State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi to Co-chair a China-ASEAN Special Foreign Ministers' Meeting on NCP Outbreak in Laos
During the daily online briefing on 17 February, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang announced that State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit Vientiane, Laos from 19 to 21 February and co-chair a special China-ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting on the novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP, or COVID-19) outbreak with Foreign Secretary Teodoro Lopez Locsin of the Philippines, the country coordinator for ASEAN-China relations. Foreign ministers of the ten ASEAN member states will attend the meeting.
Responding to a question from the journalists, Geng Shuang said that China and ASEAN member states, as neighboring countries, share the fine tradition of mutual support in times of adversity. In 2003, China and ASEAN held a special leaders meeting on the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak. Since the NCP outbreak, China and ASEAN member states have maintained close communication and cooperation. The fact that the two sides have agreed to hold this special meeting in such a short time is a full testimony to their shared resolve and determination to tide over the difficulties together. At the special meeting, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will brief on China's robust measures to contain the outbreak, and discuss a joint epidemic response with his ASEAN counterparts. The two sides are also expected to strengthen joint prevention and control, maintain normal economic and social engagements and explore the establishment of a long-term mechanism of public health cooperation to ensure the health and safety of the people in regional countries and promote global public health. A China-ASEAN health experts meeting will also be held on the sidelines.