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Asian Research Center for International Development (ARCID), Mae Fah Luang University, Thailand

ARCID china update Volume 3, No. 1

ISSN 2630-0885

January - June 2020


ARCID China Update Volume 3, No. 1 January - June 2020

Compiled by Tarida Baikasame Research Associate

Asian Research Center for International Development (ARCID) School of Social Innovation Mae Fah Luang University Thailand


ARCID CHINA UPDATE VOLUME 3, NO. 1 JANUARY-JUNE 2020 © All Rights Reserved Compiled by Tarida Baikasame ISSN: 2630-0885 First published in 2018 by ASIAN RESEARCH CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (ARCID) School of Social Innovation, Mae Fah Luang University 333 Moo 1, Thasud, Muang, Chiang Rai 57100, Thailand Tel : +66 5391 7137 Fax : +66 5391 6685 Email : arcid.social-innovation.school@mfu.ac.th Website : chinawatch.today, social-innovation.mfu.ac.th/arcid.php Facebook page : www.facebook.com/ARCIDTHAILAND www.facebook.com/chinawatch.arcid Printed by TECHNO PRINTING CENTER 643 Utarakit Road, Wiang, Muang, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand Tel/ Fax : +66 5371 8841 Email : tpccri@gmail.com

Cover Photo by Usukhbayar Gankhuyag on Unsplash


Contents Preface

viii

Part I: The Chronology (January-June 2020) Coronavirus Update

3

(A) Foreign Affairs

49

(B) Political Affairs

74

(C) Economic Affairs

97

(D) Socio-cultural Affairs

120

Part II: Selected Documentation (January-June 2020) (A) Full Text of President Xi Jinping’s Signed Article in Myanmese Newspapers

127

(B) Remarks by President Xi Jinping at the Ceremony to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of China-Myanmar Diplomatic Relations and China-Myanmar Year of Culture and Tourism

130

(C) Chairman’s Statement on ASEAN Collective Response to the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019

132

(D) Speech by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the 56th Munich Security Conference

134

(E) Statement of the Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

141

(F) Joint Press Communiqué of the Fifth Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

144

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(G) President Xi Jinping’s Remarks at the Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit

148

(H) Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit Statement on COVID-19

151

(I) Full text of joint open letter from world political parties concerning closer international cooperation against COVID-19

155

(J) The Declaration of the Special ASEAN Summit on COVID-19

158

(K) Joint Statement of the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19

162

(L) Speech by Premier Li Keqiang at the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19

167

(M) Speech by President Xi Jinping at opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA)

171

(N) Speech by Premier Li Keqiang at the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress

174

(O) Report on the Work of the Government

174

(P) The ASEAN Plus Three Economic Ministers’ Joint Statement on Mitigating the Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

175

(Q) Fighting COVID-19: China in Action (White Paper)

177

(R) The Joint Statement of the High-Level Video Conference on Belt and Road International Cooperation: Combating COVID-19 with Solidarity

177

(S) The ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement on a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN

182

(T) Chairman’s Statement of the 36th ASEAN Summit

182

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Part III: Selected Analysis (January-June 2020) Foreign Affairs (A) China support vital to Myanmar’s transition

185

(B) Hun Sen visit proves solidarity between China, Cambodia Tang Qifang

187

(C) Social media diplomacy, between China and world Shen Shiwei

189

Ko Ko Hlaing

Political Affairs (D) The global politics of the coronavirus Thitinan Pongsudhirak

191

(E) China’s drain on Mekong Ploenpote Atthakor

193

(F) Asean link in China-US Covid-19 fight Kavi Chongkittavorn

195

Economic Affairs (G) Chain reaction: China must mitigate risks of decoupling Liu Bin

197

(H) Two Sessions outcomes and two goals for China’s economic recovery Michael Zakkour

200

(I) Geoeconomic implications of Covid-19 Thitinan Pongsudhirak

202

Socio-cultural Affairs (J) China must drive cooperation on climate change in this new decade Wang Huiyao

vii

205


Preface

With economic reforms and the opening up of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to the outside world by Deng Xioaping and post-Deng leaders, China is now the largest economy (on a purchasing power parity basis). All indications show that China will be a superpower. The meteoric rise of China in the 21 st century signals the successful comeback of China in regaining its respectful place in regional and international affairs. It also means challenges as well as opportunities for other parts of the world, especially for countries in the Asia Pacific region. For many of us, the big question is: how should we deal with such a rising superpower? Other questions may include the following: Is China’s rise going to be sustained? What are the new directions mapped out by Xi Jinping to develop China? What sort of developmental challenges will it face? Is China a threat according to some analysts? How can we promote a winwin relationship with China? How can we manage our problems, if any, with China in order to preserve peace and development? To answer these questions, the Asian Research Center for International Development (ARCID) of the School of Social Innovation at Mae Fah Luang University has launched the China Watch Project with a grant from the Thailand Research Fund (TRF). We would like to express our thanks to the TRF for its funding support and suggestions in improving the project proposal. As part and parcel of the China Watch Project, ARCID has established a Monitor and Analysis (M & A) Unit surveying and analyzing major developments in China. Located in Northern Thailand, ARCID would take advantage of its geography and focus its research more on the Mekong region and its relations with East Asia, including China. We hope this strategy could help a young research center to establish a niche in the academic, intellectual and policy community. In this regard, the ARCID China Update, a biannual publication, is produced by the M & A Unit to keep track of the developments in China with special reference to its interactions with the Mekong region. The publication includes a chronology, selected documentation, selected analysis, and at times, viii


appendices. Inaugurated in mid-2018, the ARCID China Update is published twice a year with each issue covering developments in China for the immediate past six months. Essentially, the publication is a record of the events and issues under review.

Lee Lai To, Ph.D. Senior Professor and Director ARCID

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Part I The Chronology


(I)The Chronology (January-June 2020) Coronavirus Update December 31

The World Health Organization (WHO) receives a report of several cases of unusual pneumonia in Wuhan, Hubei Province from the Chinese authorities. Some of the infected people worked at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market.

January 1

The Chinese authorities close and clean the Huanan Seafood Wholesale market that has been suspected as the source of the outbreak.

January 4

There are 44 cases of an outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan, China. Chinese health authorities are trying to identify the cause. The outbreak is regarded as having no links to human-to-human transmission. People are concerned with the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-liked outbreak. However, the virus has not been identified. The WHO is aware of the reports. It is in contact with the Chinese government and monitoring the situation.

January 5

Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul urges people not to panic over the mysterious virus outbreak in China and assures that the country has prepared measures to keep Thai people to be safe from the disease. The Department of Disease Control is working with Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT) to monitor tourists from Wuhan.

January 6

Thai authorities have installed thermal scanners before the airports' immigration checkpoints at 6 airports, including Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, and Mae Fah Luang Chiang Rai airports, to screen passengers arriving from southern China.

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At Suvarnabhumi Airport, there are 3 daily flights from Wuhan operated by China Southern Airlines. At Don Mueang Airport, there are 2 daily flights from Wuhan operated by Thai Air Asia. At Phuket Airport, there are 2 daily flights from Wuhan operated by Thai Air Asia. China Southern Airlines will operate additional flights to Phuket from January 10 to February 3 for the Chinese New Year. At Chiang Mai Airport, there are 3 arrivals from Wuhan per week operated by Air China. The Department of Disease Control (DDC) has stepped up the Emergency Operation Center (EOC), the anti-outbreak operation, to “Level 2� because of an increase in the number of infected people in China, 7 suspected cases in Hong Kong, and 1 suspected case in Singapore. January 8

There are 59 infected cases in Wuhan. The WHO confirms that the Chinese authorities believe that the disease is a new coronavirus, while the Chinese government has not yet publicly announced that it is the cause of the illness.

January 9

Chinese researchers have discovered a new type of coronavirus. It is a virus that can cause the common cold, severe illness as well as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The symptoms of the new coronavirus cases include fever and invasive lesions of the lungs. The WHO confirms the preliminary discovery of a new coronavirus in a statement. The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said that the infection broke out between December 12 and 29, 2019. There is no report of human-to-human transmission so far.

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January 11

The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission reports the first death from a mysterious pneumonia outbreak. Authorities had earlier reported that there were 59 cases infected with the novel coronavirus. However, there were just 41 cases, according to the Commission’s new statement.

January 12

Thailand confirms the first case of the novel coronavirus as a 61-year-old Chinese woman traveling from Wuhan on January 8. She has been hospitalized at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi Province. This is the first case outside of China.

January 14

(1) The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission has confirmed that a Chinese tourist who traveled to Thailand was infected with the novel coronavirus. The Commission found no evidence of human-tohuman transmission, but it cannot completely rule out the possibility. However, the risk is low. Further research is underway. Moreover, the WHO says that there is no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission based on available information. (2) Authorities in Banteay Meanchey Province, Cambodia step up checks and install the thermal scanner to screen travelers at the Poipet border checkpoint as they see reports that a Chinese tourist to Thailand was infected with the novel coronavirus.

January 15

(1) A second person, a 69-year-old man, dies in Wuhan from the novel coronavirus, according to the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission. (2) WHO Representative to Thailand Center Dr. Daniel Kertesz urges the Thai government agencies and hospitals to step up monitoring and controlling the spread of the novel coronavirus, especially during Chinese New Year starting from January 25.

January 16

There are at least 41 cases of the novel coronavirus infection in Wuhan. 12 of them have recovered and been discharged from the hospital, while 5 of the others have been in serious condition, according to the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission. 5 The Chronology


January 17

A 74-year-old Chinese woman is found to be infected. She was quarantined since arriving in Thailand from Wuhan on January 13. This is a second case of the novel coronavirus infection in Thailand, according to the Public Health Ministry.

January 18

The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission confirms 4 more cases and 2 deaths of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan. At least 45 have been infected. 17 people who closely contacted the first case in Thailand are under medical observation. The authority has also been tracking down people who closely contacted the second case in Thailand.

January 19

China reports 17 new cases of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, 3 of them in a severe condition. There are now 62 infected people in Wuhan. 8 are in a severe condition and 19 have been cured and discharged from the hospital. However, no human-to-human transmission has been confirmed so far. There are 3 cases overseas, 2 in Thailand, and 1 in Japan. The source of the novel coronavirus is still unclear, according to the National Health Commission (NHC). A fourth person died from the novel coronavirus in Wuhan.

January 20

China reports 217 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 7 to remain suspected cases. The authorities say that a virus has spread around China, including Beijing, Guangdong, Shenzhen, and Zhejiang. China has confirmed human-to-human transmission in the novel coronavirus outbreak. President Xi Jinping stresses that the virus must be resolutely contained and information must be released in a timely manner. The top priority is people’s safety and health. The WHO says that an animal source may be the primary origin of the outbreak. The person who has 6 The Chronology


close contact with the infected person can get infected by human-to-human transmission. However, it has not recommended trade or travel restrictions so far. 15 medical staff in Wuhan has been infected. The Chinese government announces that it classifies the outbreak in the same category as the SARS outbreak. January 21

China’s NHC confirms 309 cases domestically. The death toll rises to 6 in the Chinese mainland. A paper studied by researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Beijing Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Guangzhou Medical University is published by the journal of Science China Life Sciences. It says that the novel coronavirus is likely to originate from bats and is genetically closer to SARS than MERS. However, the new virus is neither SARS nor MERS. It can infect wild animals, livestock, and humans. There might be intermediate hosts between bats and humans. The paper aims to offer a direction and basic groundwork for the international scientific community to deepen the study of the new virus.

January 22

(1) China’s NHC confirms 440 cases of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in 13 provinces of the Chinese mainland. The death toll is 9. 5 cases have been reported overseas, 3 in Thailand, 1 in Japan, and 1 in South Korea. The prevention and control plan of the NHC states that the incubation period of the virus can be as long as 14 days. (2) China has communicated closely with the WHO and other countries to share information about the novel coronavirus and invited WHO experts for inspections in Wuhan, according to Deputy Director of the National Health Commission Li Bin. (3) Thailand’s Public Health Ministry confirms a 73year-old woman as the first Thai infected with the novel coronavirus after returning from Wuhan late last year. She is being treated in Nakhon Pathom. There have been 4 cases in the country so far, 7 The Chronology


including 3 Chinese and 1 Thai. The country would step up measures to screen Chinese tourists arriving in Thailand for the Chinese New Year. January 22-23

The Emergency Committee of the WHO, including 16 independent experts, holds an emergency discussion on the decision about whether the novel coronavirus outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) in Geneva, Switzerland. They decide that they need more evidence to determine the status of the outbreak as they have not seen any evidence of onward transmission, according to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

January 23

(1) China’s NHC reports that there are 571 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in 25 provinces in the country. The death toll rises to 17 in Hubei Province. The dead were aged between 48 and 89. Most of them also had health issues, such as cirrhosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, and coronary heart disease. Wuhan is put under lockdown since 10 am and 13 other cities in Hubei Province have started restriction on movement and closed public transportation. Local authorities have implemented measures and restrictions on public gathering to contain the spread of the virus. (2) Vietnam News Agency reports the first 2 cases of the novel coronavirus in Ho Chi Minh City.

January 24

(1) China’s NHC reports that 1,287 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported in 30 provinces in the country. 38 of them had been cured and discharged from hospitals. The death toll rises to 41. (2) China begins to build 2 makeshift hospitals, namely “Fire God Mountain” and “Thunder God Mountain,” to relieve medical facilities and support more cases infected with the novel coronavirus in Wuhan.

8 The Chronology


(3) Thailand’s Public Health Ministry reports a fifth novel coronavirus case, a 33-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan. She is hospitalized at Rajavithi Hospital. January 25

China’s NHC reports at least 1,355 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. The death toll is at 41.

January 26

(1) China’s NHC confirms 1,975 infected cases and 56 fatalities caused by the novel coronavirus (2019 nCov) in the Chinese mainland as of the midnight of January 25. China announces a nationwide ban on the sale of wildlife in markets, restaurants, and ecommerce platforms. (2) Thailand’s Public Health Ministry and airport authorities step up efforts to prevent an outbreak by using thermal screening for all China arrivals. (3) Chiang Mai International Airport has suspended all flights between Wuhan and Chiang Mai from January 24 to February 4, according to Chief of the Provincial Tourism and Sports Office Parisa Panprom.

January 27

(1) 2,744 people across 30 provinces had been infected with the novel coronavirus as of January 26. 80 deaths had been reported and 51 people have recovered, according to China’s NHC. Chinese authorities suspended the transportation system and extended the Lunar New Year holiday to February 2 to delay people traveling back to work to contain the spread of the virus. (2) For the Mekong countries, Thailand reported 8 infections and Vietnam reported 2 cases. Cambodia reports the first case of the novel coronavirus, a 60-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan, in Preah Sihanouk Province, according to Cambodia Health Minister Mam Bunheng. On the same day, Cambodian aviation authorities announced that all flights between Cambodia and Wuhan have been canceled. 9 The Chronology


Thai authorities prepare thermal screening for all Chinese nationals entering the country from Cambodia through the immigration checkpoint at Ban Khlong Luek, Aranyaprathet District, Sa Kaeo Province. (3) Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu holds a briefing on the current situation and China's efforts to prevent and control the novel coronavirus outbreak and answer questions from foreign embassies and missions in China. (4) Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha reveals that the government has ordered preparations for evacuation flights bringing Thai nationals back from Wuhan. However, the government has not been allowed by the Chinese government to do so. There are 64 Thai people in Wuhan and 18 in other cities in Hubei Province. January 28

(1) By the end of January 27, China's NHC confirms a total of 4,515 cases of the novel coronavirus in the Chinese mainland, 8 in Hong Kong, 7 in Macao, and 5 in Taiwan. The death toll rises to 106 on the mainland. 60 people had been cured and discharged from the hospital. Outside China, 18 countries have reported 59 cases, including 14 in Thailand, 2 in Vietnam, and 1 in Cambodia. (2) In Thailand, there are another 6 cases of the novel coronavirus. All of them are Chinese nationals. According to Health Permanent Secretary Sukhum Kanchanapimai, 5 had already been cured and discharged out of a total of 14 infected patients. The other 9 remained at the hospital. Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha appoints a national committee, comprising 59 experts and officials from relevant agencies, to prevent the spread of the virus. Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul chairs the committee.

10 The Chronology


(4) Chiang Rai Public Health Office has established emergency medical centers in 18 districts and screening centers at Mae Fah Luang International Airport, Chiang Saen Commercial Port, Mae Sai, and Chiang Khong border checkpoints to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. (5) Cambodia’s State Secretariat of Civil Aviation confirms that approximately 3,078 Chinese left Wuhan for Cambodia before the lockdown, according to the Khmer Times. 1,539 of them took direct flights to Preah Sihanouk Airport and 1,539 to Siem Reap Airport. January 29

Thailand’s Public Health Ministry issues the warning that the novel coronavirus outbreak is possible in areas with many Chinese visitors, such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket. There are 14 confirmed local cases of infected people in Thailand.

January 30

(1) The number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus rises to 7,711 on the Chinese mainland. The death toll rises to 170 as of January 29. 124 had been cured and discharged from hospitals. There are 10 infected people in Hong Kong, 7 in Macao, and 8 in Taiwan, according to China’s NHC. (2) The WHO has called for an urgent meeting to decide whether to declare a global health emergency in Geneva, Switzerland. It announces after the meeting of the Emergency Committee that the novel coronavirus outbreak has become a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The declaration aims to prevent or reduce the crossborder spread of the virus and avoid unnecessary interference with trade and travel. (3) Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen calls on people to stay calm on the novel coronavirus outbreak in his speech on television. The country will not suspend flights from China for now and will stand with China in fighting the epidemic.

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January 31

(1) Thailand has confirmed the first case of humanto-human transmission of the novel coronavirus inside the country. Deputy Director-General of the Department of Disease Control Tanarak Pipat reveals that the patient is a taxi driver who was infected by a Chinese tourist that he picked up before the Chinese government suspended outbound trips by its people. The number of confirmed cases in the country rises to 19. (2) Myanmar's authorities turn back a flight from Guangzhou as one of the passengers is found with symptoms similar to the novel coronavirus. The passenger arrives in Yangon and is sent to a hospital to be quarantined, while other passengers return to Guangzhou, according to Myanmar Government Spokesperson Zaw Htay. The country sets up temperature screenings at airports and border gates. The country has to send samples from suspected patients to Thailand for the novel coronavirus test, as it does not have the capacity. (3) The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) arranges a flight to bring back 117 Wuhan nationals who remain in Thailand because of the lockdown in Wuhan. The flight operated by Xiamen Air takes them from Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok at 3.40 pm.

February 1

China’s National Health Commission (NHC) announces that there are 14,380 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus nationwide. The death toll rises to 304. Governments and airlines worldwide have suspended travel to China due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the US, Italy, Australia, and Qatar. Vietnam suspends all air travel to mainland China as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan. Vietnam’s Health Ministry reports that there are six confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. Authorities in Quang Ngai orders to quarantine about 300 Chinese workers of industrial parks for 14

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days and test them for the virus, according to the VnExpress. February 2

As of February 2 at 9 pm, there are 14,462 confirmed cases in China, 19 in Thailand, 7 in Vietnam, 1 in Cambodia. There are 304 confirmed deaths in China and 1 in the Philippines, the first death of the novel coronavirus outside China. (1) The Chinese government sends the 4th charter flight to Phuket to bring back 89 Hubei residents, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. 399 people from Hubei Province returned home from Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan by charter flights. (2) Dr. Kriangsak Atipornwanich, an expert physician, and Associate Professor Dr. Subsai Kongsangdao, a specialist from Rajavithi Hospital report that the use of anti-flu and HIV drugs succeed in reducing symptoms of a novel coronavirus patient after using them on the 71-year-old Chinese woman. (3) The Chinese Embassy in Vietnam and the Guangxi government help 161 stranded Chinese in Vietnam to return home through Youyi Port in Pingxiang, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region as Vietnam has banned all flights from China since February 1.

February 3

By the end of February 2, the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rises to 361 in China and the total confirmed cases increased to 17,205, according to China's NHC. (1) The WHO holds the 146th session of the WHO Executive Board meeting. Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praises China’s effective control measures to manage the coronavirus outbreak and calls on all countries to prepare, not to panic to manage the epidemic and share data, knowledge, and experience with the WHO and the world. (2) China’s NHC requires Hubei Province to revise a diagnostic criterion to include both lab-confirmed 13 The Chronology


cases and clinically diagnosed cases based on symptoms and exposure. This measure will make more suspected patients receive the same standard of treatment as confirmed cases and reduce the spread of the virus. February 4

The total confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in China are 20,438. The death toll rises to 425 as of February 3. There are 25 confirmed cases in Thailand, 10 in Vietnam, and 1 in Cambodia. (1) The Thai government evacuates 138 Thais from Wuhan and other areas of Hubei Province. The flight is operated by Thai Air Asia. Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnviraklu leads a team of 14 medical staff and rescue workers in the evacuation. Returnees are quarantined for 14 days at Sattahip Naval Base in Chon Buri Province. (2) The Thai government agrees on measures to reduce the export of surgical masks to prevent a shortage in the country. They will classify surgical masks and hand sanitizers as "controlled goods" that the government can manage the distribution and export.

February 5

The number of people infected by the coronavirus outbreak rose to 24,324 as of February 4. The death toll increases to 490, according to China’s NHC. (1) The Vietnamese government expects that the GDP growth may be at 6.27 percent in 2020 if the coronavirus outbreak is controlled within the first quarter and at 6.09 percent if the outbreak is under control by the second quarter, according to Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung. (2) According to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO aims to launch the strategic preparedness and response plan that require funding of about US$675 million over the next 3 months for supporting countries, especially vulnerable countries with weaker health systems to develop outbreak response plans.

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(3) 86 Cambodian families, whose children had received free surgeries and treatment at Fuwai Yunnan Cardiovascular Hospital in Yunnan Province under the “China-Cambodia Love Heart Journey” program, send 5,021 masks to the Hospital to help Chinese doctors fight against COVID-19. February 6

China’s NHC reports that there were 28,018 infected cases of the novel coronavirus in mainland China. The death toll was 563 as of February 5 at midnight.

February 7

As of February 6, China had 31,161 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. The death toll rose to 636, according to the NHC. (1) Li Wenliang, the first doctor who raised the alarm about the novel coronavirus in China, has died from the coronavirus. (2) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approves US$2 million in funding to support regional technical assistance and strengthen the immediate response capacity to fight against the COVID-19 outbreak in China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

February 8

The number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus rose to 34,546 as of February 7. The death toll was 722. There were 32 confirmed cases in Thailand, 13 in Vietnam, and 1 in Cambodia.

February 9

At the end of February 8, China had 37,198 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. There were 811 deaths. There were 32 confirmed cases in Thailand, 14 in Vietnam, and 1 in Cambodia.

February 10

As of February 9 in mainland China, the death toll rose to 908 with 40,171 total confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. (1) A 60-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan, the first and only confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in Cambodia, has fully recovered and discharged from the hospital, according to the Health Ministry’s

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Communicable Disease Control Department (CDCD) of Cambodia. (2) WHO Assistant Director-General Bruce Aylward leads a medical expert team from Geneva to China to work with Chinese counterparts to better understand the situation and source of the virus at the epicenter of the epidemic. February 11

China’s NHC reports 42,638 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus with 1,016 deaths as of February 10, according to the NHC. Most cases and deaths are in Hubei Province. 32 cases were confirmed in Thailand, 15 in Vietnam, and 1 in Cambodia. (1) The WHO announces the official name for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus as being COVID-19, meaning the coronavirus disease emerged in 2019. The name avoids any stigmatizing and does not refer to a geographical location, animal, individual, or group of people. (2) Thailand reports the 33rd case of the novel coronavirus. A 54-year-old Chinese woman who contacted with another Chinese virus patient is treated at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi Province. She was admitted on February 6, according to Director-General of the Department of Disease Control Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai.

February 11-12

The WHO and the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness co-host a research and innovation forum on the novel coronavirus in Geneva. The forum is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and attended by more than 400 leading scientists and public health experts and officials from around the world. It aims to create a roadmap for scientific research against the virus. Doctors from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention also join the forum online to present the research data.

February 12

The death toll caused by COVID-19 in China rose to 1,113 with 44,653 confirmed cases, according to the 16 The Chronology


NHC. There were 33 cases in Thailand, 15 cases in Vietnam, and 1 in Cambodia. Hubei Province changes the criteria for counting cases which include labconfirmed cases and clinically diagnosed cases. February 13

At the end of February 12, China had 59,804 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1,367 deaths. There were 33 cases in Thailand, 16 cases in Vietnam, and 1 in Cambodia. (1) The Health Ministry of Vietnam implements the lockdown for 20 days in the commune of Son Loi, located about 40 kilometers from the country’s capital Hanoi. It is the first mass quarantine outside of China with more than 10,000 villagers as authorities have found 6 cases of COVID-19 there. (2) The MS Westerdam, carrying 1,455 passengers and 802 crew, arrives at Sihanoukville, Cambodia after being denied docking by 5 countries over the fear of COVID-19, including Thailand.

February 14

China had 63,851 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1,380 deaths as of February 13, according to the NHC. (1) The maritime authority of Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam bans the AIDA cruises ship with more than 1,100 European passengers and was in China recently to disembark at its port due to the concern with COVID-19. (2) As of 12 pm on February 14, there are 33 foreign governments and 4 international organizations, including Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, have provided medical supplies to China, according to Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang. (3) Thailand has found the 34th confirmed cases on a 35-year-old woman, the first case of a medical worker, according to the Department of Disease Control. She is sent to the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institute for treatment.

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February 15

As of February 14, China’s confirmed cases were 66,492 with 1,523 deaths, according to the NHC. (1) State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on the sidelines of the 56th Munich Security Conference, Germany. Both sides agree to work closely to fight against the COVID-19 outbreak. (2) The WHO sends an international team of experts to work with Chinese counterparts in China to conduct in-depth exchanges and share ideas to curb the epidemic.

February 16

China had 68,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of February 15. The death toll rose to 1,665.

February 17

The death toll in China rose to 1,770 with 70,548 confirmed cases as of February 16. There are 35 confirmed cases in Thailand, 16 in Vietnam, and 1 in Cambodia. (1) Cambodia’s Ministry of Health tracks hundreds of passengers of the Westerdam cruise ship disembarked in Cambodia on February 13 as one passenger was tested positive for COVID-19 while transited in Malaysia. (2) 27 passengers of the Westerdam cruise ship disembarked in Cambodia have arrived in Thailand and are tested negative for COVID-19. They are allowed to travel to their destinations, according to Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob. (3) A joint expert team from China and the WHO starts field inspection on the prevention and control of the COVID-19 outbreak. The team will visit Beijing, Guangdong, and Sichuan Provinces, according to National Health Commission Spokesperson Mi Feng. (4) Thailand expands intensive screening to travelers from Japan and Singapore, according to the Public Health Ministry. The measure has already been implemented for travelers from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The ministry also raises measures 18 The Chronology


to Level 3 which means medical staff has to be tested for the virus. February 18

As of February 17, the death toll from COVID-19 rose to 1,868 in China. The total number of confirmed cases was 72,436, according to the NHC. Thailand expands surveillance to cover visitors from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea and people in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Chon Buri, Krabi, Phuket, Prachuap Khiri Khan, and Samut Prakan Provinces, according to the Public Health Ministry.

