China to add $5 mln to ASEAN Covid response fund

By Viet Anh   November 22, 2021 | 12:29 am PT
China to add $5 mln to ASEAN Covid response fund
Leaders attend the ASEAN-China Summit on November 22, 2021. Photo by Vietnam News Agency
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday promised additional $5 million to ASEAN's Covid-19 response fund and 150 million vaccine doses to the association.

China will continue to cooperate with ASEAN to respond to Covid-19, and promote the "medical shield" initiative to jointly respond to the pandemic in the region, Xi said at the China-ASEAN Summit that celebrates 30 years of ASEAN - China dialogue, according to a press release by Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Also, Beijing will promote technology transfer, cooperation in vaccine production, research and development of essential therapeutic drugs, and support ASEAN to improve its medical capacity to cope with future outbreaks.

Xi stated China consistently attaches importance to ASEAN as a focus in its periphery foreign policy, supports the association to play a central role, and has an increasing position in the region and in the world. He emphasized basic principles like mutual respect, upholding standards in international relations, mutually beneficial cooperation, sincere sharing, mutual support and promotion of multilateral cooperation.

The Chinese president affirmed China would open its market to ASEAN countries, ready to import quality products, including agricultural produce, worth up to $150 billion in the next five years.

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh stated the two sides need to continue strengthening strategic trust, adding one of the core elements of cooperation is jointly maintaining peace, stability and development cooperation.

Chinh stressed it is necessary for ASEAN and China to strengthen dialogue, trust, comply with international law, and act responsibly to ensure peace, security and stability in the region, especially in the South China Sea, which is called the East Sea in Vietnam.

At the meeting, countries' representatives agreed to build the South China Sea into an area of peace, security, stability and cooperation.

They emphasized the importance of building trust, respecting international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and settling disputes by peaceful means. They pledged to implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC), promote the construction of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct of Parties (COC) in accordance with international law and UNCLOS.

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