmed that China has always been one of ASEAN's leading partners, while highly appreciating China’s active support for ASEAN initiatives with the COVID-19 response fund and regional emergency medical supplies reserve as well as their practical cooperation activities with ASEAN over the past time.

In cooperation, China and ASEAN agreed to join hands to prevent the spread of the pandemic while gradually recovering economic and trade activities in the new normal context. They will continue completing the ASEAN - China Action Plan for the 2021-2025 period to outline priorities for cooperation in the new period.

On this occasion, the two side showed their high determination to sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) this year and effectively execute the Protocol to Amend the ASEAN - China Free Trade Area (ACFTA), thereby showing a strong commitment to free and open multilateral trade.

They also committed to promoting dialogue, cooperation and mutual trust building so as to ensure peace and stability in the region, including the East Sea (South China Sea), while implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and soon resuming negotiations on the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

Translated by Khanh Ngan