February 19

The NHC reports that there were 74,185 confirmed cases with 2,004 deaths in mainland China. Most of the deaths were in Hubei Province.

February 20

As of February 19, there were 74,576 confirmed cases in mainland China with 2,118 deaths, according to the NHC.

February 21

China’s NHC reports the death toll rose to 2,236 and confirmed cases were 75,465 in mainland China.

February 22

There were 76,288 confirmed cases with 2,345 deaths in mainland China by the end of February 21, according to the NHC. A joint expert team from China and the WHO visits Wuhan, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. They visit the Tongji Hospital (Guanggu Park area), the makeshift hospital in Wuhan Sports Center, and hold discussions on epidemic prevention and control and medical treatment with centers for disease control at the provincial and city level.

February 23

By the end of February 22, China had 76,936 confirmed cases in the mainland. The death toll rose to 2,442 in 31 provinces. Thailand’s Ministry of Education has asked teachers, students, and parents that have traveled to 6 19 The Chronology


destinations, including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and Singapore, to quarantine themselves at home for 14 days, according to Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan. February 24

China's NHC had received 77,150 reports of confirmed cases and 2,592 deaths in the mainland by the end of February 23. (1) Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen says at a news conference that the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak will temporarily affect China’s economy and social development goals and the BRI. He praises China’s measures to control the spread of the virus and believes in China’s ability the win the battle against the virus. (2) Thailand’s National Communicable Disease Committee (NCDC) has declared COVID-19 as a dangerous contagious disease. However, the country has not yet entered the third phase of the epidemic, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul. COVID-19 has become the 14th dangerous contagious disease that the country had announced. The announcement will facilitate authorities to work more effectively. (3) A press conference of the WHO-China Joint Mission on COVID-19 is held in Beijing to brief its 1week field investigation in China. Bruce Aylward, a senior adviser to the director-general of the WHO and head of the team, says that China's measures to contain the spread of the virus, including mass isolation and shutting down transportation, are effective.

February 25

As of February 24, China had 77, 658 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,663 deaths, according to the NHC. (1) The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Thailand rises to 37, 12 of them were Thais, according to Public Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Sukhum Kanchanapimai. The woman was admitted to Rajavithi Hospital and the man to the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute. 20 The Chronology


(2) Vietnam’s Health Ministry reports that all 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been cured. The country has no new confirmed case since February 13. February 26

China’s NHC reports 78,064 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 2,715 deaths in mainland China. (1) Thailand reports 3 new confirmed cases of COVID-19. The total number of confirmed cases rises to 40, according to the Public Health Ministry. (2) The ADB approves additional funding of US$2 million to be available for all ADB developing member countries to contain the outbreak of COVID19 and improve resilience to COVID-19 and other communicable diseases.

February 27

As of February 26, China’s NHC received 78,497 reports of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,744 deaths in 31 provinces.

February 28

China had 78,824 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 2,788 deaths in the mainland, according to the NHC. Thailand reports one more case of COVID-19, a 25year-old man who returned from South Korea. The total number of cases rises to 41, according to Public Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Sukhum Karnchanapimai.

February 29

By the end of February 28, there were 79,251 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in mainland China. The death toll rose to 2,835, according to the NHC. 39,002 cases had been cured and discharged from the hospital. 37,414 cases remained under medical treatment. There were 1,418 suspected cases. Thailand reports the 42nd case of COVID-19, a 21year-old salesman. The announcement of COVID-19 as a dangerous communicable disease will take effect on March 1. 28 cases have recovered and 14 cases have remained in hospital. There is no death in the country so far. 21 The Chronology


There were 16 cases in Vietnam and 1 case in Cambodia. All cases had been cured and discharged. There is no death in the two countries. March 1

(1) China's NHC reports that there are 79,842 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 2,870 deaths in the Chinese mainland as of February 29. (2) Thailand reports its first coronavirus death, the 35-year-old male had dengue fever and COVID-19, according to Director-General of the Department of Disease Control Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai. The man passed away on February 29. This was a case of local transmission. The country has reported 42 confirmed cases so far. (3) There are 87,161 confirmed cases and 2,980 deaths in 60 countries so far, according to the WHO.

March 2

(1) China reports 80,026 confirmed cases and 2,912 deaths as of March 1. There are 43 confirmed cases in Thailand with 1 death, 16 in Vietnam, and 1 in Cambodia. (2) Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says that Thailand has adequate supplies of medicine to treat COVID-19 patients unless the situation is worse and it will import more drugs from China. Moreover, the National Health Security Office (NHSO) has approved the inclusion of COVID-19 into the healthcare coverage program. (3) The global number of COVID-19 patients is 88,929 confirmed cases and 3,044 deaths. The mortality rate is between 2 to 5 percent, according to the WHO. (4) The Institute of Prevention Medicine and Public Health (IPMPH) at the Ha Noi University of Medicine, Vietnam launches a website for the early warning system of COVID-19 (http://covid19global.net). It provides analyses on disease threats and responses from other countries. 22 The Chronology


March 3

(1) As of March 2, mainland China has 80,151 confirmed cases with 2,943 deaths, according to the NHC. (2) Global cases reach 90,441 and the death toll rises to 3,123.

March 4

(1) China's NHC reports 80,270 confirmed cases and the death toll rose to 2,981 in the mainland. (2) Laotian Director-General of the Department of Communicable Disease Control Rattanaxay Phetsouvanh confirms that the COVID-19 diagnosis system is reliable as there are doubts on no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country so far. The diagnoses are made by the National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology and certified by the WHO, the Pasteur Institute, and the Microbiology Laboratory at Mahosot Hospital in Vientiane. The authorities have made 3 diagnoses in each case.

March 5

As of March 4, China’s NHC reports 80,409 confirmed cases. The death toll rose to 3,012. Thailand reports 47 cases and 1 death.

March 6

(1) There are 80,552 confirmed cases in mainland China with 3,042 deaths as of March 5. However, Hubei Province, excluding Wuhan, reports zero new cases of COVID-19 over 24 hours for the first time, according to the NHC. (2) Vietnam reports 17 confirmed cases, according to the Ministry of Health. (3) Global infections have risen to 97,869 cases.

March 7

(1) China's NHC reports 80,651 confirmed cases with 3,070 deaths as of March 6. The imported cases have become the primary source of new infection in mainland China, accounting for around one-third of the daily new cases on March 6.

23 The Chronology


(2) Cambodia reports the first Cambodian case tested positive for COVID-19, according to Health Ministry Spokesperson Or Vandin. There are 2 confirmed cases in the country so far. The first case was a Chinese man and he has already recovered. Prime Minister Hun Sen declares the cancellation of festival celebrations, including the Angkor Sankranta Festival (the Khmer New Year) held on April 13-16 in Siem Reap Province due to the spread of COVID-19. March 8

There are 80,695 confirmed cases in mainland China as of March 7. The death toll rose to 3,097, according to the NHC.

March 9

(1) As of March 8, China’s NHC reports 80,735 confirmed cases with 3,119 deaths. China has closed 11 of 16 makeshift hospitals for COVID-19 patients in Wuhan as the number of new cases has decreased. (2) WHO’s report shows that the local transmission emerged in 53 countries in addition to China. A total of 105,586 confirmed cases have been reported worldwide as of March 8.

March 10

China reports 80,754 confirmed cases and 3,136 deaths in the mainland as of March 9.

March 11

(1) There are 80,778 confirmed cases with 3,158 deaths in mainland China as of March 10, according to the NHC. (2) Thailand reports 59 confirmed cases with 1 death, according to the Public Health Ministry. (3) The WHO announces the COVID-19 outbreak is a pandemic as the virus spreads in many regions through the local transmission. This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus, according to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom.

March 12

(1) As of March 11, the NHC has received 80,793 reports of confirmed cases and 3,169 deaths in mainland China. NHC Spokesperson Mi Feng says that the country has already passed its peak of the

24 The Chronology


outbreak as the number of new infections continues to decrease. (2) Vietnam’s Ministry of Health reports that the total number of confirmed cases is 44 with no death. A total of 12 provinces and cities in the countries have recorded infection so far. (3) The COVID-19 cases in Thailand rise to 70 with 1 death, according to the Public Health Ministry. (4) Cambodia’s confirmed cases rise to 5 as the Ministry of Health has found 3 infected British nationals on a tourist boat on the Mekong River. March 13

(1) China’s NHC reports 80,813 cases of COVID-19 with 3,176 deaths as of March 12. (2) Global cases rise to 132,527 with 4,952 deaths. (3) Thailand’s Public Health Ministry reports 5 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 75, and 1 death. (4) Myanmar government announces the restriction of public events and mass gathering until April 30. There is no case of COVID-19 in the country so far. However, the country foresees more job losses, a slump in trade, a fall in tourist arrivals, and a general downturn in the economy.

March 14

(1) As of March 13, there are 80,824 confirmed cases with 3,189 deaths in mainland China, according to the NHC. (2) Thailand reports 82 confirmed cases with 1 death, according to the Public Health Ministry. (3) Vietnamese authorities order the closure of cinemas, clubs and bars, massage parlors, karaoke lounges, and online game centers in urban areas until March 31. Schools are closed nationwide on March 17. People are ordered to cancel large gatherings and wear masks in public places. There are 53 confirmed cases in the country so far.

25 The Chronology


(4) The total number of confirmed cases in Cambodia is 7. March 15

(1) China's NHC reports 80,844 confirmed cases. The death toll rises to 3,199 deaths in the mainland as of March 14. (2) Thailand has 114 confirmed cases with 1 death. There are 32 new cases, the largest daily rise, according to the Public Health Ministry. (3) The global confirmed cases of COVID-19 rise to 152,428 with 5,720 deaths as of March 15 morning, according to the WHO. The number of affected countries and regions rises to 141. Europe has become the epicenter of the pandemic.

March 16

(1) As of March 15, China's NHC reports 80,860 confirmed cases with 3,213 deaths in the mainland. (2) There are 12 confirmed cases in Cambodia. (3) The total of confirmed cases in Thailand rises to 147. Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam announces that the Songkran Festival held on April 13-15 will be postponed until further notice due to the pandemic. The country remains in the second stage, with limited local transmission traceable to the sources.

March 17

(1) There are 80,881 confirmed cases with 3,226 deaths in mainland China as of March 16, according to the NHC. The number of imported cases from other countries surpassed local transmissions for the fourth day. (2) Cambodia’s Ministry of Health reports 24 confirmed cases. (3) Vietnam has confirmed 61 infections with no deaths as of March 16. (4) Thailand's Public Health Ministry reports 177 confirmed cases with 1 death. 70-80 percent of the cases were in Bangkok. The Thai government 26 The Chronology


approves measures to contain the spread of COVID19, including the closure of schools and universities and entertainment venues, the postponement of Songkran Festival, the quarantine of foreigners coming from infected zones and places with ongoing transmission, the procurement of medical supplies and surgical masks, and the sharing of COVID-19 information. March 18

(1) China reports 80,894 confirmed cases in the mainland. The death toll rises to 3,237 as of March 17, according to the NHC (2) Thailand confirmed 212 cases of COVID-19 infection. (3) Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith announces measures to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19. Lao people traveling from risk countries are required to have self-quarantine for 14 days. All entertainment venues have been closed. All state and private educational facilities will be closed until further notice. People have to avoid large gatherings and traveling overseas.

March 19

(1) As of March 18, there are 80,928 confirmed cases with 3,245 deaths in mainland China, according to the NHC. Wuhan, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, reports no new case for the first time. (2) Thai Public Health Ministry reports 60 new cases of COVID-19, the largest increase to date, bringing the total to 272. One has died. (3) Vietnam reports 76 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of March 18. The military expands its quarantine facilities to contain about 60,000 people as nearly 7,000 Vietnamese return home from infected countries.

March 20

(1) China's NHC had received 80,967 reports of confirmed cases and 3,248 deaths in the mainland as of March 19. The WHO praises China's success in controlling the outbreak in Wuhan.

27 The Chronology


(2) The total number of confirmed cases worldwide is 244,517 with 10,030 deaths as of March 19, according to data tracked by Johns Hopkins University. (3) Thailand’s Public Health Ministry reports 322 confirmed cases with 1 death. (4) Vietnamese Health Ministry reports 9 new confirmed cases, bringing the total in the country to 85 with no death. March 21

As of March 20, China reports 81,008 confirmed cases with 3,255 deaths in the mainland, according to the NHC.

March 22

(1) China's NHC receives 81,054 reports of confirmed cases and 3,261 deaths in the mainland as of March 21. (2) The Vietnamese government asks people to increase online transactions, wear masks in public places, and not gather in a group larger than 50 people. All entertainment venues are temporarily closed to avoid community transmission of the virus. (3) There are 599 confirmed cases in Thailand and 84 cases in Cambodia.

March 23

(1) As of March 22, there are 81,093 confirmed cases in mainland China. The death toll rises to 3,270, according to the NHC. (2) Thailand’s Public Health Ministry reports 122 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 721. The country ranks fifth in Asia on the number of confirmed cases, behind China, South Korea, Malaysia, and Japan. (3) Myanmar's Ministry of Health and Sports reports the first two confirmed cases of COVID-19, a 36-yearold Myanmar man returning from the US on March 13, and a 26-year-old man returning from the UK on March 22.

28 The Chronology


(4) The total number of confirmed cases in Cambodia is 86, according to the Ministry of Health. March 24

(1) China reports 81,171 confirmed cases with 3,277 deaths in the mainland, according to the NHC. (2) The Public Health Ministry of Thailand reports 827 confirmed cases in the country. The death toll rises to 4. The virus has spread to 47 provinces so far. Much of the country, including Bangkok, has been partially shut down. (3) Laos' Public Health Ministry announces the first two confirmed cases of COVID-19, a 36-year-old woman, and a 28-year-old man.

March 25

(1) China's NHC confirms 81,218 cases of COVID-19 in the mainland with 3,281 deaths as of March 24. (2) The Thai government closes schools, universities, and entertainment venues nationwide to control the spread of COVID-19. The country reports 934 confirmed cases with 4 deaths.

March 26

(1) As of March 25, China's NHC receives 81,285 reports of confirmed cases and 3,287 deaths in the mainland. (2) Thailand reports 1,045 confirmed cases with 4 deaths, according to the Public Health Ministry.

March 27

(1) China reports 81,340 confirmed cases with 3,292 deaths in the mainland as of March 26, according to the NHC. (2) There are 1,136 cases with 5 deaths in Thailand, 163 cases in Vietnam, 98 cases in Cambodia, 6 cases in Laos, and 8 cases in Myanmar. (3) The Vietnamese government limits domestic flights and stop public gathering for 2 weeks starting from March 28.

29 The Chronology


March 28

(1) As of March 27, there are 81,394 confirmed cases with 3,295 deaths in mainland China, according to the NHC. (2) There are 1,245 cases with 6 deaths in Thailand, 174 cases in Vietnam, 102 cases in Cambodia, 8 cases in Laos, and 8 cases in Myanmar.

March 29

(1) China’s NHC receives reports of 81,439 confirmed cases with 3,300 deaths in the mainland as of March 28. (2) There are 1,388 cases with 7 deaths in Thailand, 188 cases in Vietnam, 103 cases in Cambodia, 8 cases in Laos, and 10 cases in Myanmar. (3) China’s NHC Spokesperson Mi Feng reports that a new round of the COVID-19 outbreak is possible in the country as there are more imported cases. As of March 28, there are 639 imported cases from 42 countries.

March 30

(1) China's NHC reports 81,470 confirmed cases in the mainland. The death toll rises to 3,304 deaths as of March 29. (2) There are 1,524 confirmed cases with 9 deaths in Thailand, 203 cases in Vietnam, 107 cases in Cambodia, 14 cases in Myanmar, and 9 cases in Laos. (3) Globally, a total of 638,146 confirmed cases with 30,105 deaths have been reported as of March 29, according to the WHO. (4) Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen orders the closures of all casinos in the country from April 1 to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

March 31

(1) There are 81,518 confirmed cases with 3,305 deaths in mainland China as of March 30, according to the NHC. (2) 1,651 cases with 10 deaths were reported in Thailand, 207 cases in Vietnam, 109 cases in

30 The Chronology


Cambodia, 9 cases in Laos, and 15 cases with 1 death in Myanmar. (3) The Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) of Thailand has approved a budget of 660 million baht for the procurement of 400,000 sets of N95 masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) from China. April 1

(1) There are 81,554 infections and 3,312 deaths in mainland China, according to the NHC. The first imported case is confirmed in Wuhan. China publishes the first daily tally of asymptomatic patients. (2) There are 1,771 confirmed cases with 12 deaths in Thailand, according to the Public Health Ministry. (3) Vietnam starts a 15-day nationwide socialdistancing against COVID-19. The government urges people to stay at home, avoid gathering, and keep a distance of at least two meters from each other.

April 2

(1) As of April 1, China’s NHC receives 81,589 reports of confirmed cases and 3,318 deaths. Premier Li Keqiang chairs the meeting of the leading group of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on coping with the novel coronavirus, calling for stronger checks on key transport routes in border areas, screening asymptomatic patients, and stricter standards on hospital discharges of COVID19 patients. Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu reports that China arranged 9 charter flights bringing back 1,457 Chinese nationals and overseas students from abroad. China’s international flights have been limited to no more than 134 flights per week as imported cases are increasing, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). (2) Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirms 222 infections in the country as of April 1.

31 The Chronology


(3) Thailand reports 1,875 confirmed cases. The death toll rises to 15, according to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA). April 3

(1) China’s NHC reports 81,620 confirmed cases with 3,322 deaths as of April 2. (2) Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirms 233 cases of COVID-19 as of April 2. (3) The Thai government’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration reports 1,978 confirmed cases with 19 deaths. 1,049 of total cases were reported in Bangkok. (4) The number of COVID-19 cases worldwide has reached 1,002,159 and 51,485 people have died. The virus has spread to 204 countries and territories. A death rate is more than 5 percent, according to Johns Hopkins University.

April 4

As of April 3, there are 81,639 confirmed cases with 3,326 deaths in mainland China, according to the NHC. China holds a national day of mourning to commemorate martyrs who sacrificed their lives fighting COVID-19 and victims died of the disease. People nationwide observe 3-minute silence and pause activities. President Xi Jinping and Chinese leaders stand in silence in the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing.

April 5

(1) China’s NHC confirms 81,699 cases of COVID-19. The death toll rises to 3,329 as of April 4. (2) Thailand reports 2,169 confirmed cases with 23 deaths, according to the CCSA.

April 6

(1) China has 81,708 confirmed cases and 3,331 deaths as of April 5, according to the NHC. (2) Thailand reports 2,220 confirmed cases with 26 deaths, according to the CCSA.

April 7

(1) As of April 6, the NHC had received 81,740 reports of confirmed cases and 3,331 deaths in 32 The Chronology


mainland China. China reports no new deaths for the first time since the pandemic emerged. (2) Thailand confirms 2,258 cases of COVID-19 with 27 deaths, according to the CCSA. (3) The global total confirmed cases reach 1,407,123. The death toll rises to 80,759, according to the Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering. April 8

(1) China’s NHC reports 81,802 confirmed cases with 3,333 deaths as of April 7. The Chinese government eases a 76-day lockdown on Wuhan. (2) There are 2,369 with 30 deaths in Thailand, 117 cases in Cambodia, 22 cases in Myanmar, and 14 cases in Laos.

April 9

(1) As of April 8, China reports 81,865 confirmed cases with 3,335 deaths, according to the NHC. The leading group of the CPC Central Committee on coping with the novel coronavirus wants to strengthen epidemic control in border regions by shifting more resources from inland areas to border areas and port cities, boosting testing capacity and establishing joint prevention and control with neighboring countries. (2) The Cambodian government imposes a lockdown of all districts and provincial borders from April 10-16. No travel restriction in Phnom Penh is imposed. The country reports 118 confirmed cases, according to the Department of Communicable Disease Control (DCD), Ministry of Health.

April 10

(1) China has 81,907 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The death toll is 3,336, according to the NHC. (2) Thailand’s total number of COVID-19 cases rises to 2,473 and the death toll is 33, according to the CCSA. (3) The WHO warns that lifting lockdown and restrictions too quickly could be dangerous and lead 33 The Chronology


to a fatal resurgence. The 6 factors that should be considered before easing lockdown include (1) transmission has been controlled; (2) sufficient public services are available; (3) risks of spreading COVID-19 in care homes are minimized; (4) preventive measures imposed on workplaces and schools; (5) important risks of the virus are managed; and (6) participation of communities in the transition. April 11

(1) China reports 81,953 confirmed cases with 3,339 deaths in the mainland, according to the NHC. (2) There are 2,518 confirmed cases and 35 deaths in Thailand.

April 12

(1) As of April 11, the NHC had received 82,052 reports of confirmed cases and 3,339 deaths in mainland China. (2) Thailand’s CCSA reports 2,551 confirmed cases with 38 deaths, according to CCSA Spokesperson Taweesilp Visanuyothin. The virus has spread in 68 provinces so far. (3) There are 1,654,247 confirmed cases of COVID19 with 102,193 deaths globally, according to the WHO.

April 13

(1) China's NHC reports 82,160 confirmed cases with 3,341 deaths in the mainland as of April 12. (2) 70 coronavirus vaccines are in development globally, according to the WHO. (3) Cambodia’s National Committee for Organizing National and International Festivals (NCONIF) announces that the government cancels the annual Royal Ploughing Ceremony held in May and considers cancellation for the other national festivals due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

April 14

As of April 13, there are 82,249 confirmed cases and the death toll is 3,341 in mainland China, according to the NHC. 34 The Chronology


April 15

(1) China's NHC reports 82,295 confirmed cases with 3,342 deaths in the mainland. (2) 25 counties of Yunnan Province prepare to construct or reconstruct hospitals to serve COVID-19 patients. Yunnan Province has sent health emergency teams and mobile laboratories to major border prefectures and counties to test and prevent COVID-19 cases. The centers for disease control and prevention in counties bordering Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam have been reconstructed and upgraded. They are expected to be completed by the end of this month.

April 16

China reports 82,341 confirmed cases with 3,342 deaths as of April 15, according to the NHC.

April 17

(1) As of April 16, the NHC reports 82,367 confirmed cases with 3,342 deaths in the mainland. However, Wuhan raises its death toll by 50 percent as world leaders doubt about Chinese transparency on reporting COVID-19 information. The 1,290 additional deaths were cases mistakenly reported or cases missed entirely. The authorities also increase the number of confirmed cases by 325. The total confirmed cases in Wuhan are 50,333 and the death toll is 3,869 as of April 16. (2) Myanmar reports 85 confirmed cases with 4 deaths.

April 18

(1) China reports 82,719 confirmed cases with 4,632 in the mainland as of April 17, according to the NHC. (2) Thailand reports 2,733 confirmed cases with 47 deaths, according to the CCSA. The Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) has contacted China to procure antiviral drug chemicals to make Favipiravir to treat COVID-19 patients.

April 19

(1) As of April 18, the NHC had received 82,735 reports of confirmed cases and 4,632 deaths in mainland China.

35 The Chronology


(2) The CCSA reports 2,765 confirmed cases with 47 deaths in Thailand. The most infected group is people aged 20-39. April 20

(1) China reports 82,747 confirmed cases with 4,632 deaths in the mainland as of April 19. (2) The total number of confirmed cases worldwide is 2,343,293. The death toll is 161,324, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of recovered cases reaches 602,793. (3) There are 2,792 confirmed cases with 47 deaths in Thailand, according to the CCSA.

April 21

There are 82,758 confirmed cases and 4,632 deaths in mainland China as of April 20, according to the NHC.

April 22

(1) As of April 21, China's NHC had received 82,788 reports of confirmed cases and 4,632 deaths in the mainland. (2) The total COVID-19 cases in Thailand increase to 2,826, according to the CCSA. The death toll rises to 49.

April 23

(1) China reports 82,798 confirmed cases with 4,632 deaths in the mainland as of April 22. (2) There are 83 coronavirus vaccines in development globally. 6 of them are in the process of human trials, according to the WHO. (3) Thailand reports 2,839 confirmed cases. The death toll rises to 50. (4) The Vietnamese government eases social distancing measures after no new infections for the sixth consecutive day as of April 22. Some shops and services are allowed to reopen.

April 24

(1) There are 82,804 confirmed cases and 4,632 deaths in mainland China as of April 23.

36 The Chronology


(2) Thailand reports 2,854 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 50 deaths. April 25

(1) Confirmed cases in mainland China increases to 82,816. The death toll remains at 4,632, according to the NHC. (2) Thailand’s CCSA reports 2,907 confirmed cases with 51 deaths. 42 of the 53 new cases were migrants who had been detained at the immigration center in Songkla Province for illegal entry. The average age of patients was 40. The youngest patient was 1 month old and the oldest was 97.

April 26

(1) There are 82,827 confirmed cases with 4,632 deaths in mainland China as of April 25, according to the NHC. All COVID-19 patients in Wuhan are cured and discharged, according to NHC Spokesperson Mi Feng. (2) Thailand reports 2,922 confirmed cases with 51 deaths, according to the CCSA. (3) Vietnam’s National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control reports 270 confirmed cases with no death. (4) Myanmar reports 146 confirmed cases with 5 deaths as of April 26 morning.

April 27

(1) China has 82,830 confirmed cases with 1 more death, bringing the total number of deaths to 4,633, according to the NHC. (2) Thailand reports 2,931 confirmed cases. There are 9 new COVID-19 cases, the first single-digit rise since March 14. There has been no new local transmission in Bangkok for the first time since the outbreak started in January. The death toll rises to 52.

April 28

As of April 27, China's NHC reports 82,836 confirmed cases with 4,633 deaths in the mainland.

37 The Chronology


April 29

(1) The NHC had received reports of 82,858 confirmed cases in mainland China. The death toll remains at 4,633. (2) Thailand’s CCSA reports 2,947 confirmed cases with 54 deaths.

April 30

(1) China has 82,862 confirmed cases with 4,633 deaths as of April 29, according to the NHC. (2) There are 2,954 confirmed cases with 54 deaths in Thailand, 270 cases with no death in Vietnam, 122 cases with no death in Cambodia, 19 cases with no death in Laos, and 151 cases with 6 deaths in Myanmar.

May 1

(1) China reports 82,874 confirmed cases with 4,633 deaths in the mainland as of April 30, according to the NHC. (2) Thailand reports 6 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 2,960. The death toll remains at 54, according to the CCSA.

May 2

As of May 1, there are 82,875 confirmed cases in mainland China. The death toll is 4,633, according to the NHC.

May 3

(1) China’s NHC had received reports of 82,877 confirmed cases with 4,633 deaths. (2) The CCSA reports 2,969 confirmed cases and 54 deaths in Thailand. The country has eased restrictions on gathering and reopened some businesses, such as salons, restaurants, and open-air markets. (3) Johns Hopkins reports global confirmed cases at 3,502,126.

