We, the Heads of State and Government of Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand, the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and the People’s Republic of China met in Bangkok, Thailand, on 29 April 2003 for a Special ASEAN-China Leaders Meeting on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS): 

           Deeply concerned with the mounting threat to life and health of the people in Asia and the world at large due to SARS, we express our deepest condolences and sympathy to those who are suffering from the disease or are threatened by the pandemic;

Noting that SARS has already had a serious adverse impact on the economy  and society of countries in the region, including international exchanges and cooperation among our countries and this region;

Recognising the need for collective efforts in the region and the rest of the world to effectively tackle the challenges posed by the deadly virus, we agreed to promote the exchange of information and sharing of experience in respect of SARS control and prevention; 

Emphasising that the importance of  strong leadership, political commitment, multi-sectoral collaboration and partnership at the national and regional levels to fight epidemic

Noting with deep respect the efforts of all medical professionals and researchers, quarantine officials and public awareness campaigners in all countries and regions, who are working courageously at the forefront of the battle against SARS;

Noting further that in addressing such non-traditional threats as SARS against the backdrop of globalization, cooperation must draw upon and pool together the best of human wisdom and capabilities in addressing the disaster, and that ASEAN Member Countries and China can play an important and positive role in strengthening such cooperation; 

            We hereby agree that ASEAN and China will develop and strengthen cooperation on SARS control and take coordinated measures to reduce and eliminate its multifaceted impact on our region, taking into account the practical measures adopted by the ASEAN + 3 Ministers of Health Special Meeting held on 26 April 2003 in Kuala Lumpur;

            We appreciate the valuable opportunity to brief each other on the measures each country has taken to prevent, monitor, study and treat SARS. China associates itself with the Joint Declaration of the Special ASEAN Leaders Meeting on SARS and expresses its readiness to cooperate with ASEAN to fight the SARS problem;

To this end, we directed our health and other relevant ministers to undertake the following:

  • Exchange information on the latest developments of SARS, including its control and treatment, and its related study and research, through linking China’s SARS information network and the ASEAN SARS Containment Information Network, based on unified rules, standards and methods;
  • Appoint a focal/contact point in every country for the routine exchange of information as part of a “hotline” network to facilitate communication in an emergency;         
  • Carry out cooperative research and training programmes focusing on SARS spread patterns, SARS pathology and the care and treatment of severe SARS cases;
  • Jointly sponsor organised a high-level international symposium on SARS control and treatment in China as soon as possible;
  • Sponsor a special symposium to assess the political, security, economic and other possible impact of SARS on this region and come up with regional counter-measures to address the impacts; and
  • Work to take rigorous measures for immigration and customs control to prevent the out-spread of SARS, including for example, pre-departure and arrival screening and better flight management. A meeting will be held soon by officials from immigration and health authorities for the above purposes.

The Chinese side has decided to pledge RMB 10 million yuan to launch a special fund in support of China – ASEAN bilateral cooperation programmes on SARS control and prevention and the eradication of its multifarious impacts.

           We will strive to offset the negative impacts of SARS on our respective economies and personnel exchanges, adopt effective measures to stimulate    economic development, expand trade, encourage investment, and strengthen tourism cooperation to maintain the momentum of economic growth. At the same time, we will continue to consolidate and deepen ASEAN-China economic cooperation.

We, the leaders of ASEAN Member Countries and the People’s Republic of China, hereby undertake to work in the spirit of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination and to further deepen ASEAN-China partnership of good-neighbourliness and cooperation. We will continue to consolidate and upgrade our bilateral relations so that our bilateral exchanges and cooperation may grow in greater depth and width.

           Adopted on this 29th day of April, 2003 in Bangkok, Thailand.