COVID-19 Fight has proven the steadfast commitment of the governments of Cambodia and China to protect rights to life and health, not only for their own citizens but also for people beyond their countries, a Cambodian Spokesman & Scholars said on Friday.

Speaking during an interview, Chin Malin, a spokesman for the Cambodian Human Rights Committee, said Cambodia and China have given their top priorities to peoples’ lives and wellbeing during the COVID-19 fight.

The spokesman noted that in the fight against the COVID-19, China and Cambodia have taken all necessary measures to prevent and control the pandemic and both countries have provided medical treatment for free-of-charge to their citizens.

“These actions have not only showed the governments’ high attention to save their own peoples’ lives, but also helped relieve economic hardship for COVID-19 patients,” the spokesman added.

He said for Cambodia, the kingdom had drawn international attention for its humanitarian task in February when it allowed stranded Westerdam cruise ship, carrying more than 2,200 people in 41 nationalities, to dock at its Sihanoukville Autonomous Port during the onset of the pandemic.

“This humanitarian gesture clearly reflects Cambodia’s commitment to protect the right to life with no discrimination against any nationalities,” he said.

Malin also praised China, saying the country has also protected the rights to life and health through providing free treatment to its own people and dispatching medical experts and supplies to help other countries fight the pandemic.

Chheang Vannarith, president of the Phnom Penh-based Asian Vision Institute, said that during the COVID-19 fight, nothing is more valuable than protecting human lives.

“The right to life and livelihood is the most important human right,” he said. “The governments have the moral and legal obligations to protect the lives and livelihoods of their citizens.”

He said Cambodia and China have closely cooperated on confronting the COVID-19 pandemic by all measures such as information and knowledge sharing, technical and financial support, among others.

Joseph Matthews, senior professor at the BELTEI International University in Phnom Penh, said during the pandemic, cooperation between China and Cambodia, and China and ASEAN has been outstanding.

China, despite its own challenges brought by the pandemic, “has ceaselessly helped its neighbors through medical equipment, sharing knowledge and expertise, providing financial assistance to mitigate the impact of economic slowdown …” the professor said.

“I strongly believe that in the post-COVID-19 pandemic period, China will be a driving force of regional economic and financial recovery,” Matthews said.

The Region has been already benefiting tremendously from the Belt & Road Initiative and the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation, he said, adding that the pace of development and cooperation in the post-COVID-19 Period will definitely be accelerated with its full potential.