May 4

(1) China reports 82,880 confirmed cases with 4,633 deaths in the mainland as of May 3, according to the NHC.

38 The Chronology


(2) Thailand reports 2,987 confirmed cases with 54 deaths, according to the CCSA. All new cases are foreigners in Songkhla Province. No additional deaths were recorded. A total of 227,860 COVID-19 tests had been conducted nationwide by the government and private agencies as of May 1. (3) Global COVID-19 deaths reached 250,134 as of May 4 afternoon, according to Johns Hopkins University. A total of 3,571,615 confirmed cases have been reported in more than 180 countries and regions. May 5

(1) As of May 4, China's NHC had received 82,881 reports of confirmed cases and 4,633 deaths in the mainland. (2) As of May 5 morning, Vietnam has confirmed 271 COVID-19 cases with no deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.

May 6

China's NHC reports 82,883 confirmed cases with 4,633 deaths in the mainland as of May 5.

May 7

The NHC had received reports of 82,885 confirmed cases in mainland China. As of May 6, the death toll remains at 4,633. Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region has opened its first nucleic acid testing lab in Pingxiang bordering Vietnam.

May 8

China reports 82,886 confirmed cases and 4,633 deaths in the mainland as of May 7, according to the NHC. Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying says at a press conference that China supports the WHO in investigating the origins of the pandemic. However, the investigation should be conducted in an open, transparent, and inclusive manner and should be at an appropriate time after the pandemic ends.

May 9

China confirms 82,887 confirmed cases with 4,633 deaths in the mainland as of May 8, according to the NHC.

39 The Chronology


May 10

(1) As of May 9, the NHC had received 82,901 reports of confirmed cases in mainland China. The death toll is 4,633. (2) The total number of COVID-19 cases in Thailand increases to 3,009. The death toll rises to 56, according to the CCSA.

May 11

(1) China reports 82,918 confirmed cases with 4,633 deaths in the mainland as of May 10, according to the NHC. (2) The CCSA reports 3,015 confirmed cases in Thailand. The death toll remains at 56.

May 12

(1) As of May 11, mainland China has 82,919 confirmed cases with 4,633 deaths, according to the NHC. There are 6 new cases in Wuhan after the last patients had been discharged a few weeks ago. The local health authorities order 11 million Wuhan people to undergo nucleic acid testing over 10 days to prevent a second wave of infections. (2) There are 3,017 confirmed cases with 56 deaths in Thailand, 288 cases with no deaths in Vietnam, 180 cases with 6 deaths in Myanmar, 122 cases in Cambodia, and 19 cases with no deaths in Laos.

May 13

(1) China reports 82,926 confirmed cases with 4,633 deaths in the mainland as of May 12, according to the NHC. (2) Thailand reports no new COVID-19 cases for the first time since the pandemic began to spread in the country. The total number of cases remains at 3,017 and the death toll at 56, according to the CCSA. The single-digit of the number of new confirmed cases had been reported since May 3, except on May 4 when 18 cases of quarantined migrants in Songkhla Province were reported. May 4 is the first day that the country did not have a local infection.

May 14

As of May 13, China's NHC reports 82,929 confirmed cases with 4,633 deaths in the mainland.

40 The Chronology


May 15

The NHC had received reports of 82,933 confirmed cases and 4,633 deaths in mainland China as of May 14.

May 16

(1) China's NHC reports 82,941 confirmed cases and 4,633 deaths in the mainland as of May 15. (2) Cambodia’s Health Ministry reports that there are zero cases in the country as the last COVID-19 patient has recovered and discharged from the hospital. The country has reported 122 cases with no death so far. (3) Thailand reports 3,025 confirmed cases with 56 deaths, according to the CCSA.

May 17

(1) As of May 16, there are 82,947 confirmed cases and 4,634 deaths in mainland China, according to the NHC. (2) The CCSA reports 3,028 confirmed cases in Thailand. The death toll remains at 56.

May 18

(1) China's NHC had received reports of 82,954 confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths in the mainland as of May 17. (2) Thailand reports 3 more cases, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases to 3,031. The death toll remains at 56, according to the CCSA.

May 19

(1) As of May 18, there are 82,960 confirmed cases and 4,634 deaths in mainland China, according to the NHC. (2) Thailand has 3,033 confirmed cases with no additional deaths, making the death toll unchanged at 56, according to the CCSA.

May 20

(1) China reports 82,965 confirmed cases in the mainland as of May 19. The death toll remains unchanged at 4,634, according to the NHC. (2) Thailand reports 1 new COVID-19 case and no death. The total number of confirmed cases rises to 41 The Chronology


3,034. The death toll is at 56. As of May 15, there were 328,073 samples from 167 labs tested, a ratio of 4,926 to 1 million population, according to the CCSA. May 21

(1) As of May 20, the NHC had received 82,967 reports of confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths in mainland China. (2) Thailand's CCSA reports 3,037 confirmed cases with 56 deaths. Confirmed cases in the last 14 days have been found in state quarantines, close contacts, proactive testing, immigration quarantine areas, people visiting community areas, and infections from occupations such as the delivery service.

May 22

There are 82,971 confirmed cases in mainland China as of May 21, according to the NHC. The death toll remains at 4,634.

May 23

(1) Thailand reports 3 new cases and no death. The total number of confirmed cases rises to 3,040. The death toll remains 56. Bangkok has the most cases at 1,532, followed by Phuket at 226. (2) There have been 5,061,476 confirmed cases with 331,475 deaths worldwide reported to the WHO. (3) China's NHC first time reports no new confirmed cases in the mainland as of May 22. The total number of COVID-19 cases remains at 82,971. The death toll remains at 4,634.

May 24

The NHC reports 82,974 confirmed cases in mainland China and 4,634 deaths as of May 23.

May 25

(1) As of May 24, there are 82,985 confirmed cases and 4,634 deaths in mainland China, according to the NHC. (2) Thailand confirms 2 new cases, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases to 3,042. The death toll rises to 57, according to the CCSA.

42 The Chronology


May 26

The NHC had received 82,992 reports of confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths in mainland China as of May 25.

May 27

(1) There are 82,993 confirmed cases in mainland China. The death toll remains at 4,634, according to the NHC. (2) Thailand reports 9 new confirmed cases in state quarantine. The total number of confirmed cases is 3,054. The death toll is at 57, according to the CCSA.

May 28

(1) The total number of confirmed cases in mainland China rises to 82,995. The death toll is at 4,634 as of May 27, according to the NHC. (2) There are 11 new confirmed cases reported in Thailand, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases to 3,065. All cases are returnees from abroad. The death toll is at 57, according to the CCSA.

May 29

Thailand has 11 new COVID-19 cases who came back from Kuwait, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 3,076 with 57 deaths. The country ranks 77th in the number of COVID-19 cases worldwide, according to the CCSA. The government announces the third stage of the easing of the business and activity lockdown starting from June 1. The curfew is shortened from 11 pm to 3 am.

May 30

China's NHC reports 82,999 confirmed cases in the mainland with 4,634 deaths as of May 29.

May 31

(1) As of May 30, there are 83,001 confirmed cases in mainland China, according to the NHC. The death toll remains at 4,634. (2) There are 3,081 confirmed cases with 57 deaths in Thailand, 328 cases with no death in Vietnam, 125 cases with no death in Cambodia, 228 cases with 6 deaths in Myanmar, and 19 cases with no death in Laos.

43 The Chronology


June 1

(1) China's NHC reports 83,017 confirmed cases in the mainland as of May 31. The death toll remains at 4,634. (2) Thailand reports the total number of infections at 3,082 with 57 deaths, according to the CCSA. (3) The COVID-19 vaccine jointly developed by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products and China National Biotec Group Company has completed phase 2 testing. It may be ready for the market at the end of this year, according to the report of the Stateowned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission. There have been 5 vaccines developed by Chinese companies that are being tested on humans so far.

June 2

(1) As of June 1, the NHC had received reports of 83,022 confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths in mainland China. (2) The Lao government further eases restrictions in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows students to return to schools, resumption of normal transport of goods across borders, and reopening of night markets and cinemas. (3) The CCSA reports 1 new confirmed case and 1 death in Thailand. The total number of confirmed cases is 3,083. The death toll rises to 58.

June 3

(1) There are 83,021 confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths in mainland China as of June 2, according to the NHC. (2) Thailand’s CCSA reports 3,084 confirmed cases and 58 deaths. There are 58 patients under treatment and 2,968 have recovered and been discharged so far.

June 4

(1) China's NHC reports 83,022 confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths in the mainland as of June 3. Premier Li Keqiang attends and delivers a speech at the virtual Global Vaccine Summit 2020 to enhance global coronavirus vaccine cooperation. China will offer US$20 million to GAVI's funding for the period 44 The Chronology


2021-2025. GAVI is the global vaccine alliance whose founding partners include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the WHO, and UNICEF. Governments around the world pledge to offer US$8.8 billion for GAVI to help immunization programs disrupted by a coronavirus and call for the vaccine to be a global public good. (2) Thailand’s total number of confirmed cases rises to 3,101. The death toll remains at 58, according to the CCSA. (3) Myanmar’s Hotels and Tourism Ministry reveals that a total of 663 hotels in the country has reopened after the temporary suspension due to COVID-19. (4) Premier Li Keqiang chairs a meeting of the leading group for China’s COVID-19 epidemic response. He stresses targeted COVID-19 containment measures, strengthening the development of vaccines and medicines. The meeting stresses the full implementation of measures to prevent both domestic epidemic rebounds and imported infections. June 5

(1) There are 83,027 confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths in mainland China as of June 4, according to the NHC. (2) Thailand reports 3,102 confirmed cases with 58 deaths, according to the CCSA.

June 6

(1) The NHC had received reports of 83,030 confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths in mainland China as of June 5. (2) There are 3,104 confirmed cases in Thailand. The death toll remains at 58, according to the CCSA.

June 7

(1) China reports 83,036 confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths in the mainland as of June 6, according to the NHC. The State Council Information Office issues a white paper titled "Fighting COVID-19: China in Action" to share its experiences with the world. The highlights include COVID-19 information, 45 The Chronology


treatment and medicines, prevention and containment measures, and international assistance. (2) Thailand reports 3,112 confirmed cases with 58 deaths, according to the CCSA. All new cases were returnees from abroad in state quarantine. There had been no domestic cases for 13 days. June 8

(1) China reports 83,040 confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths in the mainland as of June 7, according to the NHC. (2) There are 7 new confirmed cases in Thailand, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 3,119. The death toll is at 58.

June 9

(1) As of June 8, the NHC reports 83,043 confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths in mainland China. (2) Thailand reports 3,121 confirmed cases with 58 deaths, according to the CCSA. 37 Thai nationals stranded in China return to Thailand from Beijing with China Airline Flight CA979. They would be quarantined for 14 days.

June 10

(1) As of June 9, the NHC had received reports of 83,046 confirmed cases in mainland China. The death toll remains unchanged at 4,634. (2) Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith announces a victory in fighting against COVID-19 as all 19 COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals and no new cases were reported for 59 consecutive days.

June 11

(1) China reports 83,057 confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths in the mainland as of June 10, according to the NHC. (2) The total number of COVID-19 cases in Thailand is 3,125. The death toll remains at 58, according to the CCSA.

June 12

(1) As of June 11, the NHC had received reports of 83,064 confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths in 46 The Chronology


mainland China. Beijing closes 2 markets, the Xinfadi meat wholesale market, and the Jingshen seafood market, and delays the return of primary school students as there are 3 new confirmed cases in the city after 2 months of no infections. (2) There are 4 new confirmed cases. They are returnees from India, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in Thailand to 3,129. The death toll is unchanged at 58. June 13

(1) China confirms 83,075 confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths as of June 12, according to the NHC. Parts of Beijing have imposed lockdown measures again as the local transmission of COVID-19 emerges in the city. (2) The CCSA reports 3,134 confirmed with 58 deaths in Thailand. All 5 new cases are returnees from Saudi Arabia and were in state quarantine facilities.

June 14

China reports 57 new confirmed cases, the highest daily figure since April, bringing the total number to 83,132. The death toll remains unchanged at 4,634.

June 15

(1) As of June 14, the NHC had received reports of 83,181 confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths in mainland China. (2) Thailand’s CCSA reports 3,135 confirmed cases with 58 deaths.

June 17

China reports 83,265 confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths as of June 16, according to the NHC. Beijing canceled more than 1,200 flights and closed schools to contain a new outbreak linked to a wholesale food market as the city has reported 137 infections over the last 6 days. The city has conducted nucleic acid tests on its people since June 13 and disinfected all food markets, restaurants, and canteens.

June 18

(1) China’s NHC reports 83,293 confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths as of June 17.

47 The Chronology


(2) There are 3,141 confirmed cases with 58 deaths in Thailand, according to the CCSA. June 19

(1) The NHC had received reports on 83,325 confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths in mainland China as of June 18. (2) Myanmar reports 23 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases to 286. The death toll remains at 6, according to the Health Ministry. (3) Thailand’s CCSA reports 3,146 confirmed cases with 58 deaths.

June 20

(1) China reports 83,352 confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths in the mainland as of June 19, according to the NHC. (2) Thailand reports 3,147 confirmed cases with 58 deaths. The new case is a Thai returning from Bahrain in state quarantine, according to the CCSA.

June 22

(1) As of June 21, China has 83,396 confirmed cases and 4,634 deaths in the mainland, according to the NHC. (2) Thailand’s CCSA reports 3,151 confirmed cases with 58 deaths. The country has no local transmission for 28 consecutive days.

June 24

(1) China reports 83,430 confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths in the mainland as of June 23, according to the NHC. (2) Thailand reports 3,157 confirmed cases with 58 deaths, according to the CCSA.

June 26

Thailand reports 3,162 confirmed cases with 58 deaths, according to the CCSA. The government had quarantined 46,569 returnees so far, while 225 of them were infected, accounting for 0.48 percent. Thailand ranks 94th among countries with the greatest number of confirmed cases.

48 The Chronology


June 28

(1) China reports 83,500 confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths in the mainland as of June 27. The country imposes a lockdown on nearly half a million people in a province surrounding Beijing to contain the spread of COVID-19. (2) The global confirmed cases surpass 10 million to 10,012,244. The death toll rises to 499,342, according to Johns Hopkins University.

June 29

(1) As of June 28, there are 83,512 confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths in mainland China, according to the NHC. (2) Thailand reports 7 new confirmed cases, bringing the total number to 3,169 with 58 deaths, according to the CCSA. The government announces more easing of lockdown, including limited entry into the country for foreigners, school opening confirmation for minority children at the border, and easing the 1-meter social-distancing measure in public transport to at least 1-foot distance and the wearing of masks. The state of emergency is extended.

June 30

(1) As of June 29, China reports 83,531 confirmed cases in the mainland, according to the NHC. The death toll remains unchanged at 4,634. 78,469 patients had been cured and discharged from hospitals. (2) There are 3,171 confirmed cases with 58 deaths in Thailand, 355 cases with no deaths in Vietnam, 141 cases with no deaths in Cambodia, 299 cases with 6 deaths in Myanmar, and 19 cases with no deaths in Laos.

(A) Foreign Affairs January 6

President Xi Jinping meets with Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith in Beijing. Xi hails Laos as the country's good neighbor, friend, comrade, and partner. Both sides agree to maintain the tradition of high-level exchanges, move forward to build a 49 The Chronology


community with a shared future, and advance the alignment of development strategies. They want to promote the construction of the China-Laos Economic Corridor and cooperate in various projects, such as the China-Laos Railway under the Belt and Road Initiative and economic parks as well as support people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Premier Li Keqiang holds talks with Thongloun Sisolith on the same day. Both sides agree to further development of bilateral relations and promote the construction of major infrastructure projects and cooperation in finance and agriculture. China supports Laos in hosting the 3rd Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) leaders’ meeting. China is willing to work with Laos and ASEAN to facilitate regional economic integration and promote the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Thongloun Sisoulith pays an official visit to China on January 5-9. January 6-7

A New Year celebration meeting of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region with 4 border provinces of Vietnam, including Lang Son, Cao Bang, Ha Giang, and Quang Ninh, is held in Liuzhou, China to enhance friendship and deepen pragmatic cooperation in areas such as cross-border logistics, finance, labor services, agriculture, forestry, and science. Both sides review and evaluate the fruitful results achieved in the past 5 years as this year is the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Vietnam and the 5th anniversary of the New Year meeting between Guangxi and 4 border provinces of Vietnam.

January 9

Chinese Permanent Representative to the United Nations remarks to the Security Council at a debate on upholding the founding treaty of the UN in New York that China firmly upholds multilateralism and the UN Charter. He calls on the relevant parties to decrease the escalation of tensions, uphold the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and return to dialogue and consultation. 50 The Chronology


January 16

(1) President Xi Jinping holds telephone talks with Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong on the occasion of the upcoming traditional Spring Festival and the 70th anniversary of China-Vietnam diplomatic relations. They agree to strengthen political trust, promote practical cooperation in economics and the BRI, expand bilateral exchanges and cooperation, and support greater development of the relation between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV). (2) President Xi Jinping’s article titled “Writing a New Chapter in Our Millennia-Old Pauk-Phaw Friendship" is published in Myanmar newspapers, including Myanma Alinn Daily, The Mirror, and The Global New Light of Myanmar ahead of his state visit to Myanmar. Xi wants to work with Myanmar to renew fraternal ties and discuss future cooperation during his visit. He proposes 4 areas to promote bilateral ties, namely, strengthening strategic communication; deepening trade and economic exchanges, especially the 3 pillars of the ChinaMyanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), including the Kyaukpyu Special Economic Zone, the ChinaMyanmar Border Economic Cooperation Zone, and the New Yangon City; developing exchanges and mutual learning; and enhancing coordination and cooperation.

January 17-18

President Xi Jinping pays an official visit to Myanmar, the first overseas trip this year, and the first visit to Myanmar by a Chinese president in 19 years. On January 17, Xi attends a grand welcoming ceremony hosted by President U Win Myint of Myanmar at the presidential palace. Xi and Myanmar leaders attend the ceremony to celebrate the 70th anniversary of China-Myanmar diplomatic ties and China-Myanmar Year of Culture and Tourism in Nay Pyi Taw. Xi delivers a speech calling on both sides to build a community with a shared future, encourage stronger political trust, and 51 The Chronology


broader practical cooperation. He stresses that both sides should set an example for advocating and applying the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, initiated by China, Myanmar, and India when Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai visited the two countries in 1954, and be role models in the handling of state-to-state relations. On the same day, Xi holds talks with President U Win Myint stressing the importance of the friendship between the two countries. Both sides are willing to work together on advancing the construction of the CMEC within the framework of the BRI. Moreover, he says that China supports Myanmar’s development path and the peace process on Myanmar’s Rakhine State issue. On January 18, Xi meets with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar. Both sides agree to promote the construction of the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone, the New Yangon City, and the China-Myanmar Border Economic Cooperation Zone and enhance cooperation in transportation, energy, production capacity, humanitarian and cultural exchanges, border and regional affairs. On the same day, Xi and Aung San Suu Kyi attend a ceremony to exchange cooperative documents. Xi witnessed the signing of 29 cooperation documents covering areas such as politics, trade, investment, and people-to-people exchanges. The two sides also issue a joint statement. They agree to enhance coordination and cooperation in regional and multilateral affairs. Xi meets with Myanmar Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services Min Aung Hlaing calling on both sides to support military-to-military exchanges, safeguard peace and stability of the border areas, and promote the economic development of border areas. January 18

President Xi Jinping exchanges congratulatory messages with Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong on the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations 52 The Chronology


between the two countries to firmly promote bilateral ties and develop the China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in the new era. Premier Li Keqiang exchanges congratulatory messages with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on the same day. Both sides express the willingness to work together on promoting maritime, land, and financial cooperation and deepening the synergy of the BRI and “Two Corridors and One Economic Circle” plan of Vietnam as well as on key areas such as industrial capacity and infrastructure. January 23

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai in Beijing. Both sides are willing to push forward the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea, promote greater development in China-ASEAN ties, strengthen the Lancang-Mekong water resources cooperation, solve the drought in the Mekong River, and deepen bilateral cooperation.

January 28

President Xi Jinping meets with WHO DirectorGeneral Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Beijing. Xi says that China has full confidence and capability to win the battle against the novel coronavirus outbreak and is willing to work with the WHO and the international community to safeguard global public health security. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on the same day. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks highly of the Chinese government that implements measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The WHO is confident in China's epidemic prevention and control ability.

February 3

The CPC Central Committee sends a message to the CPV Central Committee on the 90th anniversary of the CPV’s founding to develop friendly and cooperative relations between the two parties, strengthen strategic communication, enhance 53 The Chronology


political mutual trust, and deepen exchanges of theoretical and practical experience in party and national governance. February 4

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has a telephone conversation with Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai. The Thai side is willing to provide all necessary assistance to support China's fight against the COVID-19 outbreak. The Chinese side expresses a commitment to engage in international health cooperation and care for the Thai nationals in China.

February 5

(1) Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen visits Beijing. He plans to visit Cambodian students in Wuhan. However, the Chinese side has not arranged a trip to Wuhan for Hun Sen as the city has adopted measures to prevent and control the COVID-19 outbreak. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi welcomes him upon his arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport. Hun Sen meets with President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of People. Xi Jinping is willing to work closely with Cambodia and other countries to respond collectively and effectively to the COVID-19 epidemic and uphold public health security in the region and beyond. Hun Sen expresses strong support for the Chinese government and people and his willingness to continue cooperation and exchanges with China. Hun Sen meets Premier Li Keqiang on the same day to express condolences to the Chinese people affected by the epidemic and appreciation to the Chinese government's care for Cambodia students and nationals in China. Li Keqiang stresses that China is willing to make joint efforts with Cambodia to promote China-Cambodia comprehensive strategic cooperation. China has the confidence and capability to win the battle against the virus. (2) A total of 21 countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, and the United Nations Children’s Fund have donated epidemic prevention and control supplies to China, according to Chinese 54 The Chronology


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying at an online press briefing. February 6

The Chinese Embassy in Thailand posts a statement on Facebook to express the Chinese government and people’s gratitude and appreciation for Thailand’s assistance and support in fighting COVID-19.

February 7

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)’s Chiang Mai office and tourism entrepreneurs in the province donate 100,000 baht and 1,000 masks to China’s consulate general. Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Rattapon Naradisorn hands over the donations to acting Consul General Xu Qian at City Hall.

February 8

Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade donates medical supplies worth about US$25,845 to China to fight the epidemic.

February 19

(1) State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh in Vientiane, Laos at the China-ASEAN Special Foreign Ministers' Meeting on the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Outbreak. Both sides are willing to promote friendship, push forward cooperation, strengthen people-to-people exchanges, and manage their differences at sea properly. They want to promote the coordination between the LancangMekong Cooperation (LMC) and the New Land-Sea Corridor and contribute to the development of the LMC Economic Development Belt. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. (2) Wang Yi meets with Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai. Both sides support the holding of the China-ASEAN Special Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Outbreak. They want to overcome the epidemic together, pledge joint cooperation in fighting COVID-19, and promote bilateral traditional friendship and people-to-people exchange. (3) Wang Yi meets with ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi and thanks the Secretariat for 55 The Chronology


organizing the ASEAN-China medical experts video meeting. They are willing to support the ChinaASEAN Special Foreign Ministers' Meeting on the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Outbreak and promote ASEAN-China relations and cooperation. China wants to enhance cooperation with ASEAN in public health security. (4) Wang Yi meets with Philippines Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin and Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan to discuss the joint combat against the COVID-19 outbreak. February 20

(1) State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Lao President Bounnhang Vorachit in Vientiane. They support the China-ASEAN Special Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Outbreak. They will work together on the building of the China-Laos Railway and the ChinaLaos Economic Corridor, deepening in the joint battle against the COVID-19 epidemic, and making it beneficial for the Lao people in the China-Laos community with a shared future. (2) Wang Yi meets with Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith to praise Laos for arranging the China-ASEAN Special Foreign Ministers' Meeting on the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Outbreak within a short time. Both sides want to implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and promote bilateral cooperation in various fields. They will push forward the construction of the China-Laos Railway and the China-Laos Economic Corridor and speed up the implementation of the action plan on building a China-Laos community with a shared future

February 21

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith. The Lao side expresses gratitude to the Chinese government for taking care of Laotians in China amid the COVID-19 outbreak. It launches a nationwide fund-raising campaign to support China’s fight against the epidemic. Thongloun Sisoulith and Wang Yi, as well as Saleumxay Kommasith, attend the 56 The Chronology


handover ceremony to receive Laos' donations of US$400,000 in cash and US$100,000 worth of medical supplies to China for fighting against COVID19. February 25

Myanmar’s military donates 90,000 pieces of surgical masks, 90,000 pieces of N-95 respirators, and 90,000 pairs of safety goggles to China for fighting against COVID-19.

March 1

The Myanmar government donates 200 tons of rice to China to fight against COVID-19. The rice will be delivered to Hubei Province. It is handed over to Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar Chen Hai at the Shwe Pyi Thar Industrial Zone 4 in Yangon.

March 2

Cambodia's Ministry of National Defense donates 300,000 surgical masks and protective medical suits to China's Ministry of National Defense to help China fight against COVID-19. Cambodian Defense Minister General Tea Banh hands over the donated items to Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian at the Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh.

March 3

Thailand’s Public Health Ministry has issued an announcement defining 11 high-risk zones for COVID-19 to facilitate authorities’ control measures. These zones include China, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Taiwan, France, Singapore, Italy, Iran, Hong Kong, and Macau.

March 9

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) announces that travelers from COVID-19 infected countries and territories, including China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, Hong Kong, and Macau, have to obtain their health certificates from relevant authorities before boarding their flights to Thailand. Otherwise, they will not be allowed to enter the country. Boat passengers and crew from COVID-19 infected countries and territories have to provide a health certificate to enter Thailand and will be put under the country's quarantine regulations, according to

57 The Chronology


Director-General of the Marine Department Withaya Yamuang. March 11

(1) Thailand’s Public Health Ministry announces that arrivals from China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea, must declare their 14-day self-quarantine locations in Thailand. Otherwise, they will be fined 20,000 baht and 1-year jail for repeated failure to comply. (2) Chinese Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Yang Xin meets with Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit at Government House in Bangkok. Yang Xin offers assistance to Thailand in fighting COVID-19 as China is recovering from the epidemic. Jurin requests the supply of surgical masks, N95 masks, COVID-19 screening test kits, and other products to control the spread of the virus. He also requests for raw materials for making masks at a cheaper price. Both sides agree to exchange knowledge regarding the disease and its control and treatment. (3) China is willing to make contributions to the global fight against COVID-19 by sharing epidemic information transparently in a highly responsible manner and experience with other countries and regions that need it, according to Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang at a press briefing. China so far has released the 7th version of the coronavirus treatment guidelines, held video conferences with other countries to exchange experiences, assigned medical groups to epidemic countries, donated funding to the WHO, and provided medical supplies to the international community.

