President Xi Jinping called on Friday for Countries in the Northeast Asian Region to join hands in fighting against the COVID-19 Pandemic, deepening the alignment of their development strategies, and maintaining regional peace and development to tide over the difficult time and plan for common development.

President Xi made the remark as he attended and addressed the opening ceremony of the plenary session of the sixth Eastern Economic Forum via video link in Beijing.

“As we speak, the international landscape is going through profound transformation. The COVID-19 pandemic keeps raging with frequent flare-ups, and the world economy faces a daunting recovery. This presents regional cooperation in Northeast Asia with both stern challenges and important opportunities,” he said.

President Xi said that regional countries need to offer each other help to overcome the pandemic challenge through intensifying cooperation in vaccine research, development and production and providing more public goods to the international community.

Countries should also firmly reject any politicisation of COVID vaccines and origin-tracing, and strive to build a global community of health for all, he said.

In an effort to advance mutually beneficial cooperation, Xi called on regional countries to deepen cooperation between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union, support the innovative development of the digital economy, jointly tackle global climate change, and promote social and economic development in the region.

As China has started a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country, Xi said it is ready to work with all parties to uphold true multilateralism, advocate trust and harmony, promote win-win cooperation and march with firm steps toward the goal of building a community with a shared future for mankind.

The three-day forum is being held in Vladivostok, Russia, under the theme “The Opportunities for the Far East in a World under Transformation”.

Since Friday also marks the 76th anniversary of the victory of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45) and the World Anti-Fascist War, Xi said he and Russian President Vladimir Putin both agreed that the international community must firmly defend the victorious outcomes of World War II, safeguard the truth of history and remain committed to taking history as a mirror to open up a brighter future.

Lyudmila Matsenko, a member of the Central Board of the Russia-China Friendship Association, said Xi’s participation in this year’s forum shows the unprecedentedly high level of Russia-China relations.

The close bilateral ties between the two countries will add positive energy to a global landscape that is undergoing geopolitical turbulence and drastic changes, she said.

Matsenko said she was also impressed when Xi called for fighting against attempts to politicise the study of tracing coronavirus origins. Despite the pandemic, China has completed the task of eradicating absolute poverty, which was “an outstanding success”, she added.

It was the second time Xi attended the forum. In September 2018, he addressed the plenary session of the fourth Eastern Economic Forum held in Vladivostok.

Northeast Asia, consisting of six countries including China and Russia, has a market with a population of more than 1.7 billion and over 20 percent of the world’s GDP.

Author: Ren Qi in Vladivostok & Mo Jingxi in Beijing