ASEAN+3 Meet To Discuss Battling the Novel Coronavirus
April 14, 2020 (EIRNS)—The leaders of the ASEAN+3 countries met today to discuss the fight against the novel coronavirus. Vietnam, the current leader of the 10 nations of ASEAN, chaired the meeting, which was attended by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Both China and South Korea, which had already borne the brunt of the virus, promised aid to the other countries and encouraged them to utilize the best methods which they had used in dealing with the virus. There was general agreement that the staples of quarantine, social distancing, testing and contract tracing, would also be required in the other affected countries in Southeast Asia, and there was a discussion on implementing some of the technical means that had also been utilized in China and South Korea in implementing these measures.
There was also an important discussion of the economy, with the countries in agreement that in this arena as well, coordination and solidarity must be the rule. President Moon underlined the importance of maintaining a certain level of economic activity even during the crisis in order that people “emotionally feel safe and secure” while combatting the coronavirus.
In a joint statement following the meeting, the countries committed to “sharing information quickly and transparently; encouraging a vital flow of human exchanges in the region; increasing digital innovation; and establishing an ASEAN fund for dealing with COVID-19.” The countries also committed to working together to find a vaccine as soon as possible.