March 12

Chinese Director of the Department of Foreign Trade of the Ministry of Commerce Li Xingqian remarks at an online news briefing that China will further expand international and regional cooperation, offer assistance, share experience, and export face masks and medical supplies to other countries in their fight against COVID-19.

March 13

Cambodia's Ministry of Public Works and Transport suspends the entry by water transportation, 58 The Chronology


including seaways and ports until further notice to prevent the COVID-19 outbreak. March 14

(1) Thailand cancels visa on arrival (VOA) for selected countries, namely, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China (including Taiwan), Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, and Vanuatu, and visa exemptions for Italy starting from March 13 to September 30, according to the Foreign Ministry of Thailand. Arrivals from those countries have to apply for visas at a Thai embassy or consulate and provide a medical certificate to show that they are not infected with COVID-19. Citizens of Russia, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Macau can enter the country without visas as they have signed bilateral agreements on free visas with Thailand. (2) Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces that the country suspends tourist visas for foreigners coming from the UK and the 26 Schengen countries of Europe for 30 days starting from March 15 at 12 pm due to the COVID-19 epidemic. (3) Cambodian authorities announce a series of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including a 30-day entry ban on foreigners from Italy, Germany, Spain, France, and the US starting from March 17.

March 18

(1) China donates 2,016 fast test kits for COVID-19 to Cambodia, according to Cambodian Ministry of Health Spokesperson Or Vandine. (2) China donates 100,000 surgical masks, 20,000 test kits, 10,000 N95 respirators, and 2,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Thailand for distribution to medical and public health workers, according to Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul. (3) China donates testing kits for COVID-19 to Laos. Chinese Ambassador to Laos Jiang Zaidong exchanges views on enhancing prevention and control cooperation for the fight against the 59 The Chronology


pandemic with Lao Health Minister Bounkong Syhavong. (4) The Lao government suspends all types of visas on arrival and electronic visas (E-visas) for 30 days to prevent and control the COVID-19 outbreak. Citizens of countries with visa exemptions granted previously have to apply for visas at the Lao embassy or consulate and provide a health certificate from related authorities and declare their movement history. March 19

The Thai government announces that all visitors to Thailand have to show its authorities a health certificate issued not more than 72 hours before traveling and health insurance coverage for COVid19 not less than US$100,000 to enter the country starting from March 22. The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) announces the new measure of the government and adds that for Thais returning to the country, they have to show a health certificate confirming that they are fit to fly and a letter issued by the Royal Thai Embassy, Thai Consular Office or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs certifying that they are Thai nationals returning to Thailand.

March 20

Thai Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda orders governors of border provinces to close all temporary checkpoints and open only one main checkpoint in each province. In the case of Chiang Rai Province, it will be allowed to maintain one checkpoint bordering Myanmar and another checkpoint bordering Laos. The first Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge in Tak Province bordering Myanmar will be closed on March 21 until further notice. The remaining checkpoint is the second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge in Mae Sot District. The Phu Nam Ron permanent checkpoint and the Three Pagodas Pass in Kanchanaburi Province bordering Myanmar are closed from March 21 to April 3. 60 The Chronology


The Ban Nong Preu and Ban Ta Phraya temporary checkpoints and the Ban Khao Din permanent checkpoint in Sa Kaeo Province bordering Cambodia are closed from March 23 to April 5. The remaining checkpoint is the Aranyaprathet checkpoint. Mukdahan Province suspends ferry service across the Mekong River to Laos from March 20 to April 20. Checkpoints with Malaysia have already closed since the Malaysian government locked down the country for 2 weeks from March 9. March 21

The Vietnamese government announces that the country will suspend foreign entry starting from March 22 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This measure will also apply to all overseas Vietnamese.

March 22

The third Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge in Nakhon Phanom bordering Laos will be closed until further notice to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to an order issued by Governor Sayam Sirimongkol. Temporary checkpoints in 4 districts of the province are also closed.

March 23

China sends a team of 7 medical experts with tons of medical supplies from Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region to Cambodia to help the country fight against COVID-19, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang. The team is organized by the National Health Commission. This is the first medical expert team that China sends to ASEAN.

March 24

Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul meets with Chinese Embassy ChargÊ d’Affaires Yang Xin expressing thanks to China for sending 834 COVID-19 medical kits, 100,000 surgical masks, 10,000 N95 masks, and 2,000 personal protective equipment suits.

March 25

(1) Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announces the emergency decree with effect from March 26 to April 30 to combat against the COVID-19 pandemic. The country will ban the entry of 61 The Chronology


foreigners at all entry points, except some groups permitted by the prime minister. Thai nationals stranded in other countries will be allowed to return. (2) Laos’ Department of Immigration announces that foreigners and stateless people who cannot leave Laos because of temporary border closure can apply for an extension to stay in the country for another month. March 26

(1) China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Immigration Administration announce the temporary suspension of entry by foreign nationals holding valid Chinese visas or residence permits starting from March 28 until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes entries by foreign nationals with APEC Business Travel Cards, port visas, 24/72/144-hour visa-free transit policy, Hainan 30-day visa-free policy, 15-day visa-free policy for a foreign cruise group tour through Shanghai Port, Guangdong 144-hour visa-free policy for foreign tour groups from Hong Kong or Macau, and Guangxi 15-day visa-free policy for foreign tour groups of ASEAN countries. (2) The Jack Ma and the Alibaba foundations donate facemasks, protective suits, face shields, and other medical supplies to Thailand. Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul receives the donated items from Lazada Thailand Chief Executive James Dong as a representative of the two foundations. (3) The Chinese government provides assistance to 89 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Americas, the South Pacific, and 4 international organizations to fight the COVID-19 outbreak. It plans to give further support to them, according to Vice Chairman of the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) Deng Boqing. China has sent medical experts to Iran, Iraq, Serbia, and Cambodia. China’s National Health Commission (NHC) has compiled diagnosis and treatment plans and shared them with 180 countries and more than 10 international and regional organizations. The Commission has 62 The Chronology


conducted in-depth exchanges with the international community, held about 30 video conferences on technical issues with more than 100 countries and regions, according to Deputy Director of the NHC Zeng Yixin. (4) China donates 2,016 sets of testing kits to Laos to battle against COVID-19, according to the Chinese Embassy in Laos. The Jack Ma Foundation has sent 5,000 sets of protective clothing, 5,000 N95 masks, 400,000 disposable medical masks, and 20,000 sets of testing kits to Laos. (5) China donates 5,000 protective clothing, 5,000 N95 masks, and 200,000 surgical masks to Myanmar to combat COVID-19. The donated items are handed over by Chinese Ambassador Chen Hai to DirectorGeneral of the Medical Research Department under the Ministry of Health and Sports Zaw Than Htun. March 27

The Cambodian government will suspend the visa exemption policy and issuance of tourist visas, evisas, and visas on arrival to all foreigners for 1 month starting from March 31 to contain the spread of COViD-19. Foreigners have to apply for a prior visa from Cambodian missions abroad and provide a medical certificate proving that they have no infection issued by health authorities of their country no more than 72 hours before the date of travel and insurance of not less than US$50,000 in case they would like to enter the country.

March 28

The Jack Ma and the Alibaba Foundations donate an additional of 20,000 fast test kits for COVID-19 to Cambodia. Chinese Ambassador Wang Wentian hands over the donated items to Cambodian Minister of Health Mam Bunheng in Phnom Penh.

March 29

(1) China sends a team of medical experts with medical supplies to Vientiane, Laos to help the country fight against COVID-19. (2) The Myanmar Foreign Ministry announces that the country will suspend the issuance of all types of

63 The Chronology


visas to all nationalities starting from March 29 to April 30 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (3) Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith announced new measures to prevent and control the COVID-19 pandemic covering stricter measures regarding international crossings and traveling within Laos starting from March 31. March 30

(1) The Jack Ma and the Alibaba Foundations donate N95 masks and test kits to Myanmar in the fight against COVID-19. (2) China hands over 2,016 testing kits, 5,000 sets of protective clothing, and 405,000 face masks to Laos, according to the Chinese Embassy in Laos. (3) Lao Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith says at a briefing on the COVID-19 situation in Laos that shuttle flights will be allowed to bring foreign citizens back to their country from Laos.

March 31

China and ASEAN hold the 2nd video conference on COVID-19 to share experiences and further cooperation, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying. The conference is organized by the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the NHC and coordinated by the ASEAN Secretariat. Diplomats, health officials, and medical experts from China and ASEAN countries attend the conference.

April 1

Thailand's Foreign Ministry grants automatic renewal of tourist visas for visitors who arrived in Thailand after March 1 to prevent mass gathering at Immigration offices.

April 2

Premier Li Keqiang talks over the phone with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. They are willing to strengthen cooperation with regional countries to contain the spread of COVID-19, work in solidarity in jointly safeguard public health security of the region, share experiences in outbreak response, and maintain economic growth in the region. 64 The Chronology


April 3

(1) Thailand blocks all travel to Thailand from April 2-15 as the government wants to slow down arrivals by Thais and foreigners and prepare for state quarantine facilities. (2) President Xi Jinping speaks with Lao President Bounnhang Vorachit on the phone. Xi says that China will continue to provide support and assistance for Laos in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lao side expresses appreciation for China’s support and assistance amid the outbreak. They are willing to maintain high-level exchanges and advance bilateral cooperation, including the China-Laos railway, economic corridor, and people-to-people exchanges. (3) Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cambodia provides automatically visa extension to tourists holding Visa T and arriving in the country after January 1 starting from April 3 and allows them to prolong their stay until they can return to their home countries, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

April 5

The Chinese medical team goes to the China-Laos railway construction site in Vientiane to advise the engineers on COVID-19 prevention and control.

April 6

(1) Thailand bans commercial flights from April 4-6. The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) extends the ban to April 18 as the country is concerned with the growing number of COVID-19 cases especially people returning from abroad. (2) Chinese Director of the National Immigration Administration’s Border Inspection Department Liu Haitao reveals that China has suspended the issuance of exit and entry certificates in border areas for nonessential reasons, including passenger transport through land ports. (3) Yunnan Province officials said at a news conference that the province steps up measures to curb imported COVID-19 cases from neighboring countries. It issued a regulation prohibiting entry 65 The Chronology


through land and water and suspended services at 19 ports of entry. People coming to Yunnan must be quarantined for 14 days at their expenses and undergo coronavirus tests. The daily average number of residents entering the country dropped from 4,680 to 1,283 on April 1. (4) The Chinese medical team holds a training course on treating COVID-19 cases for Lao health ministry officials, doctors and nurses from major hospitals in Vientiane to reduce infection risks in hospitals. The team attends a regular meeting of the epidemic prevention and control committee chaired by Lao Minister of Health Bounkong Sihavong and visits the Mittaphap Hospital, the only hospital in Vientiane treating COVID-19 cases. April 7

(1) The Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region donates medical equipment, including protective clothing, N95 masks, and testing instruments to Cambodia. (2) The Civil Aviation Administration of China and General Administration of Customs jointly issued a notice that Chinese nationals coming from 26 countries, including Thailand, to China have to submit personal information, health status, and recent travel history via WeChat before boarding the plane. (3) The Foreign Ministry of Thailand issues a statement that not more than 200 people will be allowed to enter the country each day, following the government’s policies to contain the spread of COVID-19. (4) China’s Hytera Communications Corporation Limited (Myanmar) donates 10,000 pieces of medical masks to Myanmar's Home Affairs Ministry. China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSEC Myanmar Company Limited) donates 5,000 medical masks to the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC).

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(5) Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen announces that all incoming people to the country through all border entries must be quarantined for 14 days at the point of entries in all provinces and cities. April 8

(1) China sends a medical team from hospitals in Yunnan Province with 5.3 tons of medical supplies to Myanmar for fighting against COVID-19. The team is organized by the NHC. (2) The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) donates 150,000 medical masks and 4,000 testing kits to the Ministry of Health and Sports of Myanmar. Yangon-Shenzhen Industrial Park Group Company Limited donates 10,000 medical masks and SPIC Company donates 2,000 medical masks and 20 thermometers to the government of the Yangon Region. China General Technology Group donates 14,000 medical masks to Myanmar Railway. Wanbo Company donates 10,000 medical masks, 500 N95 respirators, and 500 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the Medical Research Department, Ministry of Health and Sports of Myanmar. (3) Thailand’s Immigration Bureau grants visa relief for all foreigners stranded in the country. Visas that have expired form March 26 onwards will be automatically extended to April 30. Foreigners who have to file a 90-day report between March 26 and April 30 have been temporarily exempted until further notice. Foreigners holding border passes will be allowed to stay in the country, but have to leave within 7 days after borders reopen.

April 10

The Chinese government has provided supplies for the fight against the pandemic to 127 countries and 4 international organizations so far. The country donated US$20 million to the WHO, sent 13 medical teams to 11 countries, and held over 70 video conferences with experts from more than 150 countries and international organizations, according to Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian at a press conference.

67 The Chronology


April 11

The flight 3U8288 of Sichuan Airlines brings back 121 stranded Chinese tourists in Thailand from Chiang Rai to Chengdu, Sichuan Province.

April 13

Medical experts from Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention holds a video meeting with the Lao Ministry of Health and designated hospitals to exchange experiences on the COVID-19 situation and the prevent and control measures.

April 20

Chinese experts from the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University shares COVID-19 treatment experiences with Cambodian medical experts from several medical institutions via a video conference.

April 21

(1) Thailand extends visa automatically for the second time for foreigners for 3 months to prevent crowded people at immigration centers and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Expired foreigners’ visas since March 26 will be extended to July 31. (2) China donates medical supplies, including 75,000 surgical masks, 300 bottles of hand sanitizers, and 35 infrared thermometers to the ASEAN Secretariat. ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi hails China-ASEAN cooperation in fighting COVID-19 at a handover ceremony at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia.

April 22

Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health announces the additional list of countries with high risk for the COVID-19 infection on the Royal Gazette website, including Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, and Myanmar, as the number of infections in these countries was increasing.

April 23

(1) The Chinese central government sends an expert team under the NHC to Yunnan Province to guide the prevention of imported COVID-19 cases as the province shares border with Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam and faces risks of imported cases from the illegal border crossing into China, according to the Yunnan provincial government. 68 The Chronology


(2) China donates another US$30 million to the WHO in addition to the US$20 million donations already made to support the fight against COVID-19 globally and strengthen health systems in developing countries, according to Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang. April 24

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has a conversation on the phone with ASEAN SecretaryGeneral Lim Jock Hoi. They want to coordinate to follow the outcomes of the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19 to achieve a victory over the virus, support the role of WHO, push forward the signing of the RCEP agreement, and expand bilateral cooperation.

April 27

(1) The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) extends the ban on all incoming flights from April 30 to May 31 to contain the spread of COVID-19. (2) State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi talks on the phone with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn to praise their mutual friendship and support during the pandemic. They are willing to work together on bilateral cooperation and support the WHO’s leading role in the battle against COVID-19

May 8

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi entrusted by President Xi Jinping visits King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia in Beijing as the King was in China for a physical examination. Both sides express willingness to enhance the exchange of epidemic prevention and control experiences and speak highly on the bilateral relation of mutual support and assistance.

May 12

China donates medical supplies, including 6 noninvasive ventilators, 10 electrocardiograms, 30 infusion pumps, 100 infrared thermometers, 6,000 COVID-19 PCR test kits, and masks and protective gears to Thailand. The medical supplies this time will be distributed to military hospitals and hospitals under the Public Health Ministry’s jurisdiction in the 69 The Chronology


southern provinces of the country. Chinese Charge D’affaires at the Chinese Embassy Yang Xin and Thai Deputy Defense Minister Chaichan Changmongkol attend the handover ceremony in Bangkok. May 13

The Chinese government donates a total of 150,000 pieces of nucleic acid test kits and 18,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Medical Research Department, the Health and Sports Ministry of Myanmar. China has donated more than 162,000 pieces of nucleic acid test kits, 3.95 million surgical masks, 48,000 PPE, and other supplies to Myanmar so far since the outbreak emerged in the country.

May 15

Thailand's Royal Gazette announces that China, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Macau would be removed from the list of "dangerous disease zones" from May 16 as these countries have shown effectiveness in preventing and containing the spread of COVID-19.

May 16

The Civil Aviation of Thailand (CAAT) extends the ban on international flights until June 30 to continue measures for containing the virus.

May 20

(1) President Xi Jinping has a phone call with President U Win Myint of Myanmar. They are willing to work together to ensure prevention and control of the pandemic, advance exchanges and cooperation in various areas, including the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor project, maintain border peace and stability, and restart economic activities. China will work with Myanmar to support the WHO's leading role in fighting COVID-19 and provide support and assistance for Myanmar. (2) China and the WHO officially launch the COVID19 Solidarity Response Fund for the WHO program in China to encourage individuals, businesses, and charities to contribute to the global response to the pandemic. Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu attends the launching ceremony.

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March 24

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets the press on the sidelines of the 3rd session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC). He says that China is willing to step up economic integration with ASEAN and joint efforts on the signing of the RCEP agreement this year. China wants to work with ASEAN on the alignment between the BRI and ASEAN Connectivity 2025, bilateral cooperation, and the establishment of an emergency response network on public health and centers for epidemic containment materials At a press conference on China's foreign policy and diplomatic relations, Wang calls for international cooperation and communication to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. He also mentions the COVID-19 pandemic and the origin of the virus, the US-China relations, China-EU relations, multilateralism and global governance, global aid and assistance, national security legislation for Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China, Japan, and South Korea cooperation, the task of Chinese diplomacy in 2020, and the South China Sea issues.

May 26

Laos' Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports that the easing of restriction measures in the country. Students, Lao citizens, experts, and diplomats are allowed to enter and exit the country with travel documents authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

May 29

Thailand’s Foreign Ministry announces that the country allows foreigners with work permits or permission from the Ministry of Labor or other government agencies to enter the country after registration. However, they must have health insurance and a health certificate and will be put under 14-day quarantine upon entry to Thailand.

June 1

Myanmar Union Minister for International Cooperation U Kyaw Tin expresses support for China’s national security legislation for Hong Kong, according to the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar.

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June 2

Wang Yang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee talks over the phone with Saysomphone Phomvihane, a member of the Political Bureau of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee and President of the Lao Front for National Construction (LFNC) on the fight against COVID-19 and China’s two sessions. Both sides agree to further strengthen exchanges and cooperation. The Lao side supports China’s national security legislation for Hong Kong.

June 3

China donates medical supplies to Cambodia for fighting against the pandemic. Chinese Ambassador Wang Wentian hands over the items to Cambodian Health Minister Mam Bunheng in Phnom Penh.

June 4

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) eases restrictions on international flights. All qualified foreign airlines can resume services starting from June 8. Foreign airlines can operate 1 flight a week to China.

June 8

President Xi Jinping and Myanmar President U Win Myint exchange congratulatory messages on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Myanmar. Both sides are ready to work together to consolidate mutual political trust, enhance high-level exchanges, deepen practical cooperation in various fields, and build a ChinaMyanmar community with a shared future. Premier Li Keqiang and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi exchange congratulatory messages, expressing the willingness to cooperate on the BRI and the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor and strengthen friendly relations and practical cooperation.

June 9

China donates the 4th batch of medical supplies, including disposable masks, N95 masks, goggles, and personal protective equipment (PPE), to Myanmar. Chinese Ambassador Chen Hai hands over the items to Myanmar's Union Minister for Health and Sports Myint Htwe. 72 The Chronology


June 12

Huawei donates 500,000 face masks to Thailand. Chief Executive Officer of Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Abel Deng hands over the items to Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. They discuss digital technology and the 5G ecosystem in mitigating the impact of COVID-19.

June 13

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) announces the inbound flight ban extension from May 31 to June 30 as the country continues to contain the spread of COVID-19. The exception includes state or military aircraft, emergency or technical landing, humanitarian aid, medicine and relief flights, repatriation, and cargo aircraft.

June 15

President Xi Jinping exchanges messages with Laotian President Bounnhang Vorachit on ChinaLaos cooperation against COVID-19. Both sides are willing to strengthen cooperation in fighting the pandemic, implement the important consensus between the two sides, and advance the building of the China-Laos community with a shared future.

June 16

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi cochairs the 5th meeting of China-Cambodia Intergovernmental Coordination Committee with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Hor Nam Hong via video conference. Both sides announced the establishment of a fast-track lane for personal exchanges and a green channel for goods. They agree to push forward the negotiation of the ChinaCambodia bilateral Free Trade Agreement, set up consular offices with each other, and officially launch Cambodian mango exports to China. They are willing to work together in fighting against the pandemic and promote economic and social development. The Cambodian side supports China's national security legislation in Hong Kong.

June 27

Myanmar extends virus measures and directives until July 15, according to the Central Committee on COVID-19 Control. The restrictions include a temporary suspension of international flights, a ban on issuing all visas and visa exemption services. The 73 The Chronology


curfew remains from 12 am to 4 am. People cannot have gatherings for more than 5 people. June 29

(1) The CCSA announces that business travelers and guests of the government from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore will be allowed to enter the country conditionally from July 1. Foreign spouses and children of work permit holders, foreigners with residency rights in Thailand, foreigners married to Thais, foreigners seeking medical treatment in Thailand, and international students and their guardians will be allowed to enter the country as well. The emergency decree will be extended until July 31. The ban on international flights will be lifted on July 1, according to the CAAT. (2) China donates medical equipment to Thailand, including 1.3 million surgical face masks, 70,000 pieces of N95 face masks, 150,000 COVID-19 test kits, and 70,000 PPE suits, to fight against the COVID19 pandemic. Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha expresses thanks to China and condolences to Chinese people suffering from floods in China when he meets Charge d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy Yang Xin at a donation handover ceremony in Bangkok.

(B) Political Affairs January 1

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia states that a Chinese vessel enters waters bordering Indonesia’s Natuna Islands. This action has no legal basis and has not been recognized by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The Chinese argument on the South China Sea had been refuted by the International Arbitral Tribunal in the case brought up at the request of the Philippines.

January 2

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Geng Shuang responds to the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia by pointing out that China’s position on the EEZ in the South China Sea is consistent with international laws and 74 The Chronology


the UNCLOS. The country has rights and interests over the relevant waters. China neither accepts nor recognizes the verdict of the South China Sea arbitration. January 3

The Chinese Water Resources Authority has issued a notification to water management authorities in other 5 Mekong countries that the Authority will reduce water discharge from the Jinghong dam on January 1-4 due to the testing of electricity transmission equipment. Thailand’s Office of National Water Resources has warned 8 provinces along the Mekong River to prepare for water shortage. Chiang Rai Provincial Marine Department has warned riverside residents and people who commute on the Mekong River ferries to be alert.

January 6

The Indonesian government says that the country will mobilize 120 fishing vessels to join warships in the South China Sea to defend against Chinese vessels. President Joko Widodo says that there is no negotiation when it comes to the country’s sovereignty. Indonesia increases ships and fighter jets to patrol the surrounding waters.

January 7

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang says that China has opened diplomatic channels with Indonesia and both countries shoulder the responsibility for maintaining regional peace and stability.

January 8

Indonesian President Joko Widodo visits the Natuna Islands in the South China Sea, the water disputed by China, and meets with fishermen on the island. The dispute began in December 2019 as a Chinese coast guard vessel accompanied Chinese fishing boats and entered the Natuna Islands that belongs to Indonesia.

January 10

7 Uighur migrants escape from a detention cell in Mukdahan. The border patrol police capture one of them.

January 12

5 Uighur migrants who escaped from an immigration detention facility are captured. They planned to 75 The Chronology


escape to Laos, while some planned to head to Bangkok. January 13

The last Uighur migrant who broke out of a detention cell in Mukdahan was recaptured.

January 23

(1) President Xi Jinping addresses a Chinese Lunar New Year reception at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, stressing the race against time to reach the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation and the building of a community with a shared future. (2) Phuket authorities in collaborating with the ThaiChinese Cultural and Relationship Council conduct an emergency drill to boost confidence among Chinese tourists at the Ao Chalong pier. Deputy Interior Minister Niphon Bunyamanee, a representative of the Ministry of Interior attends the drill. China’s Peaceland Foundation sends 12 staff to join the drill.

January 24

The Chinese Embassy in Bangkok issues a statement that China has agreed to release water from the Lancang River from 850 cubic meters per second to 1,000 cubic meters per second to overcome the drought situation at the request of Thailand.

January 25

President Xi Jinping chairs the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus outbreak. The participants set up a CPC Central Committee leading group to oversee the work and call on all-out efforts to prevent and control the spread of the virus, treat infected patients, coordinate civilian and military medical resources, and safeguard social stability.

January 26

Premier Li Keqiang, the head of the leading group of the CPC Central Committee on coping with the novel coronavirus, presides over the group meeting to adopt epidemic control measures, including delaying and reducing conferences and major events, extending the Lunar New Year holiday, and supporting work online. China will coordinate resources nationwide and prioritize efforts to 76 The Chronology


support medical workers, and provide protection suits and surgical masks to Hubei Province, the epicenter of the outbreak. January 28

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Southern Theatre Command organizes air and naval forces to track, verify, identify, and expel the Montgomery, a US warship that sails near the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea on January 25, according to Senior Colonel Li Huamin, a spokesperson of the PLA Southern Theatre Command.

February 2

Premier Li Keqiang chairs the meeting of the Central Leading Group on Responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. The meeting makes plans for flexible working hours in some affected provinces and urges a steady supply of goods for epidemic control and daily necessities across the country.

February 3

President Xi Jinping chairs the meeting of the Standing of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on the prevention and control of the COVID-19 outbreak in Beijing. Xi calls for prompt and resolute actions in containing the spread of the virus and urges concrete efforts to race against time.

February 4

(1) The Thai government agrees to drop the Mekong River blasting project that China initiated in 2001 as the project affects communities, non-profit groups, and China has no funding for the project, according to Deputy Government Spokesperson Trisulee Trisaranakul. (2) Premier Li Keqiang chairs a meeting of the Central Leading Group on Responding to the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Outbreak to emphasize the situation in Hubei Province. He urges authorities to work hard to raise the hospital admission and cure rates, increase the number of mobile hospitals and medical professionals, and provide adequate daily necessities for medicals and people who work in the front line.

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February 5

President Xi Jinping presides over the third meeting of the Commission for Overall Law-based Governance of the CPC Central Committee in Beijing. He calls for greater legislative, law enforcement, judicial, and law observance efforts to manage the COVID-19 epidemic. Participants adopt the commission's guidelines on practicing law-based infection prevention and control of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus.

February 6

Chief Executive Officer of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) An Pich Hatda says at the sidelines of the 9th Regional Forum in Luang Prabang that the MRC has started working with China to conduct a joint study to investigate the causes of low water levels of the Mekong River and provide scientific evidence, according to VnExpress.

February 15

Vietnam as the ASEAN chair for 2020 issues a Chairman's Statement to reaffirm collective response to the COVID-19 outbreak and express ASEAN's support for the Chinese government and people, as well as all countries around the world, in their endeavors to address the epidemic.

