The Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting on COVID-19 held in Laos last week has caused a strong international response. Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin tweeted that the meeting was "so enlightening, science and fact-based" and "we owe China for COVID-19 containment on a continental scale." He also quoted Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan as saying "that which does not kill us can only make us stronger."
When asked for comments, newly-appointed spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a news briefing that China appreciated those remarks by the foreign ministers of the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
The meeting was the first multilateral foreign ministers' meeting focusing on public health security in regional countries since the outbreak of the epidemic, which set an example for regional countries to jointly handle public health emergencies, Zhao said, adding it also sent a strong message of strengthening coordination for joint disease prevention and control between China and ASEAN countries.
China has adopted the most comprehensive, rigorous and thorough measures since the outbreak of the epidemic, and achieved significant results. The country has the capability and confidence to overcome the crisis at an early date, the spokesperson said.
"Viruses know no borders," Zhao said, in the face of the virus, no country can manage alone by resorting to beggar-thy-neighbor practices, only mutual assistance could solve the problem.
He said China would continue to enhance communication and cooperation with relevant parties, including the ASEAN in an open, transparent and responsible manner, to make due contributions to the regional and global public health security.