To jointly defeat COVID-19, protect people’s life, safety and health, and accelerate economic and social recovery and development, China, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (hereinafter referred to as “the Five Parties”) convened a vice ministerial-level Video Conference on COVID-19 Response on November 10th, 2020. The Five Parties 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.
The Five Parties 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 Parties 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 Five Parties reiterated their opposition to politicization and stigmatization by using COVID-19. It is important 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 Parties 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. The Chinese side 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.
The Five Parties 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, 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.
The Five Parties agreed on the importance of coordinating COVID-19 response and economic and social development and will advance Belt and Road cooperation to boost post-COVID-19 economic recovery and development. 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 and 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 Parties 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 Parties welcome other regional countries to join the cooperation against COVID-19 and are ready to engage in dialogue and communication with them.