February 19-21

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi pays an official visit to Laos. Wang Yi and Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Lopez Locsin, the country coordinator of ChinaASEAN relations, co-chair a China-ASEAN Special Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Outbreak on February 20 in Vientiane. At the meeting, Wang Yi briefs the meeting on China's progress to contain the outbreak in the country. Participants exchanged views on a joint effort to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. They discuss a joint epidemic response, cooperation to advance joint prevention and control the epidemic, and the ways to maintain normal economic and social exchanges. Wang Yi proposes a special China-ASEAN leaders' meeting on the novel coronavirus outbreak to be held at an appropriate time. He calls for counterparts to promote public health management in the region 78 The Chronology


to contribute to regional and international public health and set up a China-ASEAN public health emergency communication mechanism and a ChinaASEAN anti-epidemic material reserve center to respond against emergent health issues. The meeting adopts the Statement of the Special China-ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). A China-ASEAN medical experts' meeting is held on the sidelines of the meeting. On the same day, Wang Yi co-chairs the 5th LancangMekong Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith. Wang Yi points out that the cooperation should enhance trade connectivity, synergize the LMC with the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, and build the Lancang-Mekong Economic Development Belt. Members should advance cooperation in public health and promote agriculture cooperation and implement the LMC 3-Year Action Plan on Agricultural Cooperation (2020-2022). Concerning the water resource cooperation, China will consider sharing the full-year Lancang River hydrological information with Mekong River countries. Mekong countries should improve people's livelihood and make good use of the LMC Special Fund programs. They should carry out cooperation in non-traditional security, maintain peace and stability in the border areas, and coordinate development with the Greater Mekong Subregion Cooperation (GMS), the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), and the Mekong River Commission. The meeting adopts the Joint Press Communique of the Fifth Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. February 23

Officials from the political bureau of CPC Central Committee to county-level Party officials and military officials of the corresponding level attend the meeting via videophone held by top Chinese leaders. President Xi Jinping delivers a speech calling 79 The Chronology


for unremitting efforts in the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic and coordination in advancing economic and social development. He asks Party committees and governments at all levels to resume work and production in an orderly manner. February 24

At a bimonthly session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, China's top legislature passes a decision to postpone the third session of the 13th NPC, originally scheduled to open on March 5 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The committee also decides to impose a full ban on illegal wildlife trade to safeguard people’s lives and health. The third session of the 13th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, originally planned to open on March 3 in Beijing, has been postponed as well.

February 25 -March 6

A team of 25 soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) 75th Group Army arrived in Thailand on February 23 to join the 2020 Cobra Gold, multilateral joint military drills led by Thailand and the US.

February 26

President Xi Jinping chairs a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus disease and makes donations to support the epidemic control work.

March 2

(1) President Xi Jinping visits the Academy of Military Medical Sciences and the School of Medicine at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He calls for advancing scientific research on COVID-19, overcoming difficulties in epidemic prevention and control at an earlier date, and developing new-type testing kits, antibody medicines, vaccines, and diagnosis and treatment plans. He urges relevant authorities to improve the legal and regulatory system and reinforce the national surveillance network for major epidemics. He points out that the country should step up communication with the WHO, share research information, and work on a joint response to the epidemic. 80 The Chronology


(2) As of February 29, more than 170 countries and heads of more than 40 international and regional organizations support China’s fight against the COVID-19 outbreak through telephone, letter, and statement. The defense authorities and militaries of Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar donate funds and supplies to China, according to China’s Defense Ministry Spokesperson Senior Colonel Wu Qian at a press conference in Beijing. March 4

(1) President Xi Jinping visits Wuhan for the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak. He praises the Communist Party, health care workers, and ordinary people for defeating the outbreak. (2) President Xi Jinping chairs the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. He calls for preventing and controlling COVID-19 and stabilizing economic and social development. The meeting stresses promoting consumption that had been affected by the outbreak and stabilizing foreign trade and investment. The meeting wants to create more jobs, stabilize employment, and help small household businesses. (3) The South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI) at the Peking University reports that a total of 311 Vietnamese fishing boats have entered Chinese internal waters near Hainan Island and Guangdong Province for illegal fishing and spying, according to Director of the SCSPI Hu Bo. The research team has used data from the Automatic Identification System (AIS) for tracking vessels’ movements and monitored the Vietnamese boats’ activities since January this year.

March 11

The US warship, US guided-missile destroyer McCampbell, trespasses into China's territorial waters near Paracel Islands in the South China Sea on March 10. The PLA Southern Theater Command dispatches its ships and aircraft to follow, monitor, identify and warn it off, according to PLA Southern Theatre Command Spokesperson Senior Colonel Li Huamin. 81 The Chronology


March 15-April 1

China and Cambodia launch "Dragon Gold 2020," a joint drill on counter-terrorism and humanitarian rescue at the Techo Sen Chumkiri live-fire field in Kampot Province, Cambodia. Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian and Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces General Vong Pisen preside over the opening ceremony of the drill. More than 800 troops from the Chinese and Cambodian armed forces participate in the training. The training aims to strengthen strategic mutual trust, cooperation, and exchanges between the two armed forces and enhance their ability to deal with international security threats.

March 18

(1) Cambodia has no plan to build new hydropower dams on the Mekong River for the next 10 years (2020-2030) as it will seek energy from coal, natural gas, and solar suggested by a study of a Japanese consultant, according to Director-General of Energy at Ministry of Mines and Energy Victor Jona. (2) President Xi Jinping presides over the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee to analyze the epidemic situation in China and abroad and COVID-19 effects on economic development. He stresses that China will assist within its ability to help affected nations. Participants want to improve measures for dealing with imported infections and strengthen exchanges and cooperation with other countries.

March 19

The 36th ASEAN Summit scheduled on April 6-9 in Vietnam is postponed until the end of June this year due to the COVID-19 epidemic, according to the Foreign Ministry of Vietnam.

March 21

The PLA donates 15,000 sets of study, sport and medical materials to Cambodia during a joint training drill in Kampot Province, according to Senior Colonel Zhang Tiren, PLA officer and head of the Chinese team.

March 22

The CPC Central Committee sends a congratulatory message to the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party 82 The Chronology


(LPRP) Central Committee on the 65th anniversary of the party’s establishment. Both sides are willing to enhance political trust, deepen exchanges of experience in party and national governance, and expand pragmatic cooperation in all fields. March 24

The Thai government declares a state of emergency that will be enforced from March 26 to April 30. The government upgrades the existing COVID-19 center to the center of state emergency to manage all COVID-19 issues. They set up committees under the center to monitor the results of announcements. Thailand will close all ports of entry for travelers except for those granted entry permits.

March 24-27

The 91st Mekong River joint patrol led by China, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand is held on the Mekong River. A total of 111 law enforcement officers and 5 vessels participate in the mission, including joint visits, inspections, and anti-drug publicity campaign.

March 25

Thai Permanent Secretary of the Interior Minister Chatchai Phromlert issues the order to all provincial governors to deploy more manpower to monitor checkpoints at borders between provinces from midnight of March 25 until the end of April following the government’s declaration of a state of emergency starting from March 26.

March 26

(1) The Group of 20 (G20) Extraordinary Virtual Leaders’ Summit is hosted by Saudi Arabia. Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chairs the meeting to advance a global response to the COVID19 pandemic and the effects on humans and economies. President Xi Jinping attends the meeting in Beijing. He calls for solidarity and the strictest measures to fight COVID-19, a common enemy. He urges G20 members to take joint measures, including reducing tariffs, removing trade barriers, and promoting free trade. China pledges to support global efforts to control the epidemic and stabilize the economy. Vietnam as the chair of the ASEAN is invited to join the meeting. The meeting vows to keep markets open to reduce COVID-19 impact and pledges to inject over US$5 trillion to boost the global 83 The Chronology


economy. Participants are committed to sharing information, ensure medical supplies, and take all measures to jointly fight against COVID-19. They agree to support developing countries in their battles against the pandemic. (2) China will step up international military cooperation with other countries to fight against COVID-19, according to Chinese Defense Ministry Spokesperson Ren Guoqiang. March 27

President Xi Jinping chairs the meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee to make new arrangements on coordinating the COVID19 response and economic and social development. The meeting focuses on preventing imported cases and epidemic rebound in the country. It calls for expanding household consumption, improving financial policies, releasing demands in the domestic market, and strengthen international economic cooperation.

March 30

Vietnam's Permanent Mission to the UN sends a diplomatic note to the UN Secretary-General to reiterate its sovereignty over the Spratly and Paracel Islands and protest China's claims in the aforementioned diplomatic notes in response to Malaysia’s claim on December 12, 2019, and to the Philippine claim on March 23.

March 31

The United Nations launches a report entitled "Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity: Responding to the Socio-economic Impacts of COVID-19," calling for a stronger and more effective response to end the pandemic and asking everybody to act together to lessen the COVID-19 impact on people, especially the poorest and most vulnerable people and countries. The UN establishes a new multi-partner Trust Fund for COVID-19 Response and Recovery to support low and middle-income countries to respond to the pandemic and recover from the socio-economic impact.

April 1

(1) Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc signs a decree to declare COVID-19 a nationwide 84 The Chronology


epidemic in the country. The virus was classified as a Class A contagious disease. (2) China’s PLA Navy conducted fleet training drills in the South China Sea in late March after frequent visits by US warships and warplanes last month. April 2

(1) The CPC and more than 230 political parties from over 100 countries issue a joint open letter for the first time, calling for closer international cooperation to fight against COVID-19. (2) Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announces the curfew nationwide from 10 pm to 4 am starting from April 3 until further notice to contain the spread of COVID-19. The curfew will not apply to medical workers, people working in transporting goods, medical supplies, parcels, and transporting people to quarantine sites, people working on the night shifts, and people traveling to and from airports. (3) Chinese Coast Guard ship sinks a Vietnamese fishing boat in the Paracel Islands. China accuses the Vietnamese boat for entering China's waters illegally and refusal to leave when the Chinese Coast Guard vessel calls it out to leave. 8 Vietnamese fishermen are rescued and released by the Chinese Coast Guard vessel after the investigation.

April 3

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopts the resolution titled Global Solidarity to Fight the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), calling for intensified international cooperation to contain, mitigate and defeat the pandemic by exchanging information and applying the relevant guidelines recommended by the WHO.

April 7

The ASEAN Plus Three Health Ministers Meeting on COVID-19 is held via video conference to enhance cooperation in response to the pandemic. Participants share information and experiences on fighting COVID-19 and call for supporting WHO’s leading role, sharing information in an open, transparent, and responsible manner, strengthening 85 The Chronology


communication and concerted actions.

coordination

and

taking

April 8

President Xi Jinping chairs the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee to analyze the COVID-19 situation and economic performance in the country and abroad. He calls for unremitting efforts in fighting against the pandemic and supporting economic and social development. The country should prepare for the effects of COVID-19 and the downward of the world economy.

April 9

(1) The UN Security Council holds the first virtual council meeting to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic. (2) The 25th ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) Meeting is held via a teleconference. ASEAN foreign ministers agree to establish a "COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund" and discuss cooperation to fight against the pandemic in the region, including measures and guidelines. They agree to focus on 3 aspects, including containing and preventing the spread of the virus, supporting people in the affected countries, and minimizing the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic. They discuss preparation for the Special Summits of ASEAN and ASEAN Plus Three on COVID-19 via a teleconference on April 14. (3) Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson says that Vietnam Permanent Mission to the UN issued a diplomatic note to the UN on March 30 to protest against China’s claims in the South China Sea.

April 10

The National Assembly of Cambodia approves a draft law on the state of emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 14

(1) The Special ASEAN Summit and ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19 are held via a video conference and chaired by Vietnam as ASEAN Chair 2020.

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At the Special ASEAN Summit on COVID-19 in the morning, the heads of state or government of ASEAN members and the ASEAN Secretary-General agree to join hand and prioritize controlling and preventing the spread of the pandemic. They want to take measures to minimize the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19. They adopt the Declaration of the Special ASEAN Summit on COVID-19. The Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19 is held in the afternoon. The heads of state or the government of ASEAN members, China, Japan, and South Korea, ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi, and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attend the meeting. Premier Li Keqiang attends the meeting and delivers a speech via the video conference stressing joint efforts for fighting against COVID-19. Participants agree to carry forward cooperation, join hands in tackling the pandemic, enhance information and experience sharing, conduct joint research and development of drugs and vaccines, and build up regional mechanisms for epidemic control. They are willing to work together to enhance macro-economic policy coordination, remain open markets, and make effort toward signing the RCEP agreement within this year. They adopt a Joint Statement of the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19. At the summits, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha proposes to jointly establish a "COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund" to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. The meeting supports the proposal and welcomes funding support from multilateral financial institutions, such as the World Bank, the ADB, and the AIIB. (2) Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Zhao Lijian refutes the Vietnamese claim in the Spratly and Paracel Islands by referring to the UN Charter and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). April 15

The Eyes on Earth Incorporated, a research and consulting company specializing in water, published 87 The Chronology


the study on the Mekong River funded by the US State Department's Lower Mekong Initiative in the New York Times on April 13. The study found that China's 11 dams in the Mekong River have caused a damaging drought and restricted the flow of the water in downstream countries in 2019. China dismissed the findings. The Mekong River Commission (MRC) reveals that the study did not prove the cause of the drought. The MRC attempts to find the cause of the drought. It requests for water level and rainfall data in the dry season from China, and seek a more formal working relationship with China. None of the governments in downstream countries responds to this study. April 17

(1) China Permanent Mission to the UN sends a diplomatic note to the UN Secretary-General to reiterate its sovereignty rights and object to Vietnam’s claim on the Spratly and Paracel Islands. (2) The Yangon Region Government announce a nighttime curfew from 10 pm to 4 am starting from April 18 until further notice to contain the spread of COVID-19.

April 19

Vietnam Permanent Mission to the UN sends notes to the UN to protest against China’s establishment of administrative units in the South China Sea in Xisha District and Nansha District in Sansha City, Hainan Province that violates Vietnam's sovereignty.

April 21

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang responds to Vietnam that the Spratly and Paracel Islands are parts of China and opposes Vietnam’s claim on these areas. China will take necessary measures to defend its sovereignty in the South China Sea.

April 21-24

The 92nd Mekong River joint patrol led by China, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand kicks off at Jinghong Port, Yunnan Province. Authorities direct the operation via a remote video command system for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 109 law enforcement officers participate in the mission on board 5 vessels. 88 The Chronology


April 24

The Chinese PLA sends military medical teams and medical supplies, including medical masks, N95, and KN95 masks, and laboratory equipment to Myanmar and Laos to fight COVID-19.

April 27

Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announces the extension of the emergency decree from April 30 to May 31 due to the concern about the return of COVID-19, according to CCSA Spokesperson Taweesilp Visanuyothin. The curfew will be maintained.

April 28

The USS Barry (DDG-52), a guided-missile destroyer, enters into the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. The Chinese military warns off the US vessel, according to the PLA's Southern Theater Command.

April 29

Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe talks over the phone with Vietnamese Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich on COVID-19 prevention and control. They are willing to exchange experiences on epidemic control, expand cooperation, and strengthen border control.

April 30

(1) Chinese Ministry of National Defense Spokesperson Wu Qian says at a press conference that China firmly opposes the US and Australia strengthening military presence in the South China Sea. He responds to US insistence on the freedom of navigation and criticizes the joint military exercises between the US and Australia in the South China Sea. China is on high alert to safeguard its sovereignty and regional peace and stability. (2) The Chinese military medical team from the PLA helps the Myanmar military to build a laboratory for testing COVID-19 at the No.1 Defence Services General Hospital in Mingaladon Township, Yangon.

May 4

China's PLA donates medical equipment and accessories to a newly-built laboratory for COVID-19 testing of the No.1 Defence Services General Hospital in Mingaladon Township, Yangon. The Chinese medical team also provides technical assistance and 89 The Chronology


training to laboratory practitioners relating to laboratory diagnosis. The other 2 laboratories are carrying out tests for COVID-19 infection in Yangon, Myanmar, including the National Health Laboratory and the Medical Research Department under the Health and Sports Ministry. May 6

The meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee agrees to reform the country’s disease prevention and control system and refine laws and regulations on public health and emergency management.

May 8

Vietnam protests against China’s fishing ban in the South China Sea and asks China to stop further complicating the situation in the South China Sea. China’s regulation violates Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Paracel Islands and relevant waters, according to a statement of the Foreign Ministry of Vietnam.

May 11

(1) Thai residents along the Mekong Rivers protest against the Sanakham hydropower plant as Laos plans to build a sixth new hydropower dam on the Mekong River and submits its plan to the MRC. The Sanakham project will be developed by Datang Sanakham Hydropower Company, a subsidiary of China's Datang International Power Generation Company. (2) Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian rebuts Vietnam's protest against the fishing ban in the South China Sea starting from May 1 and ending on August 16. He says that the fishing ban is a legitimate measure of China and the country has sovereignty rights and jurisdiction in relevant waters of the South China Sea.

May 12

China’s Ministry of Public Security donates prevention and control materials for COVID-19 to Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security at a border crossing between the two countries.

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May 18-19

The 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) is held via a video conference. This is the first time that the WHO holds a meeting online. President Xi Jinping says at the opening session of the meeting that China has been transparent throughout the COVID-19 crisis. The country is ready to share a vaccine as soon as one is available and make any vaccine developed by China a global public good. Xi stresses that China will provide US$2 billion of international aid, work with the UN to set up a global humanitarian response depot and hub in China and work with G20 members to implement the Debt Service Suspension Initiative for the poorest countries. Participants call for a joint response to the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines, and a reform of the UN health body. The meeting adopts the resolution of the COVID-19 response. The resolution affirms and supports WHO's leading role and calls for intensified efforts to contain the pandemic, availability of essential health technologies and products, and independent evaluation of the global response to the pandemic and the WHO's performance.

May 19-22

The 93rd Mekong River joint patrol by China, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand kicks off from Jinghong Port, Yunnan Province. A total of 105 law enforcement officers participates in the mission. Chinese officers donate medical supplies to their counterparts.

May 21

(1) The third session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) is held at the Great Hall of the People on May 21. 2,057 CPPCC National Committee members attend the meeting, including President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders. (2) Representatives from LMC countries join an online meeting for the first time after the pandemic. The meeting aims to establish an informationsharing platform to support transparency and cooperation in water resources management.

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May 22

(1) The third session of the 13th National People’s Congress is held at the Great Hall of People on May 22. President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders attend the meeting. Premier Li Keqiang delivers the Government Work Report to the meeting. The highlights include main targets for 2020 to prioritize stabilizing employment and people’s livelihood and aim to create more than 9 million new urban jobs. China does not set the economic growth target this year for the first time in decades due to the COVID19 pandemic and the world economic and trade environment. China's GDP grew by 6.1 percent in 2019. China sets the defense budget growth target at 6.6 percent, lower than the 7.5 percent growth in 2019, and the lowest defense budget growth rate in recent years. (2) Thailand’s CCSA approves the extension of the state of emergency for a month until June 30 after the National Security Council (NSC) proposed the extension on May 21.

May 23

President Xi Jinping attends a joint panel discussion at the third session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing. He stresses analyzing China's economic situation from a comprehensive, dialectical, and long-term perspective. He calls for new opportunities and advances despite challenges and changes.

May 24

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi remarks at a press conference on the sidelines of the third plenary session of the 13th National People’s Congress to refute the claims that China is expanding its presence in the South China Sea during the COVID-19 pandemic as these claims are nonsense and groundless. China will resume the consultation on the COC in the South China Sea with ASEAN as it was suspended due to the pandemic.

May 26

President Xi Jinping attends a plenary meeting of the delegation of the PLA and People’s Armed Police Force at the third session of the 13th NPC. He stresses

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strengthening national defense and armed forces while maintaining effective epidemic control. May 27

The closing meeting of the third session of the 13th National Committee of the CPPCC is held at the Great Hall of the People. The meeting approves a resolution on a work report of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC National Committee, a report on the examination of proposals, and a political resolution on the annual session.

May 28

(1) The closing meeting of the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress is held in Beijing. Lawmakers adopt the Civil Code and a decision to make national security laws for Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The meeting approves resolutions on the Government Work Report and the work reports of the NPC Standing Committee, the Supreme People's Court, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate. Premier Li Keqiang answers questions at a news conference after the meeting. The highlights include economic issues, the COVID19 pandemic, Taiwan, and Hong Kong issues, poverty alleviation, China-US relations, and international cooperation. (2) China's PLA expels USS Mustin, the US guidedmissile destroyer that trespasses into China's territorial waters off the South China Sea, according to the PLA Southern Theater Command.

May 29

China’s PLA has been jointly fighting the COVID-19 pandemic with foreign defense departments and militaries. The PLA has sent epidemic control experts to 4 countries, including Laos and Cambodia. It has provided medical supplies to the militaries of more than 20 countries, including Thailand, according to Ministry of National Defense Spokesperson Ren Guoqiang.

June 2

China's Ministry of National Defense donates the second batch of medical supplies to the Lao People's Army for fighting against COVID-19. Chen Yongjing, military attache of the Chinese Embassy in Laos handovers the items to Vongkham Phommakone, 93 The Chronology


director-general of the General Logistics Department of the Lao People's Army. June 4

Economic ministers of ASEAN countries, China, Japan, and South Korea hold an online meeting chaired by Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh. The meeting reaffirms the importance of open markets amid the pandemic. They agree to deepen anti-epidemic and economic cooperation, refrain from taking unnecessary measures that affect the flow of essential goods, encourage close coordination, and commit to the signing of the RCEP. The meeting adopts the ASEAN Plus Three Economic Ministers’ Joint Statement on Mitigating the Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

June 12

(1) Premier Li Keqiang sends a congratulatory message to the opening ceremony of the 2020 ChinaASEAN Year of Digital Economic Cooperation, stressing the importance of the digital economy amid the pandemic. He urges participants to take the opportunity to cooperate in such industrial areas as smart cities, artificial intelligence, and big data. ASEAN's digital economy is expected to increase from 1.3 percent of GDP in 2015 to 8.5 percent in 2025, according to ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi. (2) Thailand’s CCSA announces that the curfew will be lifted on June 15, allowing people to travel. However, the state of emergency in the country will continue.

June 18

President Xi Jinping sends a written message to the high-level video conference on Belt and Road International Cooperation held in Beijing. The theme is "Belt and Road International Cooperation: Combating COVID-19 with Solidarity." The meeting is co-hosted by China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Commerce, and the National Health Commission. Foreign ministers and other ministers from 25 countries, WHO Director-General Tedros 94 The Chronology


Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and Under-SecretaryGeneral of the UN and Administrator of the UN Development Programme Achim Steiner attend the meeting. Xi Jinping stresses in a message that China will work with partners to develop the BRI into a model of cooperation that protects people's safety and wellbeing, recover economic and social activity, and unlock development potential. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi chairs the meeting, stressing that to win the virus, the BRI should set an example to strengthen connectivity, carry out cooperation in innovation, step up public health cooperation, and reject unilateralism and protectionism. The meeting adopts the Joint Statement of the HighLevel Video Conference on Belt and Road International Cooperation: Combating COVID-19 with Solidarity. June 23

President Xi Jinping attends a video conference on drugs to commend organizations and individuals engaged in the anti-drug work. He calls for efforts to continue the fight against illegal drugs, make new progress in drug control, improve the governance system, and deepen international anti-drug cooperation. In the past 5 years, China has uncovered 638,000 drug-related crimes, busted 32,000 organizations that produced and trafficked drugs, arrested 780,000 suspects, and seized over 400 tons of various drugs, according to the data of the office of the National Narcotics Control Commission.

June 24

The Lao Ministry of Defense awards Lao People’s Army friendship crosses to members of the Chinese army medical expert team for helping the country in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in the past 2 months.

June 26

The 36th ASEAN Summit has the first virtual summit chaired by Vietnam under the theme of “Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN,” focusing on COVID-19 95 The Chronology


response, post-pandemic recovery, and further cooperation. At the meeting, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha proposes a 3-pronged strategy for regional recovery from the pandemic, including accelerating the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, encouraging the signing of the RCEP, and speeding up preparation for volatility and challenges in the future. The ASEAN Leaders' Special Session on Women's Empowerment in Digital Age is held and calls for action to unleash women's potentials, improve the quality of life and development of women and children, and promote programs, activities on women, peace, and security in ASEAN. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at a press conference after the summit says that ASEAN urges China and the US to put aside differences and cooperate for the goals of a prosperous, stable, and peaceful region. ASEAN will not pick a side as both countries are partners with large in trade volumes. Regarding the South China Sea, the conclusion on the COC on the South China Sea has been delayed due to the pandemic. ASEAN calls on all parties to avoid complicating the situation and commits to building the South China Sea into a Sea of cooperation. The meeting adopts the ASEAN Chair’s Statement on the outcomes of the 36th ASEAN Summit, the ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement on a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN, the Hanoi Plan of Action on Strengthening ASEAN Economic Cooperation and Supply Chain Connectivity in Response to the COVID19 Pandemic, and the ASEAN Declaration on Human Resources Development for the Changing World of Work. June 29

The Thai government announces the extension of the state of emergency until July 31 to support the 5th phase easing and the reopening of schools and colleges. Businesses such as entertainment venues will reopen on July 1. 96 The Chronology


(C) Economic Affairs January 6

The China-Laos industrial and commercial cooperation meeting is held in Beijing to strengthen complementary cooperation in areas such as infrastructure, real estate, agriculture, tourism, digital economy, and other industries. Chambers of commerce and industry of China and Laos can further play the role of a bridge in enhancing bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

January 8

(1) Taobao Global, under Alibaba’s Taobao Marketplace, launches its global initiative "Project Magellan" in Bangkok to organize activities for buyers to buy products directly from the source and facilitate Thai small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to access the Chinese market. (2) The World Bank's semi-annual Global Economic Prospects report states that global economic growth will be recovered to 2.5 percent in 2020 from 2.4 percent in 2019. China's economic growth is expected to reduce from 6.1 percent in 2019 to 5.9 percent in 2020.

January 9

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and the Bank of Lao PDR have signed an agreement on local currency cooperation to boost the use of local currencies and facilitate trade and investment.

January 11

The completion ceremony of the “230kV NabarShwebo-Ohntaw Transmission Line and Substation Project” is held in Shwebo, Sagaing Region, Myanmar. The project began in 2017 and was built by China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Company, a subsidiary of State Grid Corporation of China. The project cost US$133.47 million, including two 230 kV substations and two 230 kV doublecircuit transmission lines with a total length of about 300 kilometers starting from the Taipingjiang Hydropower Station in Kachin State to Mandalay Province.

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January 13

The US removes the currency manipulator label on China to reduce tensions between the two countries before the signing of the phase one deal, according to the US Treasury Department’s semi-annual report to Congress.

