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Oct 27, 2021 / 22:21

ASEAN+3 countries to prioritize Covid-19 response and recovery plan

The three countries pledged to continue vaccines and medical equipment donations to ASEAN countries.

China, Japan, and South Korea, three dialogue partners of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have been urged to support the 10-member bloc in access to Covid-19 vaccine and tech transfer.

 Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the 24th ASEAN Plus Three on Oct 27. Photo: Baoquocte
The proposal was made by Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the 24th ASEAN Plus Three (ASEAN+3) Summit held via videoconference on Oct 27 with the attendance of ASEAN leaders, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi.

He said vaccination and Covid drugs would help the region switch to flexible adaptation to Covid-19, enabling them to be back to the new normal.

Therefore, the countries should promote their strengths in crisis response amid Covid-caused challenges facing them, and promote multilateral cooperation to pursue economic recovery, he noted.

Sharing the same idea, ASEAN+3 countries agreed to prioritize efforts in responding to the pandemic and promoting comprehensive recovery towards sustainable development with stress on lifting travel restrictions among ASEAN countries when the situation is deemed safe.

China, Japan, and South Korea affirmed their support for ASEAN initiatives on Covid-19 control namely the ASEAN Covid-19 Response Fund, the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies, and the ASEAN Overall Recovery Framework.

The three countries pledged to continue vaccines and medical equipment donations to ASEAN countries, strengthen vaccine research and development efforts, and support ASEAN in improving public health capacity.

"To overcome the impact of the pandemic and continue recovery plans, the ASEAN+3 needs to stabilize the macroeconomic-financial foundations, boost digital transformation, and support people and businesses," Chinh said.

During the session, he noted that ASEAN+3 needs more contributions to maintaining regional peace, security, and stability, meanwhile China, Japan, and South Korea are expected to support ASEAN efforts in contributing to peace and cooperation in the South China Sea (called East Sea by Vietnam).

Chinh also affirmed ASEAN's contributions to the dialogue and cooperation for sustainable peace, humanitarian and non-nuclear issues, and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

ASEAN Plus Three

Kicked off in 1997 and institutionalized in 1999, ASEAN+3 resolved to strengthen and deepen East Asia cooperation at various levels and in various areas, particularly in economic and social, political, and other fields.

The ASEAN Plus Three cooperation has broadened and deepened to cover a wide range of areas of political and security; transnational crime; trade and investment; finance; tourism; agriculture and forestry; energy; minerals; micro, small and medium-sized enterprises; science, technology, and innovation; environment; rural development and poverty alleviation; social welfare; active aging; youth; women; civil service; labor; culture and arts; information and media; education; disaster management; public health; and connectivity.