JAKARTA, 29 April 2020 – The Chinese government reinforced their support to ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC) through an additional donation of 20,000 surgical masks from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Kung Phoak received the contribution from China’s Ambassador to ASEAN Deng Xijun in a closed ceremony held at the ASEC Heritage Building.

Deputy Secretary-General Kung Phoak highlighted that this additional support will further enhance and sustain the preventive measures taken by ASEC in order to protect all of its staff from the threats of COVID-19.

He further added that ASEAN and China’s strong commitment to take collective action against the threats of COVID-19 will diminish the impacts of this pandemic on public health, economic and social welfare, among others.

On his part, Ambassador Xijun underscored that “the masks provided today is from Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the only province in China that is physically connected through land and sea with ASEAN Member States.’’ He said that “due to this special bond, Guangxi has been following closely the situation in ASEAN and learning from the shortage of masks in the region, Guangxi provincial government immediately allocated batches of masks from its emergency reserve.’’

The ambassador further elaborated that this crisis has highlighted the inter-connection between China and ASEAN, the value of mutual support and assistance in times of crisis, the need to set up stronger regional cooperation mechanisms, and the urgency of building a more closely-knit community of a shared future.

The ASEAN Health Sector cooperation with the health counterparts from China has continued strongly through their timely and transparent information sharing and technical exchanges.

The ASEAN Plus Three Health Ministers Special Video Conference on COVID-19 held on 7 April further committed to bolstering the coordination on orchestrated response measures and rapid research and development for diagnostics, medicines, and vaccines.

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