January 14

(1) The total of Chinese investment applications in Thailand is in the first place and exceeds those made by Japanese companies for the first time in 2019, while Hong Kong is in third place, according to Thailand's Board of Investment (BOI). (2) ASEAN has become China's second-largest trading partner in 2019 following by the European Union, the US, and Japan. The trade volume between China and ASEAN rose 14.1 percent to about US$642.7 billion in 2019, according to the General Administration of Customs (GAC). China's trade volume with BRI countries rose 10.8 percent. The country's foreign trade increases by 3.4 percent year on year in 2019. The exports rose by 5 percent, while imports grew by 1.6 percent. The trade surplus increased by 25.4 percent. (3) China’s trade with Myanmar worth about US$17.71 billion increased by 28.5 percent year on year in 2019, according to the GAC. The exports to Myanmar rose 22.1 percent and imports grew 42.8 percent year on year. (4) China imported 10.8 million tons of crude oil through the China-Myanmar oil and gas pipeline in 2019, an increase of 6.3 percent year on year, according to the Kunming Customs. The import was worth about US$5.5 billion, an increase of 3.9 percent. Moreover, China imported 3.4 million tons of natural gas from Myanmar in 2019, an increase of 54 percent year on year.

January 15

(1) Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and US President Donald Trump sign the phase one trade deal at the White House in Washington to relieve the trade dispute between the two countries. According to the agreement, China pledges to increase purchases of US$200 billion of US products over the next two 98 The Chronology


years and the US commits to rolling back new tariffs on US$156 billion worth of Chinese goods in December 2018 and cut by one half of the 15 percent tariff on US$120 billion worth of Chinese products. The agreement includes areas of disputes, such as the protection of intellectual property rights, technology transfer, and the implementation review mechanism. (2) The foreign trade of the Ruili Port, China's largest land port bordering Myanmar, reached US$11.64 billion in 2019, an increase of 14.5 percent year on year. The cargo throughput exceeded 17.46 million tons, an increase of 24.3 percent, according to the Kunming Customs. The major imports from Myanmar included agricultural products, crude oil, and natural gas, while the major exports included flowers, mechanical, and electric products. January 16

(1) Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) expects 1.01 million foreigners visiting the country during the Chinese New Year festival from January 24-30, an increase of 1.5 percent year on year. It forecasts that 312,000 Chinese visitors will travel to Thailand with an estimated revenue of 8.4 billion baht. (2) The Myanmar-China Crude Oil and Gas Pipeline Project is operated by South-East Asia Crude Oil Pipeline Company and South-East Asia Gas Pipeline Company with Chinese state-owned oil giant China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) taking a 50.9 percent stake in each company. The natural gas pipeline is 793 kilometers long. It transported 24 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas to China and more than 4 bcm to Myanmar. The crude oil pipeline began operations in 2017.

January 17

(1) The data of China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that the country’s GDP grew by 6.1 percent in 2019, the slowest pace since 1990 due to weaker domestic demand and the trade war with the US. However, it is within the country’s target of 6-6.5 percent.

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(2) The World Bank cuts Thailand's economic growth outlook for 2020 to 2.7 percent, according to the World Bank's Thailand Economic Monitor report. The prediction in October last year was at 2.9 percent. The risks include the escalation of trade tensions between China and the US and trade policy uncertainty, a downturn in major economies, and financial turmoil in emerging-market and developing economies. January 20

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) releases the World Economic Outlook report. It decreased global economic growth from 3.4 percent to 3.3 percent for 2020 because of the rising geopolitical tensions, social unrest, and trade frictions. China’s growth forecast for this year was revised from 5.8 percent to 6 percent due to the phase one trade deal with the US that reduces some risks for the country’s economy.

January 22

Thailand’s exports decreased 2.65 percent year on year in 2019 due to the global economic slowdown, low global oil and agricultural prices, and weak industrial product shipments, according to the Commerce Ministry. Exports totaled US$246 billion. Imports dropped 4.7 percent year on year to US$237 billion. The trade surplus was US$9.6 billion.

January 24

According to Thailand's Tourism and Sports Ministry, the country got 39.7 million foreign visitors in 2019, an increase of 3.89 percent year on year. Visitors from China increased by 4.4 percent to 10.00 million last year. The outlook for this year is at risk because of the strong baht and the novel coronavirus situation in China. China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism has ordered travel agencies and tourism companies to stop selling tour packages to contain the spread of the virus.

January 27

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn call a meeting with tourism businesses to discuss the novel coronavirus crisis and the effects on their businesses. Thailand is likely to lose at least 50 billion baht of tourism income from China's ban on outbound travel, according to the Tourism Council of Thailand. 100 The Chronology


January 28

(1) TAT holds a meeting with the private sector to find remedial measures for the tourism sector affected by the novel coronavirus outbreak and reports the impact of the outbreak on the Thai government, according to Tourism and Sports Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn. (2) Foreign Trade Department of Thailand's Commerce Ministry reports that the country's overall cross-border trade, including transit trade, fell by 3.4 percent to 1.337 trillion baht in 2019 due to the strong baht, the fluctuation of foreign exchange, and the ongoing trade war. Exports from Thailand dropped 2.7 percent year on year, while imports decreased by 4.3 percent. The transit trade with Singapore, Vietnam, and southern China rose 1.4 percent to 268.03 billion baht. Exports grew 10.7 percent year on year, while imports were down 6.7 percent. Transit trade to southern China had the greatest value at 130.44 billion baht.

January 31

Thailand's economic cabinet endorses urgent aid measures for tourism operators affected by the novel coronavirus outbreak. The measures include a softloan scheme and principal and interest payment suspension for 6 months by state-owned banks. The Finance Ministry will decrease the jet fuel exercise tax and suspend income tax payment for 6 months for tourism operators. The Transport Ministry will decrease landing fees. The number of Chinese visitors will decline as much as 80 percent to 2.32 million from January to April this year, an estimated loss of 98 billion baht in revenue, according to TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn. The Tourism Assistance Center will be upgraded to be a one-stop service unit for monitoring the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the tourism industry. The so-called Ease of Travelling Committee will be set up to manage relevant obstacles on tourism, such as immigration procedures.

February 3

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) supplies US$174 billion to money markets to maintain liquidity in the 101 The Chronology


banking system as it supports the country to fight against the COVID-19 outbreak that is expected to affect growth. February 4

(1) The Thai government approves fiscal measures, including a tax payment delay, soft loans, and relaxed loan repayments to help the tourism sector from the COVID-19 effects. (2) Lao exports to China have not been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and continued to flow as normal, according to the Import and Export Department of the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce. In 2019, the total exports to China were US$1,510 million and imports reached US$985 million. The main export products are ore sand, rubber, copper, bananas, and fertilizers, while import products are electrical appliances, vehicles, and spare parts, mechanical and electronic equipment, and steel.

February 5

(1) CG Corporation, a joint venture between CP Land of Charoen Pokphand Group and Guangxi Construction Engineering Group, is in talks with independent power producers (IPPs) to form a business partnership for a power generation system in the CPGC industrial estate in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). The 10-billion baht industrial estate was approved by the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand. The power project is expected to begin construction in 2022. (2) The conclusion of Vietnam's first government regular meeting of the year reveals that the Ministry of Industry and Trade expects exports to China in the first quarter of 2020 will drop by 5-8 percent from 2019 due to a decrease in China's demand for imported goods, restricted border and Chinese domestic trade, and lengthened customs clearance time caused by strict quarantine measures during the COVID-19 outbreak. Moreover, the outbreak hits the country's economy hard, especially on agriculture, aquaculture, apparel, and smartphone components, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment. Tourism is affected as the country 102 The Chronology


stops granting visas to Chinese nationals, reducing the number of tourists sharply. February 6

(1) Thailand’s Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) has cut its forecast for GDP growth in 2020 from 2.5-3 percent to 2-2.5 percent due to the effect of the COVID-19 outbreak. The outbreak hits tourism, export, and logistics industries which are significant areas for driving the country’s GDP. (2) China cut the rate of additional tariffs by one half on US$75 billion of US imports, starting from February 14 to reduce the US-China trade tension and promote economic and trade cooperation, according to the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council. The adjustment is in response to a US decision to cut a 15 percent tariff on US$120 billion worth of Chinese goods to 7.5 percent starting on February 14.

February 7

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) cuts the revenue target for 2020 from 3.16 trillion baht to 2.91 trillion baht because Chinese tourists remain under lockdown amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Chinese tourists are the biggest source of income for tourism. The TAT expects 36 million international arrivals this year, down from a previous target of 40.78 million.

February 12

More than 10,000 Thai tour guides have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to President of the Tourist Guide Association Wirote Sitaprasertnand. He asks Tourism and Sports Minister Phipat Ratchakitprakarn for remedial measures for guides.

February 13

(1) Thailand’s growth may be less than 2 percent for this year due to the impact of COVID-19 on tourism and exports to China, according to the Bank of Thailand’s Senior Director for Economics and Policy Don Nakornthab. (2) Thai Tourism and Sports Minister Phipat Ratchakitprakarn says at a government-private 103 The Chronology


sector meeting that he expects tourist arrivals will decrease by 50 percent in the first half of this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak, cutting the prediction of tourist numbers from 40 million to 20 million. The number of international arrivals during February 19 dropped by 43.4 percent year on year. The number of Chinese tourists decreased by 86.6 percent, according to Phipat. February 14

The International Civil Aviation Organization reports that 70 airlines have canceled all international flights in and out of China and 50 others have reduced their operations. The COVID-19 outbreak could drop worldwide airline revenue up to US$5 billion.

February 17

(1) Thailand’s National Economic and Social Development Council cuts the country’s growth from 2.7-3.7 percent to 1.5-2.5 percent this year as the COVID-19 outbreak has affected trade and tourism. The TAT expects that foreign visitors will decrease by 5 million this year and lose 500 billion baht in revenue. (2) China’s foreign direct investment (FDI) in nonfinancial sectors rose 4 percent in January 2020 to US$12.6 billion. The investment from BRI countries increased by 31.3 percent in January and investment from ASEAN member countries rose by 44.8 percent, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce.

February 20

(1) Thailand's Ministry of Commerce and the Thai National Shippers' Council (TNSC) have jointly estimated that Thai exports to China will be decreased by 1 percent to about US$2.5 billion in the first quarter of this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The key export products affected by the outbreak include electronics, automobiles, rubberwood, rubber products, frozen fruit and vegetables, plastic pellets, computers and components, and chemical products. (2) The International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecasts that Asian airlines will lose US$27.8 billion of revenue this year due to the ongoing

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COVID-19 outbreak, while carriers outside Asia are expected to lose US$1.5 billion. February 21

(1) The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) predicts that 5 industrial sectors including, garments, textiles, medical devices, leather products, and industrial crafts will benefit from the COVID-19 outbreak due to massive demand for virus protection tools such as face masks, hand sanitizer gel, and clothing. 13 industrial sectors suffering from this situation include sawmills, jewels, rubber, furniture, cosmetics, auto parts, petrochemicals, automobiles, refineries, chemicals, plastics, electronics, and herbal products as Thailand cannot import raw materials from China and Chinese importers will postpone their purchase orders. (2) China's Ministry of Commerce reveals that the cooperative development of BRI projects has been stable and has no delay in large-scale projects amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The Chinese government asks companies to delay or cut the number of overseas trips and long-term assignments for their employees, prepare protective materials, make emergency plans, and keep close communication with the host countries to prevent the spread of the outbreak. (3) China's Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council announces the first set of lists of US goods to be excluded from the second round of tariff countermeasures against the US Section 301 measures. The exemption will be effective from February 28, 2020, to February 27, 2021. For the 55 items on the first list, the affected enterprises can apply for refunds of collected duties within 6 months from February 21. For the 10 items on the second list, enterprises receive tariff exclusions but are not eligible for refunds.

February 22

IMF Chief Kristalina Georgieva says at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia that the COVID-19 epidemic puts global economy recovery at risk. The outbreak will reduce about 0.1 percentage points 105 The Chronology


from global growth and decrease China’s growth to 5.6 percent this year. February 24

Thailand's Ministry of Commerce reports that exports rose 3.35 percent year on year in January to US$19.62 billion for the first time in 6 months, while imports dropped 7.86 percent to US$21.18 billion. The trade deficit was US$1.55 billion. The export direction reflects positive sentiment from the phase one trade deal between China and the US. Exports to China grew by 5.2 percent.

February 25

A total of 3.81 million tourists arrived in Thailand in January, an increase of 2.46 percent year on year, according to the Ministry of Tourism. The tourism income decreased 3.6 percent year on year. Visitors from China dropped 3.71 percent year on year to 1.03 million with spending decreased 10 percent.

February 26

Vientiane Times reports that Laos' rice exports to China have earned more income in the past few years under the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA). China is Laos' largest rice export market. Laos sold rice to China worth US$5.6 million in 2017, US$7.25 million in 2018, and US$14.54 million in 2019, according to the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

February 27

(1) COVID-19 will cost world tourism at least US$22 billion due to a drop in spending by Chinese tourists, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTCC). (2) TAT cuts the number of foreign arrivals from 36 million in the latest target to 33 million for this year.

February 28

Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region resumes border trade with Vietnam on the condition that both sides practice prevention measures and exchange products in a designated area. All the China-Vietnam ports in Guangxi have fully resumed operation after suspended due to COVID-19.

March 2

(1) The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) expects that the number of foreign tourists visiting 106 The Chronology


the country this year may drop by 6 million from 39.8 million last year to 33.8 million due to COVID-19 and fewer Chinese tourists. Thailand saw a 2.5 percent rise in tourist arrivals in January and a 40 percent drop in February. TAT foresees a deeper decline in March and April this year. Thailand could lose as much as 500 billion baht in tourist revenue if there were no measures to support the tourism sector. (2) Chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) Suphan Mongkolsuthree reveals after a discussion with Vice Chairman of the Chinese-Thai Enterprises Association Li Zhigangv that some exports of Thailand such as plastic, automotive spare parts, and agricultural products can grow despite the COVID-19 outbreak. March 3

(1) The Thai National Shippers' Council (TNSC) forecasts that exports will decrease by 3.3 percent year on year in the first half of 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, a delay in deliveries, and lower production in China. However, the council maintains its overall export growth forecast for 2020 at 0-1 percent with a worth of US$251 billion because of the weakness of the baht and lower oil prices. (2) The World Bank provides an initial package of up to US$12 billion in immediate support to help countries deal with the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. It will help developing countries strengthen health systems and disease surveillance and reduce the impact on economies.

March 4

(1) The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking revise its forecast for Thai economic growth from 2-2.5 percent to 1.5-2 percent for this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (2) The IMF provides about US$50 billion emergency financing for low-income and vulnerable members to cope with the impact of COVID-19, according to IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva at a press conference in Washington D.C.

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March 7

China’s General Administration of Customs reports that the country’s foreign trade volume fell 11 percent year on year to US$592 billion in the first two months of this year due to COVID-19 that make businesses suspend their operations. Exports dropped by 17.2 percent and imports declined by 4 percent. Trade volume with ASEAN and BRI countries rose 2 percent and 1.8 percent year on year respectively. ASEAN countries have replaced the EU to become China’s largest trade partner in the first two months.

March 9

The number of tourist arrivals in Thailand fell 44.3 percent year on year in February due to COVID-19. Chinese visitors to the country dropped 85.3 percent, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

March 10

The China Tourism Academy reports that 145 million overseas tourists visited the country in 2019, an increase of 2.9 percent year on year. 31.88 million of them were foreigners, a rise of 4.4 percent year on year. The top 10 countries visiting China include Myanmar, Vietnam, South Korea, Russia, Japan, the US, Mongolia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore. Tourism revenue increased 11 percent year on year to US$954 billion. Chinese tourists made about 155 million overseas trips last year, an increase of 3.3 percent year on year.

March 12

(1) The ADB provides US$200 million through its Supply Chain Finance Program for companies manufacturing and distributing medical supplies to fight against COVID-19, according to ADB Head of Trade and Supply Chain Finance Steven Beck. (2) Data from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) shows that the aviation industry of the country lost US$3.5 billion in February, the largest monthly loss on record. The number of passenger transport was 8.34 million, a decrease of 84.5 percent year on year in February. The volume of goods and mail delivered was 297,000 tons, a drop of 21 percent year on year.

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March 13

The new 17.44-kilometer-long Wanhe tunnel, a part of the China-Laos Railway, is completed in Yuxi, Yunnan Province, according to the China Railway Kunming Group Company Limited. It is expected to open to traffic in 2021.

March 17

(1) The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government announces that the country will put all arrivals from foreign countries into quarantine from March 19, according to HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam. Macao Special Administrative Region bans all arrivals from overseas from March 18 due to an increase in imported COVID-19 cases. (2) China sends 15 tons of material to Myanmar by plane to help the country reopen its garment factories. The garment factories in Myanmar have to shut down because of a lack of supply from China during the COVID-19 outbreak.

March 18

(1) Fishery exports of Thailand are affected because major markets such as China, Japan, and the US have begun locking down the countries and Thailand has suspended flights due to COVID-19, according to Deputy Director-General of the Department of Fisheries Bunchong Chumnongsittathum. However, Thai fruits have regained access to China through the Mohan checkpoint and Mengla Customs in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province that has reopened, according to Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry Permanent Secretary Anan Suwannarat. (2) Myanmar's Labor Department under the Ministry of Labor, Immigration, and Population reveals that the country suspends labor export since March 18 due to COVID-19.

March 23

(1) Myanmar receives over US$6.7 million from China under the LMC Special Fund for spending on 22 projects, including agriculture, education, and ICT areas. The signing ceremony of the agreement on the transfer of funds is held in Nay Pyi Taw. Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar Chen Hai and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of

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Myanmar U Soe Han attend the ceremony. China and Myanmar act as co-chairs of the LMC in 2020. (2) Data from the Tourism Ministry of Thailand show that tourist arrivals in the country decreased by 42.78 percent year on year in February due to the COVID-19 epidemic. There were 2.06 million tourists in February and they spent about 103.7 billion baht, a drop of 43.9 percent year on year. Chinese visitors to Thailand fell 84.92 percent year on year. March 24

The Civil Aviation of Thailand (CAAT) has allowed 9 airlines, including Thai Airways International, THAI Smile, Bangkok Airways, Thai AirAsia, Thai Air AirAsia X, Thai Lion Air, Nok Air, Nok Scoot, and Thai VietJet Air, to suspend their flights due to the COVID19 situation. These airlines must compensate their customers by refunding the cost of tickets and other related fees.

March 25

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) forecasts that the Thai economy will shrink 5.3 percent this year as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and affects Thai tourism and exports hard. The number of tourist arrivals will contract by 60 percent. The GDP growth forecast for 2021 is 3 percent.

March 26

The six-member countries of the LMC pledge to further enhance water resources cooperation in a video conference for the 2020 LMC Week during March 23-29. Chinese Head of the Joint Working Group on Water Resources Cooperation of LMC Yu Xingjun calls for all members to promote cooperation and improve water governance.

March 27

(1) The installation of a 500-meter-long steel track kicks off in Vientiane. It is the first section of the China-Laos Railway and the longest steel rail outside of China in Asia. The 414-kilometer railway links the Mohan-Boten border gate and Vientiane, Laos. (2) Vietnam's Finance Ministry proposes a US$3.4 billion stimulus plan to help the country's businesses, including electronics, textiles, education,

110 The Chronology


and entertainment sectors during the outbreak period. March 31

Thailand’s Foreign Trade Department reports that the country’s border trade fell by 6.5 percent year on year in the first 2 months of this year due to the COVID-19 impact on the global economy and logistic systems. The exports were down 6.1 percent year on year, while imports decreased by 7.3 percent. The transit trade with southern China, Vietnam, and Singapore fell 18.3 percent.

April 1

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) forecasts that the global economy could fall shrink by 0.9 percent by the end of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting economic activities, consumer spending, job loss, tourism, and commodity exports.

April 2

World Bank approves a plan to roll out US$160 billion in emergency cash over 15 months.

April 3

(1) The ADB’s report, Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2020, decreases the forecast for the regional growth in 2020 from 5.5 percent forecast in September 2019 to 2.2 percent due to COVID-19 before rebounding to 6.2 percent in 2021. The cost of the COVID-19 pandemic could be as high as US$4.1 trillion, accounting for 5 percent of the global GDP. (2) Chiang Rai Governor Prajon Pratyakul reopens 4 ports on the Mekong River only for cargo shipment after they had been closed since March 21 due to COVID-19.

April 8

The world trade is expected to fall by between 13 and 32 percent this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to World Trade Organization Chief Roberto Azevedo. He warns that the world is facing the deepest economic recession or downturn of our lifetimes. The situation was worse than the financial crisis of 2008-2009.

April 9

A report titled “Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2020: Toward Sustainable 111 The Chronology


Economies� of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) shows that the pandemic could cause global economic losses of US$900 billion-US$2 trillion. The outbreak has affected global supply chains, international tourism, and financial and commodity markets. April 14

(1) China's General Administration of Customs (GAC) reports that the country's foreign trade volume fell 6.4 percent year on year to US$933 billion in the first quarter of this year. Exports dropped by 11.4 percent and imports fell by 0.7 percent in the first 3 months. ASEAN became China's largest trading partner, replacing the EU. The foreign trade with ASEAN increased by 6.1 year on year, while foreign trade with BRI countries rose 3.2 percent year on year. (2) The IMF releases the World Economic Outlook. The report states that the pandemic could cause around US$9 trillion loss to global GDP over 2020 and 2021. The global downturn will be the worst since the Great Depression in the 1930s. The global growth is forecast at -3.0 percent for this year. The global economy will rebound at 5.8 percent in 2021. The IMF forecasts China’s growth at 1.2 percent in 2020 and 9.2 percent in 2021. The advanced economies will shrink by 6 percent this year.

April 17

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that China's GDP shrank 6.8 percent year on year in the January-March quarter. This is the first economic contraction in decades as the country has imposed measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 18

The tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) revises the forecast on the number of international tourists from 40 million to 16 million for this year.

April 19

The Jingkuan No.2 Tunnel on the Kunming-Vientiane Railway linking Yunnan Province with Laos is completed.

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April 20

The China Railway Construction Electrification Bureau Group Company Limited finishes the first communication tower of the China-Laos Railway Vientiane station.

April 21

(1) Thai exports unexpectedly rose 4.17 percent year on year in March, worth of US$ 22.4 billion, according to the Commerce Ministry. The export products that performed well include electronic products such as computers and parts, agricultural and agroindustrial products such as fruits and vegetables. Exports grew by 0.9 percent year on year to US$62.67 billion for the first quarter of this year. (2) Shandong Province's trade with BRI countries grew by 12 percent year on year in the first quarter, according to Jinan Customs. ASEAN is the largest trade partner of the province.

April 21-24

The Guangxi Department of Commerce and the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency jointly organize the China (Guangxi)-Vietnam Online Trade Fair. 129 Chinese and Vietnamese companies attend the event via online video. The event also organizes 7 special promotion meetings and more than 150 one-to-one online negotiations.

April 22

The Vietnamese government raises the quota of rice exports from 400,000 to 500,000 tons for April. The government has banned rice exports to provide sufficient food in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 23

(1) Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports reports that foreign tourist arrivals to Thailand decreased 76.4 percent in March (42.8 percent in February) from 2019 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Chinese tourist arrivals dropped 94.2 percent from a year earlier. (2) China opens the Dongxing and Pingxiang border gates in Guangxi Autonomous Region to solve the border-traffic problem for imports of Thai fruits from the Vietnamese side, according to Thai

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Department of Agriculture Director General Sermsak Salakpetch. April 24

Changsha Customs reports that Hunan Province’s trade with BRI countries grew by 18.5 percent year on year in the first quarter. ASEAN became the province’s largest trade partner.

April 25

The China Railway Group Limited (CREC) has resumed construction at all its sites along the ChinaLaos Railway, according to the China-Laos Railway Company Limited. The CREC also donates 200,000 medical masks to Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Chair of the Task Force Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control Somdy Douangdy.

April 30

The Boao Forum for Asia has canceled its annual conference in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Forum’s Board of Directors. However, the Forum will hold the first Global Economic Development and Security Forum in September in Zhuhai and the 2nd Conference of Global Health Forum in October in Qingdao via online. The first conference of the International Forum on Science, Technology, and Innovation will be held on November 9 in Macao as scheduled.

May 3

China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reports that the country’s cultural industry revenue fell by 13.9 percent year on year to about US$239 billion in the first 3 months as the COVID-19 pandemic has affected business activities.

May 5

(1) Vietnam's General Statistics Office (GSO) reports that the export value increased nearly 5 percent to YS$82.94 billion in the first 4 months despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Items with high export value include phones and parts, electronics, computers and components, textiles and garments, equipment and parts, and footwear. The US remains the country's biggest export market followed by China. China was the largest supplier of Vietnam, selling US$22.7 billion worth of goods to the country, a drop of 0.1 percent year on year.

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(2) The Foreign Trade Department of Thailand reports that the cross-border trade fell by 7.6 percent year on year in the first quarter of this year as COVID-19 hit the global economy and border checkpoints have been closed to contain the spread of the virus. Malaysia is the biggest partner for the country's border trade. Transit trade with southern China increased by 4.9 percent. May 6

The Thai National Shippers’ Council (TNSC) retains its forecast that exports will be contracted by 8 percent this year as the pandemic has affected major economies such as the US, the EU, and China.

May 7

(1) China's GAC reports that Chinese exports increased 3.5 percent year on year in April due to rising medical exports. Imports fell 14.2 percent year on year. The country exported epidemic prevention supplies to 194 countries and regions through procurement from March 1 to May 6, according to the Ministry of Commerce. (2) Thailand's Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry, and Banking revises the forecast for the economic growth from 1.5-2 percent to (-3)-(-5) percent unless the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic emerges. (3) The World Tourism Organization reveals that the number of international tourist arrivals will drop by 60-80 percent in 2020 because of the pandemic, travel restrictions, and the closure of airports and national borders. Tourist arrivals decreased by 22 percent in the first quarter of this year.

May 8

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He talks by phone with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to vow to create favorable conditions for the implementation of the phase one deal and cooperate in economic affairs and public health.

May 11

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) expects the number of foreign visitors to Thailand at 14-16 million this year, the lowest level in 14 years. There 115 The Chronology


were 6.69 million foreign visitors to Thailand in the first 3 months, a drop of 38 percent. Chinese visitors decreased by 60 percent to 1.25 million. May 12

China releases a new list of US products that will be exempted from the second round of additional tariffs on US products starting from May 19, 2020, to May 18, 2021, according to the Customs Tariff Commission of China's the State Council. This is the second list of US goods to be excluded from the second round of tariff counter-measures against the US Section 301 measure.

May 14

Data of China’s Ministry of Commerce shows that the foreign direct investment (FDI) into mainland China expanded 11.8 percent year on year in April as the country puts policy efforts to support and protect foreign investors. The investment from ASEAN countries increased by 13 percent and from BRI countries rose 7.9 percent.

May 15

The ADB reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic could cut up to 9.7 percent off the global economy and the estimated impact would cost as much as US$8.8 trillion. About 242 million jobs will be lost. China could lose up to US$1.6 trillion or 11 percent of its economy.

May 18

Thailand's National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) states that the country's economy contracted by 1.8 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2020, due to the pandemic. The economy will drop by 5-6 percent for the fullyear.

