The Chinese Government has held a video conference with Four South Asian Countries including Nepal on COVID-19 Response. According to statement posted on the Chinese Foreign Ministry website, China held the video conference with Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka at Vice Ministerial Level.

The meeting was focused on how to defeat COVID-19, protect people’s life, safety and health, and accelerate economic and social recovery and development.

The five countries 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.

During the virtual meeting, the five countries also agreed that humanity lives in a community with a shared future and solidarity and cooperation is the most effective weapon against COVID-19.

In the context of long-term COVID-19 containment, the five countries will uphold multilateralism, firmly support the World Health Organization in playing a leading role in the global fight against COVID-19, actively promote international cooperation on COVID-19 response, and push forward the building of a global community of health for all, the statement said.

Reiterating their opposition to politicization and stigmatization by using COVID-19, the five countries stressed the need 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.

The five countries also agreed that the autumn and winter seasons are a crucial period for COVID-19 containment and vowed to strengthen information sharing and coordination of policies and actions to cope with the impact of the second wave of the pandemic.

During the meeting, Chinese officials said that their country is ready to step up cooperation with the other four parties in testing, diagnostics, treatment and medicine, and continue to provide them with assistance of containment supplies.

“China has pledged that COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, will be made a global public good. China is also ready to consider providing vaccines to developing countries positively, the other four parties included,” Chinese officials said.

Five countries also agreed that countries linked by land ports should establish joint response mechanisms in border areas. Standard operating procedures will be developed on COVID-19-related notification, border control, and containment measures at points of entry and emergency response to prevent cross-border transmission.

“Pre-departure screening will be actively promoted to ensure the safe and orderly cross-border movement of people. Each Party will provide necessary treatment to COVID-19 infected nationals of the other parties in accordance with its own capacity,” read the press statement.

While agreeing on the importance of coordinating COVID-19 response and economic and social development and will advance Belt & Road Cooperation to boost post-COVID-19 economic recovery and development, the five countries said that efforts will be made to facilitate the orderly resumption of major cooperation projects and keep the industrial and supply chains stable.

“Infrastructure connectivity under the framework of the Belt & Road Initiative will be advanced at a faster pace. Smooth transportation of goods at border ports will be facilitated with sufficient containment measures in place.”

The five countries also agreed to keep up consultations on COVID-19 response, poverty alleviation and other non-traditional security issues of shared interest on an ad hoc basis, and explore the establishment of relevant working groups.

In a spirit of mutual trust, openness and win-win cooperation, the five countries also welcomed other regional countries to join the cooperation against COVID-19 and are ready to engage in dialogue and communication with them, according to the statement.