China Seats Second Multilateral Meet With South Asian Accomplices To Battle COVID-19
17th November 2020
China chairs second multilateral meet with South Asian partners to combat Covid-19 (Source: The Hindu)
China held its second multilateral meet with South Asian partners—Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, bringing together key Foreign Ministry officials from the states for the second time in four months. The virtual meet was hosted on November 10th, 2020, by the Chinese Vice foreign minister Luo Zhaohui.
As stated in the press release by the Chinese Embassy in Colombo, the meeting aimed at putting a joint front to combat the second wave of Covid and its worsening effects on the health and the economies of the five involved parties. "The Five Parties had in-depth exchanges on cementing the political consensus on jointly fighting COVID-19, enhancing cooperation on containing the coronavirus and restoring economic development and movement of people, and achieved positive results," the Embassy said, expanding its first such meeting held in July involving Kathmandu, Islamabad, and Kabul.
According to the press release, China pledged that COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment, whenever available in the country, shall be made a global public good and considered providing vaccines to developing countries and the four countries which were present at the moment.
China also took this opportunity to address the meeting, as stated in the press release, "The Five Parties reiterated their opposition to politicization and stigmatization by using COVID-19. It is important to pursue science-based, professional exchanges on prevention and control of COVID-19, and its evolution and growth should be judged on the basis of objectivity, impartiality, and scientific evidence.”
China is increasingly cooperating with the other four parties in testing, diagnostics, treatment, and medicine and shall continue to provide them with the assistance of containment supplies, the statement said.
They also agreed that countries linked by land ports should establish joint response mechanisms in border areas.
In addition, they agreed on the importance of co-operative action on Covid-19 response and economic and social development and will further the Belt and Road cooperation to boost post -COVID-19 economic recovery and development, as stated within the press release.
(Sources: The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Hindu)
Edited by: Tanya Jain, Anjali Dinesh