May 22

(1) China sets no annual growth target for the first time this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and gives priority to stabilizing employment and ensuring living standards, according to Premier Li Keqiang at the opening of the 13th National People’s Congress. However, the country will continue to focus on ensuring stability in key areas, including creating jobs, alleviating poverty, using policy tools, expanding domestic demand, resuming work and production, and deepening reforms and opening up. 116 The Chronology


(2) Thailand’s exports rose 2.12 percent year on year to US$18.948 billion in April, while imports dropped by 17.13 percent to US$16.486 billion, according to the Commerce Ministry. Exports expanded 1.19 percent, while imports contracted 5.72 percent in the first quarter. May 29

Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Somdy Douangdy inspects the main construction sites of the China-Laos Railway in Vientiane, visits the China-Laos Railway Exhibition Hall, and holds a symposium for the railway construction report. He speaks highly of the construction and vows that the Lao government will always support the construction.

June 3

China’s non-financial outbound direct investment (ODI) rose 0.7 percent year on year in the first 4 months of this year, according to the Ministry of Commerce. The investment in BRI countries increased to US$5.23 billion, an increase of 13.4 percent year on year. The investment in ASEAN countries increased 43.3 percent year on year to reach US$3.94 billion.

June 7

(1) China's General Administration of Customs (GAC) reports that exports rose by 1.4 percent year on year in May, while imports dropped by 12.7 percent. ASEAN remained China's largest trading partner with trade up by 4.2 percent year on year during the January-May period. China's foreign trade volume totaled US$1.63 trillion in the first 5 months, a drop of 4.9 percent year on year. Exports dropped by 4.7 percent year on year in the first 5 months, while imports fell by 5.2 percent. (2) According to Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu at a news conference, China has announced the suspension of debt repayments for 77 developing counties and regions with the implementation of the G20’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative for the world’s poorest countries.

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June 8

(1) The Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) establishes a branch of the Lancang-Mekong Agricultural Cooperation Center of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region to promote agricultural technology, economic, trade exchanges, and agricultural personnel training in the Mekong region. (2) The Global Economic Prospects of the World Bank reveals that the world economy is expected to contract by 5.2 percent this year, the worst recession in 80 years, due to the pandemic. The report expected China's GDP will rise 1 percent this year. Growth in East Asia and the Pacific is forecasted to fall to 0.5 percent in 2020.

June 9

Thai fruits, fresh food, and other delicacies will join Alibaba's mid-year online sale, "6.18 Mid-Year Shopping Festival," for the first time on the Tmall ecommerce platform, according to Director-General of Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) Somdet Susomboon. It aims to promote Thai fresh products to Chinese consumers and increase understanding of the uniqueness of Thai products.

June 10

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) forecasts that the global economy will contract at least 6 percent this year due to measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

June 12

The China-ASEAN digital economy cooperation year kicks off to carry out cooperation in 5G, the Internet of things, artificial intelligence, industrial internet, and digital epidemic prevention, according to Chinese Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei at the virtual opening ceremony.

June 15

China and Myanmar have set up a fast track procedure to resume businesses and support people in the fields of oil and gas, power and infrastructure projects, and the resumption of construction of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor, according to

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Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Zhao Lijian. June 17

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says that he expects China to fulfill its promise in the phase one trade deal to buy an additional US$200 billion of US goods over the next 2 years. China has already purchased US agricultural products worth more than US$10 billion.

June 18

(1) The ADB forecasts growth for 2020 at 0.1 percent for the region, down from 2.2 percent forecast in April and the slowest growth for the region since 1961 because of the measures to contain the pandemic. Growth will rise to 6.2 percent in 2021. China's economic growth will be dropped to 1.8 percent from an earlier forecast in April of 2.3 percent for this year. Thai economy will sink 6.5 percent this year, the worst-hit economy among ASEAN countries. Vietnam is forecasted to grow by 4.1 percent in 2020. (2) The board of the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) approves a draft on Contract 2.3, including funds for the railway system, rolling stocks, and staff training, with China to begin the construction of the ChinaThailand High-Speed Rail project from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima

June 22

China's Ministry of Transport reports that the growth in container throughput at Beibu Gulf Port in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region ranks the first in China, an increase of 33.2 percent year on year, in the first 5 months due to an increase of trade volume between China and Southeast Asia. The total cargo reached 112.93 million tons, an increase of 15.1 percent year on year.

June 24

(1) The IMF’s revised World Economic Outlook reports that the global GDP will plunge 4.9 percent in 2020 and rebound by 5.4 percent in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a slower recovery for 2021. China will grow only 1 percent this year, the only positive figure, and 8.2 percent in 2021.

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(2) Thailand's Commerce Ministry reports that exports fell 22.5 percent year on year to US$16.3 billion in May, the lowest in 4 years, while imports dropped by 34.4 percent to US$13.6 billion, due to the impact of the pandemic. For the first 5 months, exports contracted 3.71 percent to US$97.9 billion, while imports decreased 11.6 percent to US$88.8 billion, a trade surplus of US$9.09 billion. Exports to China increased by 15.3 percent year on year. The ministry expects exports may shrink by more than 5 percent this year. June 26

Myanmar Deputy Minister for Labor, Immigration and Population U Myint Kyaing reports the fourthyear performance of the ministry and states that the number of jobless people has reached around 250,000 so far because of the shutdown of the factories during the pandemic.

June 29

Thai Department of Business Development DirectorGeneral Vuttikrai Leewiraphan announces that investment in the EEC dropped 18.32 percent year on year. The number of firms registering in the EEC in the first 5 months this year dropped 13.35 percent year on year. Foreign investment has reached 788.156 billion baht, accounting for 40.22 percent of total investment in the EEC. Japan ranks the top foreign investment at 379.135 billion baht, followed by China at 83.767 billion baht.

(D) Socio-cultural Affairs January 1

China launches a weather forecast website to offer a 5-day real-time forecast for major cities in all 137 Belt and Road countries. The website was jointly developed by China’s National Satellite Meteorological Center (NSMC), China’s Meteorological News, and the Belt and Road Portal.

January 2

Thai immigration police arrest 4 Chinese men as they use fake passports at the Thailand-Myanmar border checkpoint in Mae Sot District, Tak Province. The suspects use fake passports to enter Thailand from Cambodia at the Aranyaprathet border in Sa Kaeo 120 The Chronology


Province. They want to cross the border to Myanmar. The Immigration police reveal that it has found an increase of Chinese nationals using fake passports to enter the casino and special economic zone (SEZ) in Shwe Kokko, Myanmar. January 12

China and Myanmar start shooting a documentary named “Drink From the Same River” in Mandalay, Myanmar. The film will show the culture, landscape, and the coexistence of the residents and wild animals along the Grand Yingjiang, Ruili, and Irrawaddy Rivers. It is co-produced by the Dehong Publicity Department, Shwe Than Lwin Media Company (Sky Net) of Myanmar, and Yunnan Media Group.

January 14

(1) Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha sends New Year greetings to the Chinese people at the opening ceremony of the 2020 ‘Happy Chinese New Year’ celebration at the Office of the Prime Minister of Thailand. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Thailand. (2) The "Contemporary China and the World – ChinaMyanmar Think Tank Dialogue" event is held in Yangon, Myanmar. It is co-sponsored by the State Council Information Office of China, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar, the China International Publishing Group (CIPG), and the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar. It is organized by the Academy of Contemporary China and World Studies, Myanmar Institute of Strategic and International Studies, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies of Myanmar.

January 15

The "Brightness & Books" donation ceremony is held at the Institute of Sports and Physical Education in Yangon. The event is supported by China's State Council Information Office (SCIO), the Sports and Physical Education Department of the Myanmar Ministry of Health and Sports, the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar, and China International Publishing Group (CIPG). China donates sporting goods and school supplies to the Institute to express China's

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wishes for the future of Myanmar through the donation, according to Minister of the SCIO Xu Lin. January 16

The Myanmar version of China: Time of Xi, a documentary about China’s governance, is introduced in Yangon to help Myanmar people learn more about China’s governance and development experience. The documentary will be broadcast on Myanmar’s Skynet TV from Thursday to Saturday.

February 13

The China research vessel Xianyanghong 06 conducts joint marine science research with Myanmar at Myanmar's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for 10 days. The Second Institute of Oceanography under the Ministry of Natural Resources of China (MNR), the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar, Myanmar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Conservation attend the launching ceremony at Myanmar's Thilawa Port.

February 14

A Chinese couple and 7 Thais were arrested during raids in Bangkok, Pathum Thani, and Sukhothai Provinces. 5 arrested women were illegal surrogate mothers. They were arrested on February 13. Polices have found that a commercial surrogacy network has provided illegal surrogacy services since 2012. Agents approach Thai women to be surrogate mothers and hire them 300,000-450,000 baht per pregnancy. The Royal Thai Police Office works with Chinese authorities to locate the places of the babies. Police arrested 2 more suspects in an illegal transnational commercial surrogacy ring in Chantaburi and Chiang Mai Provinces. Both suspects work as brokers to lure Thai women to be surrogate mothers. At least 100 Thai women across the country had been hired as surrogate mothers so far.

February 19

The Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) in Finland publishes a study showing that China’s carbon emissions have dropped at least 100 million metric tons over the past 2 weeks, nearly 6 percent of global emissions during the same period

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last year, due to measures to contain COVID-19, particularly a drop in demand for coal and oil. March 23

The 2020 LMC Week Online and Yunnan Minzu University International Day kick off at Yunnan Minzu University under the theme “One Heart, One Home.” Overseas students from 5 Mekong countries, student representatives of the 26 Yunnan aboriginal nationalities, and Chinese students studying abroad in Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar attend the online event to support China’s fight against the COVID-19 epidemic and review activities of the 2019 LMC Week.

April 12

Thai TV drama “2gether: The Series” has been boycotted by Chinese netizens as the girlfriend of lead actor Vachirawit Chivaaree retweeted an inappropriate comment related to the COVID-19 pandemic and Wuhan. Vachirawit also liked a scenic photo on Twitter that mentioned Hong Kong as a country. The actor apologized in a post. However, the dispute ignite a fire on social media as Thai and Chinese netizens react to each other with insults and a comparison between communism and democracy.

May 29

Thai Police have charged 23 suspects, Thai and Chinese nationals, with crimes including human trafficking and violating the surrogacy law, according to the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division (ATPD). Suspects were involved in selling surrogacy babies to parents unable to have children in China.

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Part II Selected Documentation


(II) Selected Documentation (January-June 2020) January (A) Full Text of President Xi Jinping’s Signed Article in Myanmese Newspapers Source: https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/zxxx_662805/t1733312. shtml Released on: January 16, 2020 Writing a New Chapter in Our Millennia-Old Pauk-Phaw Friendship As we mark the 70th anniversary of China-Myanmar diplomatic relations, it gives me great pleasure to pay a state visit to Myanmar at the invitation of President U Win Myint. I visited this beautiful land in 2009, and was deeply impressed by its serene landscape, diverse cultures and hardworking people. With the upcoming visit, I look forward to renewing China's "pauk-phaw" ties with Myanmar and discussing our future cooperation. China and Myanmar are close neighbors connected by shared mountains and rivers. Our people have lived alongside each other for thousands of years. In Myanmar language, pauk-phaw means siblings from the same mother. It is an apt description of the fraternal sentiments between our two peoples, whose close ties date back to ancient times. As early as the 4th century B.C., our ancestors began to trade with each other through the "Gold and Silver Road" linking China's Sichuan and Yunnan provinces with Myanmar and India. In the heyday of China's Tang Dynasty in the early 9th century, the Prince of Pyu led a troupe of dancers and musicians on a visit to Chang'an (the capital of Tang Dynasty known today as Xi'an). Their enchanting performance was celebrated by Bai Juyi, the foremost Chinese poet of his time, in an ode to music from the kingdom of Pyu. Soon after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Myanmar was the first of countries with a different social system to recognize New China. The elder statesmen of our two countries have since made enormous efforts to develop China-Myanmar relations. Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, who visited Myanmar nine times, is still fondly remembered for celebrating Thingyan Festival together with the people of Myanmar while dressed in traditional local attire. Throughout the 70 years of our diplomatic ties, China and Myanmar have together championed and put into practice the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Our relationship has been marked by mutual trust, mutual respect 127 Selected Documentation


and mutual support. It has become a prime example of equality, win-win cooperation and common development between countries of different sizes. Our close ties have delivered real benefits to people in both countries. -- We have further cemented political mutual trust. In the 1960s, Myanmar became the first among China's neighbors to settle the boundary issue with China in the spirit of equal consultation, mutual understanding and mutual accommodation. Today, our two countries enjoy close high-level exchanges, and our comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership is growing steadily. China firmly supports Myanmar in pursuing a development path suited to its national conditions. China supports the efforts of the Myanmar government to promote peace and reconciliation, and supports Myanmar in safeguarding its legitimate rights and interests and national dignity in the international arena. Myanmar, for its part, has given China staunch support on issues involving China's core interests and major concerns. -- We have further expanded our practical cooperation. The economies of China and Myanmar are highly complementary, promising great room for cooperation. China has long been Myanmar's largest trading partner and most important source of investment. Our bilateral trade reached 16.8 billion U.S. dollars in the first 11 months of 2019. More and more agricultural and livestock products from Myanmar are making their way to Chinese kitchens. Fruitful cooperation is taking place in infrastructure construction and many other fields. With Myanmar as an important partner country of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), our two sides have capitalized on the convergence of our development strategies. We have signed cooperation documents on building the ChinaMyanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC) and established a joint CMEC committee to oversee steady progress. -- We have further strengthened people-to-people bonds. Our vibrant cultural, religious and personnel exchanges provide solid support for deepening our pauk-phaw friendship. China's national treasure, the Buddha tooth relic, was displayed four times in Myanmar for public obeisance. With donations from Myanmar, a Myanmese-style shrine has been built at the White Horse Temple in Luoyang, Henan province of China. With the help of Chinese doctors and nurses, many cataract patients in Myanmar have had their sight restored and children with congenital heart disease have received proper medical care. Popular Chinese films and TV programs have found a wide audience in Myanmar. This year, China will achieve its First Centenary Goal of ushering in a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Myanmar is making continuous progress in economic and social development. As we mark the 70th anniversary of our diplomatic relations, it is important that we carry forward our traditional friendship and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, so that we will bring China-Myanmar relations into a new era. 128 Selected Documentation


-- We need to draw a new blueprint for bilateral ties by strengthening strategic communication. Our two sides may continue to harness the vital role of highlevel exchanges in guiding our relations, step up communication and coordination at all levels and share development experience. It is important that we continue to show strong mutual support on issues concerning each other's core interests. By deepening our comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership with a strategic and long-term perspective, we will make the idea of building a community with a shared future take root in the hearts and minds of our people. China supports Myanmar in advancing the peace and reconciliation process through political dialogue. The two sides may work together to ensure peace and stability along our border. -- We need to bring new impetus to our mutually beneficial cooperation by deepening trade and economic exchanges. Our two sides need to deepen resultsoriented Belt and Road cooperation and move from a conceptual stage to concrete planning and implementation in building the CMEC. Efforts need to be made to promote the three pillars of the CMEC, namely the Kyaukpyu Special Economic Zone, the China-Myanmar Border Economic Cooperation Zone and the New Yangon City. We also need to deepen practical and mutually beneficial cooperation in such areas as connectivity, electricity, energy, transportation, agriculture, finance and livelihood to deliver more benefits to both peoples. -- We need to add new substance to our pauk-phaw friendship by scaling up exchanges and mutual learning. Our two sides have designated 2020 as the China-Myanmar Year of Culture and Tourism. Myanmar's charming natural scenery and fascinating cultural heritage will surely attract more and more Chinese tourists. To celebrate the 70th anniversary of our diplomatic ties, the two sides will host a string of events to expand exchanges and cooperation on education, religion, media, movies and TV programs. Such joint events will help strengthen public support for China-Myanmar friendship, thus cementing and re-energizing our pauk-phaw friendship. -- We need to make new progress in regional peace and stability by enhancing coordination and cooperation. Confronted by rising unilateralism and protectionism, our two countries need to strengthen coordination and collaboration in the multilateral fora, such as in the United Nations and within the framework of East Asia cooperation and Lancang-Mekong cooperation. In this new era, we need to champion the spirit of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, encourage efforts to foster a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, and strive to build a community with a shared future for mankind. In China and Myanmar, people have similar sayings to the effect that more exchanges will bring families and friends closer together. In this 70th 129 Selected Documentation


anniversary year, China-Myanmar relations stand at a new starting point. Let us work hand in hand to build an even closer China-Myanmar community with a shared future and write a new chapter for our millennia-old pauk-phaw friendship. (B) Remarks by President Xi Jinping at the Ceremony to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of China-Myanmar Diplomatic Relations and China-Myanmar Year of Culture and Tourism Source: https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/topics_665678/xjpdmdgsfw/t17 33685.shtml Released on: January 18, 2020 Your Excellency President U Win Myint, Your Excellency State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends, Mingalaba! (Nice to meet you!) This is the start of the new year. Myanmar has just celebrated its Independence Day and China will soon have its Spring Festival. It warms my heart to visit Myanmar at such an auspicious time and join all of you in this delightful gathering tonight. On behalf of the Chinese government and people, let me first extend our best regards and new year greetings to people from across sectors in Myanmar. Just now, we have heard the warm and gracious remarks from President U Win Myint and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. In a moment, we will jointly launch celebrations for the 70th anniversary of China-Myanmar diplomatic relations and for the China-Myanmar Year of Culture and Tourism. This is an important landmark in the long history of our friendly exchanges, one that will be celebrated with great festivity by our two peoples. I am truly delighted to join you in witnessing this historic moment. China and Myanmar are neighbors connected by shared mountains and rivers, and our people have enjoyed friendly ties for thousands of years. About 2,000 years ago during China's Qin and Han Dynasties, the two sides traded with each other along the southern Silk Road. At the heyday of the Tang Dynasty in the early 9th century, the Prince of Pyu led a dancing and music troupe to China and became an emissary of China-Myanmar friendship. In the last century, the two sides fought shoulder to shoulder against colonialism and imperialism. These examples reflect the profound friendship between us and testify to our great tradition of sharing weal and woe.

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Both Chinese and Myanmar cultures cherish the belief in a "shared bond". Our two countries are geographically linked, our peoples are connected by kinship and our cultures enjoy a natural affinity. Our millennia-old, time-tested "paukphaw" friendship is as strong as ever; it is the driving force and source of strength behind China-Myanmar relations. By celebrating 70 years of diplomatic ties, the two sides may increase mutual learning as civilizations, expand peopleto-people exchanges, and deliver solid results and real benefits to our peoples. This will engage more people in China and Myanmar who will become stakeholders, beneficiaries and supporters of China-Myanmar friendship, thus cementing public support for our friendly ties. Culture and people make a country known to the world. My last visit to Myanmar was 11 years ago. The renowned Golden Pagoda in Yangon, the warmth and hospitality of the people, and the diverse cultures and customs all left me a fond memory. Coming back this time, I see that Nay Pyi Taw is as tranquil and serene, and is just as vibrant a city. With the launch of the China-Myanmar Year of Culture and Tourism, I am sure more and more Chinese will come to Myanmar and be amazed by the beauty of this millennia-old civilization. Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends, History moves on and takes us forward. To advance China-Myanmar relations in the new era, we need to build on past achievements, stay true to our shared ideals and blaze a new trail together. President U Win Myint and I have agreed that my visit shall mark the start of our joint endeavor to build a China-Myanmar community with a shared future. This important political consensus speaks volumes about the special bond between China and Myanmar, a bond as close as between lips and teeth. It gives vivid expression to the fraternal friendship between our peoples who have supported each other through thick and thin, and draws up a new and overarching blueprint for future growth of bilateral ties. The year 2020 is of great significance for China, for Myanmar and for our relations. This year, China will become a moderately prosperous society in all respects and win victory over the battle against poverty; Myanmar will hold a general election and enter a new phase of national development. This year also marks the beginning of a new era for China-Myanmar relations. Guided by the shared vision of a China-Myanmar community with a shared future and by the fundamental interests of our peoples, we must pursue stronger political trust, broader practical cooperation and closer cultural exchanges, so that the two peoples will forever be good neighbors, good friends, good pauk-phaw and good partners. A few moments ago, I watched a photo exhibition marking the 70th anniversary of China-Myanmar diplomatic relations. I was particularly struck by a photo of 131 Selected Documentation


Premier Zhou Enlai visiting Myanmar from June 28 to 29 in 1954. In that visit to Myanmar and India, China and the two countries issued joint statements to initiate the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. These Five Principles have made a major contribution to the history of international relations. The world today is undergoing deep changes not seen in a century. Countries are closely linked and are increasingly becoming a community with a shared future. Yet, the lack of equality and justice is still prominent in international relations. To safeguard world peace and promote common development remains a challenging goal. Under new circumstances, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence are more relevant than ever before. China and Myanmar, working together, can set an example for advocating and applying the Five Principles and be role models in the handling of state-to-state relations. Together, we can encourage all to join the efforts for building a community with a shared future for mankind. Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends, In the 1960s, Marshal Chen Yi, once China's foreign minister, wrote that "deep are the feelings of pauk-phaw, just as long is the flow of our rivers." I am convinced that with joint efforts, the tide of China-Myanmar friendship and cooperation for common development will surge forward, like the Lancang and the Irrawaddy, coming from the same origin and rushing past mountains and shoals, in unstoppable flows. Let me conclude with a wish from the bottom of my heart Long live China-Myanmar friendship!

February (C) Chairman’s Statement on ASEAN Collective Response to the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Source: https://asean.org/storage/2020/02/ASEAN-Chairmans-Statement-onCOVID-19-FINAL.pdf Released on: February 15, 2020 CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT ON ASEAN COLLECTIVE RESPONSE TO THE OUTBREAK OF CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 1. The Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member States express serious concerns over the outbreak of the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus 132 Selected Documentation


disease 2019 (COVID-19) which poses severe challenges to the well-being of the peoples and the development of our respective countries and the region and the world; 2. We recognise the declaration by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 30 January 2020 that the situation is a “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC); 3. We reaffirm our firm commitment and resolve to ensure a peaceful and safe living environment for the people, and the sustainable growth of ASEAN Member States and the region; 4. We emphasize the importance of ASEAN solidarity and the spirit of a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community in facing the outbreak of the COVID-19 and similar challenges; 5. We express our solidarity and heartfelt support for the Government and people of the People’s Republic of China, and for all countries around the world, in their tremendous endeavours to address the outbreak of the COVID-19. 6. We note with satisfaction on-going efforts by individual ASEAN Member State and commend the pro-active role and timely actions taken by the ASEAN Health sector, in collaboration with partners from the People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (the Plus Three countries) in the prevention and control of the spread of the COVID-19; and welcome the encouraging outcome of the Special Video Conference of the ASEAN Plus Three Senior Officials Meeting on Health Development (SOMHD) on COVID-19, held on 3 February 2020. 7. We stress the important role of the WHO in the global campaign to control and contain the spread of the COVID-19 and commend their efforts in addressing the outbreak; 8. We recognize the critical importance of an orchestrated response and collective actions of ASEAN in curbing the spread of the disease; 9. Building upon existing measures undertaken by individual ASEAN Member State and ASEAN’s regional health mechanisms, we resolve to: -

Reaffirm ASEAN’s commitment to collectively respond to the outbreak of the COVID-19;

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Further strengthen the coordination of national and regional efforts in ensuring ASEAN’s readiness and responsive measures to mitigate and subsequently eliminate the threats of the COVID-19; 133 Selected Documentation


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Intensify timely sharing of information, experiences and best practices among ASEAN Member States, between ASEAN and China, other partners, the WHO and international organisations, on the prevention, detection, and treatment of the COVID-19 infections;

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Encourage the continued utilization and strengthening of regional mechanisms for coordination and cooperation in response to this threat;

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Task the ASEAN Health sector to establish close networking with relevant sectoral bodies of ASEAN in the areas of consular, immigration and transportation, among others, to ensure a coherent and holistic approach of the ASEAN Community in response to the disease;

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Task the ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) to monitor and make proper reports and recommendations to the 36th ASEAN Summit;

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While affirming our consistent policies of maintaining our economies and our borders open, emphasize the need to coordinate and standardize measures to ensure proper health inspection at borders and entry points of ASEAN Member States;

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Instruct diplomatic missions of ASEAN Member States in third countries to provide appropriate consular assistance to nationals of ASEAN Member States in needy situations;

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Strengthen cooperation to ensure that the people in our community are rightly and thoroughly informed on the COVID-19 situation and are not being misled by disinformation pertaining to the COVID-19;

10. We are determined to work closely and actively with ASEAN’s partners and the international community to mitigate the adverse impacts of the COVID19; 11. We pledge ASEAN’s high priority in dealing with this dangerous disease and urge the international community to support ASEAN in this effort./. (D) Speech by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the 56th Munich Security Conference Source: https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202002/16/WS5e490ce7a3101282 17277dc8.html Released on: February 16, 2020

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Bringing the East and West Together In Shared Commitment to Multilateralism Speech by H.E. Wang Yi State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of The People's Republic of China At the 56th Munich Security Conference Munich, 15 February 2020 Your Excellency Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger, Ladies and Gentlemen, It gives me great pleasure to attend the 56th Munich Security Conference and join friends old and new. We attend this year's MSC at an unusual moment, as my colleagues and I came straight from a battlefront. Under the strong leadership of President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government is engaged in a vigorous effort to combat the sudden outbreak of a novel virus. The 1.4 billion Chinese people are united as one in fighting this "war without smoke". We resolve to protect the city of Wuhan, protect Hubei province, and protect every fellow countryman who is struggling with the virus. And we are determined to fight and win this battle. On the very day of the lunar new year, President Xi Jinping personally chaired a meeting to direct the outbreak response, declaring an all-out war on the epidemic. The government promptly established a national framework of comprehensive, inter-agency response. Premier Li Keqiang went to Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, to inspect epidemic control efforts. From the central government to local governments, from urban to rural areas, the whole nation is battling the epidemic with resolve and self-sacrifice. Nothing short of the most comprehensive, rigorous and thorough-going measures have been taken. As many world leaders noted, it is admirable that the Chinese government and people have shown firm resolve in dealing with the epidemic. The high speed and massive scale of China's response are rarely seen in the world. China's speed, scale and efficiency all demonstrate the strengths of China's system. Wuhan may be the front line in this battle, yet Wuhan is not fighting alone. We Chinese across the country stand firmly with our brothers and sisters in Wuhan and Hubei. Let me highlight a few examples of our united effort. Scientists and researchers, who have been working day and night, isolated the first virus strain and developed the test reagent in less than seven days. Hailed as heroes in harm's way, over 20,000 healthcare workers in 100 plus medical 135 Selected Documentation


teams converged in Hubei, the hardest hit province, from across the nation to support epidemic control. Exemplifying professional dedication, all medical workers are saving and protecting lives around the clock despite the risk of infection and exhaustion from overwork. Another group of people working around the clock were several thousand engineers and construction workers, who built the two specialized hospitals equipped with 2,500 beds in less than 15 days. Braving freezing weather, community workers leave no stone unturned in checking on every block to make sure that no family in need is left unattended to. Tens of thousands of volunteers are working non-stop to help deliver supplies and assistance to the affected regions. Overseas Chinese around the globe rushed to make donations in cash and kind to help battle the outbreak. Winter will eventually pass, and spring is sure to come. China's rigorous and thorough measures are paying off. As of 14 February, the number of confirmed cases outside Hubei has recorded a 12-day consecutive drop, and the situation in Hubei and Wuhan is being put under more effective containment. This shows that overall, the epidemic is controllable. The number of cured cases exceeded 8,000 as of yesterday. The case fatality rate has been kept at around 2.29 percent nationwide, and 0.55 percent outside Hubei. These facts and figures demonstrate that the disease is largely curable. Just as President Xi Jinping said, we have full confidence, capacity and determination to defeat the epidemic. Dawn is breaking and we are seeing light coming through. The challenges the outbreak has posed to China's economic and social development will be temporary and short-lived. With its strong resilience, potential and vitality, the Chinese economy is well positioned to overcome all risks and challenges. The fundamentals sustaining sound economic growth have not changed and will not change. After the storm comes the rainbow. We are confident that China will emerge stronger from the epidemic. Its pent-up consumer demand and growth potential will be quickly unleashed and China will enjoy more sound and sustainable economic and social development. The Chinese nation has been through all kinds of trials and tribulations in its history, which forged a national character of perseverance and resilience. Fighting this epidemic will be no exception. It will only make us stronger and more tenacious. Our country will march on in more determined strides to usher in moderate prosperity in all respects, to eradicate absolute poverty, and to realize the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

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The history of civilization is a history of struggle against disease. Virus respects no borders. That is why we have attached great importance to international health cooperation from the start of the outbreak. In the spirit of openness and transparency, we promptly notified the world about the outbreak and shared the genetic sequence of the virus. We have been working closely with WHO, invited international experts to join our ranks, and provided assistance and facilitation to foreign nationals in China. To date, confirmed cases outside China account for less than one percent of the world's total. It means China has effectively curbed the spread of the outbreak beyond our borders. For that, we have made extraordinary efforts and a heavy sacrifice. That said, China is not fighting alone. The international community has given us valuable moral and material support. This joint fight is strengthening the friendship between the Chinese people and peoples across the world. Russia, Belarus and the ROK swiftly delivered badly needed medical supplies to Wuhan through chartered flights. Pakistan, our iron-clad brother, sent us virtually all the masks in its stock. At the peak of the outbreak, Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia paid a special visit to Beijing to offer his staunch support for China. Through a specially made video, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha of Thailand conveyed the message that Thailand and China are one family committed to fighting the epidemic together. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka prayed for China at the Abhayarama Temple in Colombo, alongside nearly a million Buddhist believers in his country. Italian President Sergio Mattarella visited a school with a large number of Chinese students and hosted a concert in the Quirinal Palace in support of China's epidemic response. In the toughest times of the fight, people around the world are standing firmly by our side. Japanese groups sent assistance supplies to China, attached with ancient Chinese poetic lines: "Fear not the want of armor, for mine is also yours to wear", conveying a touching message of empathy from a close neighbor. In other parts of the world, Americans from all walks of life donated medical items and supplies; an Indonesian policeman sang the song "Go, Wuhan!"; UK pupils performed a Chinese song "Fill the World with Love"; the Burj Khalifa Tower in the UAE was lit up in red in solidarity with China; and from this city, Bayern Munich sent its best wishes to China. In the face of danger, Philippe Klein, a French doctor working in Wuhan, did not hesitate to stay and fought alongside the Chinese people. He said he kept a bottle of champagne to be popped open for celebrating the end of the epidemic. Munyaradzi Gurure, a Zimbabwean student who lived in Wuhan for three years, also chose to stay and signed up to be a volunteer. 137 Selected Documentation


To date, leaders of more than 160 countries and international organizations have sent letters or messages to express their firm support. Political leaders around the world have spoken in public to cheer for Wuhan and for China. The Chinese are a grateful nation. We will remember and hold dear every act of support. On behalf of the Chinese government, let me say a heartfelt thank-you to all the countries, international organizations and people who have supported China's ongoing epidemic control efforts. Ladies and Gentlemen, This sudden outbreak reminds us once again that we live in a time when traditional and non-traditional security issues are entwined, and when local issues easily become global and vice versa. No country can prosper in isolation or meet all challenges on its own, as our interests are closely inter-connected. "Westlessness", the title of Munich Security Report 2020, reflects a perception of the world among some in Europe and the United States. China's view is that as human society has entered the age of globalization, we must transcend the East-West divergence and the North-South divide, to see our shared planet as a community for all. We must go beyond the ideological gap and accommodate historical and cultural differences, to see the international community as one global family. In the era of globalization, we face the same challenges, shoulder common responsibilities and have a shared future. This means we must set up an effective framework for multilateral cooperation to jointly tackle the myriad of challenges. It also points to the need for committing to multilateral cooperation, whereby international affairs are truly discussed and decided by all involved. Many countries have proposed constructive ideas on building multilateralism. As President Xi Jinping pointed out, in promoting and enforcing multilateralism, our aim should be to safeguard peace and development for all, and uphold fairness, justice and mutual benefit. And the practice of multilateralism should be grounded on international law and widely recognized norms of international relations. This is China's considered answer to the question of how to put multilateralism into action in a globalized world. First, to uphold multilateralism, we should pursue shared development. Multilateralism does not stand for putting any country above others. Instead, it advocates the equal right to development shared by all countries. If the West enjoys lasting prosperity and progress while the rest are mired in backwardness, multilateralism can never be truly implemented and the 138 Selected Documentation


common progress of humanity would be impossible to achieve. Fei Xiaotong, a renowned Chinese sociologist, envisioned a world in which countries treasure their own distinct heritages, appreciate other cultures and promote shared prosperity. In the globalized era, only when more countries get to develop, can the international community be empowered and can there be more partners in our joint response to challenges. As a big country with 5,000 years of civilization, China's modernization, which is being achieved through the hard work and wisdom of its people, represents an inevitable trend of history. Given its national conditions, China will not copy the Western model. Given its cultural traditions, China will not seek hegemony even when it grows in strength. What we have chosen is peaceful development of our own country and mutually beneficial cooperation with the world. The path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, which has underpinned China's remarkable success, is brimming with vitality and leading to an even more promising future. The Communist Party of China (CPC) represents the fundamental interests of all Chinese people, and its leadership is supported by the 1.4 billion people of China. China respects the choices of Western countries, and will draw on the experience of developed countries to work for shared prosperity. Likewise, the West also needs to eschew the subconscious belief in the superiority of its civilization and abandon its prejudices and anxieties regarding China. It needs to respect the choices of the Chinese people and accept and welcome the development and rejuvenation of a major country in the East, one with a system different from the West. For China's development and rejuvenation is an important part of human progress and embodies the colorful diversity brought by multilateralism. Second, to uphold multilateralism, major countries should set a good example. Collaboration between major countries is instrumental to the success of multilateralism. In international and particularly in multilateral affairs, major countries play a key role and shoulder significant responsibilities. Therefore, they need to behave in a way that befits their status. Instead of putting their own interests above those of others, they should care for the common interests of all countries; instead of carving out spheres of influence, they should work for an open world; and instead of provoking confrontation, they should work together to maintain world peace and stability. China will further strengthen strategic coordination with Russia. Following the strategic guidance of our presidents, we will advance our comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era on all fronts, and instill more positive energy into global security, stability and strategic balance. 139 Selected Documentation


China will work with the US to find a way of promoting peaceful co-existence and mutually beneficial cooperation. We hope the US side will embrace a more open and inclusive approach when viewing China's development, work with us to manage differences in a spirit of equality and mutual respect, and adhere to the principles of coordination, cooperation and stability in bilateral ties. We should work together to keep China-US relations on the right track. China will deepen cooperation with Europe across the board with a focus on upgrading China-EU relations, enhancing cooperation on green development and the digital economy, and expanding China-CEEC cooperation. As always, we support European integration, support a united and strong Europe, and support Europe's active role in multilateral affairs. Third, to uphold multilateralism, we should uphold international norms. Multilateralism is antithetical to unilateral moves. Instead, it supports greater democracy in international relations based on international rule of law and justice. The principles enshrined in the UN Charter, including respect for national sovereignty, peaceful resolution of disputes and non-interference in internal affairs, are the bedrock of modern international law. As the first founding member of the UN to sign its Charter, China has stayed true to the UN's founding aspirations and firmly defended the purposes of the Charter and international law. Proceeding from our commitment to national sovereignty, China has called for a "Syrian-led, Syrian-owned" approach for Syria and an "Afghan-led, Afghanowned" solution for the Afghan issue. Proceeding from our commitment to non-interference, China has rejected unwarranted interference in its internal affairs on issues related to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang, and opposed the power politics of meddling in other countries' internal affairs. Proceeding from our commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes, China has advocated a negotiated solution to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue based on the simultaneous achievement of complete denuclearization and a lasting peace mechanism. In the same spirit, we endeavor to properly resolve disputes in the South China Sea through dialogue and negotiation, and are working with ASEAN countries on a Code of Conduct to be observed by all relevant parties. Proceeding from our commitment to international fairness and justice, China has firmly stood with the Palestinian people and all the oppressed peoples in their call for justice. We oppose the strong bullying the weak, the big bullying 140 Selected Documentation


the small, and unilateral sanctions or long-arm jurisdiction which find no ground in international law. We provided assistance to fellow developing countries to the best of our ability and without any political strings attached, and advanced South-South cooperation. The mission of China's foreign policy is to promote world peace and common development. It is rooted in international law and the basic norms governing international relations and will not be swayed by turns of events. We pursue no selfish interests. Our policy, which is stable and consistent, can stand the test of history and has won the trust of others. Fourth, to uphold multilateralism, we need to see the world as one community. The outbreak of the epidemic has once again reminded us that our countries' future is closely linked. Global governance and international coordination must be strengthened without delay. On this front, President Xi Jinping put forward an important initiative of building a community with a shared future for mankind, calling on all countries to rise above differences in social system, history, culture and development stage, jointly preserve Mother Earth, our common home, and work for a prosperous global village in which we all have a stake. The initiative of building a community with a shared future is inspired by the traditional Chinese philosophy that sees the world as one big family. It reflects profound thinking on the future of mankind and embodies a spirit of humanity; it points the way forward for global governance and represents the ultimate goal of multilateralism. It is a Chinese proposal on how to address today's challenges and has become an overarching goal of our major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. China is ready to join hands with all countries and make unremitting efforts to this end. Thank you! (E) Statement of the Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Source: https://asean.org/storage/2020/02/ASEAN-China-SFMM-Statementon-COVID-19-20-Feb-2020-Final.pdf Released on: February 20, 2020

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Statement of the Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) We, the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN and the People’s Republic of China, met in Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, on 20 February 2020 for the Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19); NOTING the ASEAN Chairman’s Statement on ASEAN collective response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 issued on 14 February 2020, which expressed concern over the outbreak of the respiratory illness caused by COVID-19; RECOGNISING the joint emergency responses of ASEAN and China to major challenges and their tradition of solidarity and mutual assistance in times of difficulty; NOTING that the Plan of Action to Implement the Joint Declaration on ASEANChina Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity (2016-2020), encourages deepening cooperation between ASEAN and China on, among others, preventing and controlling emerging and reemerging infectious and communicable diseases; RECOGNISING the cross-border challenges posed by COVID-19 and the important contribution to global public health by strengthening ASEAN-China and international cooperation to collectively tackle these challenges to protect peoples’ health, safety and the socio-economic development of countries; STRESSING the important role of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the global campaign to control and contain the spread of COVID-19, recognising the importance of health measures under the International Health Regulations (2005); EMPHASISING the growing urgency and need for cooperation in COVID-19 surveillance, prevention, detection and control given the fact that ASEAN and China have close links and are each other’s major tourist destinations with an annual travel flow of over 65 million visits and China being the largest trading partner of ASEAN while ASEAN is the second largest trading partner of China; RECOGNISING ASEAN and China’s decisive measures to address COVID-19 through prompt sharing of information and other significant efforts to contain the epidemic and to protect regional and global public health security; EXPRESSING full confidence in China’s abilities to succeed in overcoming the epidemic with China appreciating the sympathy, support and assistance offered by ASEAN Member States to its response efforts; 142 Selected Documentation


ALSO EXPRESSING deep condolences on the loss of lives, extending sympathies to those suffering from or threatened by COVID-19 and commending the medical professionals, scientists, researchers, quarantine officials and all others working courageously on the frontlines of the battle against the outbreak; To this end, we hereby agree to: 1. Step up cooperation in the region against COVID-19 by sharing information and best practices in a timely manner, including exchanging available epidemiological information, technical guidelines and solutions for epidemic prevention and control, diagnosis, treatment and surveillance, with a view to enhancing capacity in emergency preparedness and response; 2. Strengthen cooperation within ASEAN-led mechanisms and with external partners to address COVID-19 in a comprehensive and effective manner, taking into account the different levels of development of health systems in the region; 3. Strengthen cooperation in risk communication and community engagement readiness and response to ensure that people are rightly and thoroughly informed on COVID-19 and are not being misled by 4. Strengthen policy dialogue and exchanges on the latest development of the COVID-19, including its control and treatment, and its related study and research through existing mechanisms such as the ASEAN-China Health Ministers’ Meeting (ACHMM) and the ASEAN-China Senior Officials’ Meeting on Health Development (ACSOMHD) to fully implement the ASEAN-China MOU on Health Cooperation and support more mutually agreed cooperation projects; 5. Work together to enhance the capacity to prevent and control emerging and re-emerging infectious and communicable diseases such as COVID-19, engage in exchanges of relevant data and technology, experience and capacity building, including training of health and medical personnel, mutual visits of medical experts and other health workers, as well as the possibility of holding an ASEANChina Workshop on Health Emergency Personnel, strengthen cooperation between Centers for Disease Control and relevant institutions of ASEAN and China, and set up a sub-forum during the Third ASEAN-China Forum on Health Cooperation to be held this year to conduct in-depth discussions on the prevention and control of COVID-19; 6. Mitigate supply chain disruptions of urgent medical goods and promote research and development of medicines and vaccines; 7. Support enterprises affected by the epidemic, especially micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), as appropriate, including through 143 Selected Documentation


promotion of digital economy to facilitate economic activity during epidemics and make full use of the ASEAN-China Year of Digital Economy Cooperation; 8. Support the use of information and communication technologies for the continued development of public health. 9. Commit to reducing the impact of the epidemic on the economic and social development of all affected countries, jointly maintaining people-to-people exchanges, trade and investment activities in the region, and, based on the progress of the prevention and control of the epidemic, resume and enhance exchanges and cooperation. We are determined to continue working together to deal with this dangerous disease and to address the adverse impacts of COVID-19, and agreed to brief our Leaders on the outcome of this meeting and welcome their guidance on proposals for their engagements at an appropriate time. We encourage the relevant ASEAN-China mechanisms to implement the measures outlined in this Statement. (F) Joint Press Communiqué of the Fifth Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Source: https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/wjdt_665385/2649_665393/t17 48085.shtml Released on: February 21, 2020 Joint Press Communiqué of the Fifth Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Foreign Ministers' Meeting Vientiane, Lao PDR, 20 February 2020 1. The Fifth Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) Foreign Ministers' Meeting was held in Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) on 20 February 2020. H.E. Saleumxay Kommasith, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR, H.E.Wang Yi, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, H.E. Prak Sokhonn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia, H.E. U Kyaw Tin, Union Minister for International Cooperation of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, H.E. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, and H.E. Pham Binh Minh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam attended the meeting which was co-chaired by the Lao and Chinese Foreign Ministers.

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2. The Ministers reviewed the implementation of the outcomes of the Second MLC Leaders' Meeting and the Fourth MLC Foreign Ministers' Meeting, and commended the Progress Report of the Year 2019 on Implementing the FiveYear Plan of Action on Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (2018-2022). The Ministers agreed that the MLC has kept the momentum of rapid development with deepening practical cooperation across the board, growing political mutual trust among the six countries, broadening common interests and further strengthened good-neighborliness. 3. The Ministers of Mekong countries expressed appreciation to China who has, in an open, transparent and responsible manner, shared timely information on the COVID-19 outbreak as well as technical guidelines for prevention, control, diagnosis and treatment ever since the outbreak. They commended the strong measures taken by China and were fully confident in China's ability to win the battle against the epidemic. The Ministers commended the active efforts made by relevant agencies and authorities from Mekong countries in combating the outbreak. The Ministers agreed to take into consideration the relevant recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO), as allowed by the conditions of respective countries and to further strengthen information and experience sharing and scientific research cooperation to control the epidemic and prevent future epidemic outbreak in the spirit of solidarity and cooperation. 4. The Ministers commended the substantive progress achieved in 2019 in implementing the projects supported by the MLC Special Fund, and welcomed China's consistent support to fund the newly approved list of projects of the LMC Special Fund 2020. They commended the importance of these projects in promoting socio-economic development of the MLC countries, and hope that the Fund could further support more practical and effective projects for the wellbeing of the peoples of the six countries. Efforts will be made to enhance the quality of projects and efficiency of implementation and management, with a view to improving the Fund's effectiveness in better serving the interests of the peoples. 5. The Ministers noted with satisfaction that the 3+5+X cooperation framework has been further improved with the establishment of the Mekong-Lancang Agricultural Cooperation Center and the Mekong-Lancang Youth Exchange Cooperation Center, and the smooth operation of the Mekong-Lancang Water Resources Cooperation Center, the Mekong-Lancang Environmental Cooperation Center, the Mekong-Lancang Vocational Education Training Center and the Global Center for Mekong Studies (GCMS). The Ministers welcomed the Action Plans on water resources, agricultural and environmental cooperation, and called for a prompt formulation of Action Plans on production capacity, connectivity and cross-border economic cooperation.

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6. The Ministers agreed to promote dialogues among political parties and exchanges on governance, and step up cooperation on non-traditional security issues including disaster management, epidemic prevention and mitigation, combating illicit drug trafficking, terrorism and cyber crimes, human trafficking, and smuggling and trafficking of firearms and ammunition. The Ministers also agreed to promote exchanges and dialogues among local/regional governments of border areas as well as border management departments of the six countries in line with the spirit of MLC and domestic rules and regulations of each member country. 7. The Ministers reaffirmed the need for enhancing connectivity among MekongLancang countries, and took note of the commitment of China and ASEAN in synergizing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025, and the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) Master Plan (2019-2023). 8. The Ministers welcomed the Recommendations for Jointly Building the Mekong-Lancang Economic Development Belt by the GCMS, and agreed to encourage relevant agencies of the six countries to undertake further studies to formulate detailed plans. They also encouraged synergy between development of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor and the Mekong-Lancang Economic Development Belt to closely link the vast mid-western region of China with the vibrant ASEAN market, and enable quality and sustainable economic development, resilience and industrial integration and ensure supply chain efficiency in the Mekong-Lancang region. 9. The Ministers supported optimizing regional production capacity distribution, complementing each other with their respective production advantages, and enhancing the countries' relevance in the global industrial and value chain according to the Joint Statement on Production Capacity Cooperation Among Mekong-Lancang Countries. The Ministers noted the progress in setting up the MLC Production Capacity and Investment Promotion Alliance, and the multi-nation, multi-park cooperation. They took note that their business associations have held the first MLC Textile and Apparel Summit, during which the Joint Statement on Production Capacity Cooperation of Textile and Garment Industry among Mekong-Lancang Countries was issued. 10. The Ministers commended the enhancement and upgrading of the MLC water resources cooperation. The first Ministerial Meeting of Mekong-Lancang Water Resources Cooperation was successfully held and adopted the Joint Statement of the Ministerial Meeting of Mekong-Lancang Water Resources Cooperation and the List of Proposed Projects on Mekong-Lancang Water Resources Cooperation. The Water Resources Joint Working Group held a special session in joint response to the drought in the Mekong Basin. The Ministers of Mekong countries appreciated China for the direct provision of 146 Selected Documentation


hydrological information of the Lancang River in the flood season within the MLC framework, and positive contribution to coping with the severe drought in Mekong-Lancang River Basin. The Ministers agreed to adopt approaches to promote green and sustainable development, further step up water resources cooperation, enhance the sharing of hydrological information, deepen cooperation on emergency management of flood, drought and other disasters, and improve water resources management capabilities with a view to ensuring sustainable use of water resources, and minimizing negative impact on the livelihood and environment along the Mekong-Lancang River. The Ministers welcomed the Mekong River Commission Secretariat (MRCS) as an observer to annual meetings of the Joint Working Group on Water Resources Cooperation of the MLC, and the signing of an MOU between the MRCS and the Mekong-Lancang Water Resources Cooperation Center. 11. The Ministers expressed appreciation for China's measures to expand import of agricultural products from Mekong countries, and encouraged that efforts should be made to strengthen agricultural cooperation, accelerate the implementation of the Three-Year Action Plan on Agricultural Cooperation (2020-2022), make full use of Mekong-Lancang Agricultural Cooperation Center and the agricultural technology promotion platform, conduct agricultural technology promotion projects, enhance competitiveness of agricultural products from the six countries, and explore the possibility of the cooperation on food safety and security, and to jointly build agricultural industry cooperation parks. 12. The Ministers commended the considerable progress made in education, health, poverty reduction, Red Cross Societies, women and youth undertakings, and agreed to support more projects and trainings in these fields. They encouraged to provide more scholarships to further improve the people's livelihood in the Mekong-Lancang countries. 13. The Ministers appreciated the joint celebration of the third anniversary of the establishment of the MLC and the MLC Week 2019 by member countries, and encouraged to conduct more people-to-people and cultural exchanges to enhance the public awareness of the MLC. 14. The Ministers commended the fruitful outcomes of the Joint Working Groups on key priority areas, as they have played a significant role in promoting MLC. 15. The Ministers commended the contribution made by the MLC National Secretariats/Coordination Units of the six countries, welcomed the Second Training Program and the First Joint Meeting for National Secretariats/Coordination Units held by the Chinese side, and called for further enhancement of the liaison mechanism of the National 147 Selected Documentation


Secretariats/Coordination Units to strengthen communication for better coordination in practical cooperation in all areas. 16. The Ministers agreed to promote coordinated development of the MLC with relevant regional and sub-regional cooperation mechanisms, including ASEAN, the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program, MRC, and the ACMECS in the spirit of openness, inclusiveness and complementarity. The Ministers of Mekong countries welcomed China as a Development Partner of ACMECS. 17. The Ministers unanimously reaffirmed their continued support for multilateralism, upholding the international order underpinned by the international law, the UN-centered international system, and the rule-based multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization as its foundation. The Ministers restated that the MLC is aimed at building a community of shared future of peace and prosperity and establishing the MLC as an example of a new type of international relations, based on the principles of consensus, equality, mutual consultation and coordination, voluntarism, common contribution and shared benefits, respect for the United Nations Charter and international laws. 18. The Ministers congratulates the MLC Diplomatic Joint Working Group for their relentless work in preparations for the successful conclusion of the Fifth Foreign Ministers' Meeting in the spirit of friendship, openness and inclusiveness. 19. The Ministers expressed their readiness to work together for the success of the upcoming Third MLC Leaders' Meeting in Lao PDR in 2020. 20. The Ministers expressed their appreciation to Lao PDR for the excellent arrangements of the Meeting. 21. The Sixth Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Foreign Ministers' Meeting will be held in Myanmar and co-chaired by Myanmar and China. The dates and venue will be decided in due course by the Co-Chairs.

March (G) President Xi Jinping’s Remarks at the Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit Source: https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/zxxx_662805/t1761899.shtml Released on: March 26, 2020

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Working Together to Defeat the COVID-19 Outbreak Remarks by H.E. Xi Jinping President of the People's Republic of China At the Extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit Beijing, 26 March 2020 Your Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Dear Colleagues, It is good to join you. Let me begin by expressing my sincere appreciation to His Majesty King Salman and Saudi Arabia for having done tremendous work of communication and coordination to make this summit possible. Facing the COVID-19 outbreak that caught us all by surprise, the Chinese government and Chinese people have been undaunted as we took on this formidable task. From day one of our fight against the outbreak, we have put people's life and health first. We have acted according to the overall principle of shoring up confidence, strengthening unity, ensuring science-based control and treatment and imposing targeted measures. We have mobilized the whole nation, set up collective control and treatment mechanisms and acted with openness and transparency. What we fought was a people's war against the outbreak. We have put up a strenuous struggle and made tremendous sacrifices. Now the situation in China is moving steadily in a positive direction. Life and work are quickly returning to normal. Yet, there is no way we will lower our guard or relax control. At the most difficult moment in our fight against the outbreak, China received assistance and help from a lot of members of the global community. Such expressions of friendship will always be remembered and cherished by the Chinese people. Major infectious disease is the enemy of all. As we speak, the COVID-19 outbreak is spreading worldwide, posing enormous threat to life and health and bringing formidable challenge to global public health security. The situation is disturbing and unsettling. At such a moment, it is imperative for the international community to strengthen confidence, act with unity and work together in a collective response. We must comprehensively step up international cooperation and foster greater synergy so that humanity as one could win the battle against such a major infectious disease. For that to happen, I would like to put forth four proposals.

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First, we need to be resolute in fighting an all-out global war against the COVID-19 outbreak. The community of nations must move swiftly to stem the spread of the virus. In this regard, I propose that a G20 health ministers' meeting be convened as quick as possible to improve information sharing, strengthen cooperation on drugs, vaccines and epidemic control, and cut off cross-border infections. G20 members need to jointly help developing countries with weak public health systems enhance preparedness and response. I propose a G20 COVID-19 assistance initiative for better information sharing and policy and action coordination with the support of the World Health Organization. Guided by the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, China will be more than ready to share our good practices, conduct joint research and development of drugs and vaccines, and provide assistance where we can to countries hit by the growing outbreak. Second, we need to make a collective response for control and treatment at the international level. This is a virus that respects no borders. The outbreak we are battling is our common enemy. All must work together to build a strongest global network of control and treatment that the world has ever seen. China has set up its online COVID-19 knowledge center that is open to all countries. It is imperative that countries pool their strengths and speed up research and development of drugs, vaccines and testing capabilities in the hope to achieve early breakthrough to the benefit of all. Discussions are also needed regarding the establishment of regional emergency liaison mechanisms to enable quicker response to public health emergencies. Third, we need to support international organizations in playing their active roles. China supports WHO in leading the global efforts to develop science-based and proper control and treatment and minimize cross-border spread. I call on G20 members to enhance anti-epidemic information sharing with the support of WHO and to promote control and treatment protocols that are comprehensive, systematic and effective. The G20 platform for communication and coordination may be used to increase policy dialogue and exchange, and a high-level meeting on international public health security may be convened in due course. For China, we will be happy to join other countries and scale up support for relevant international and regional organizations. Fourth, we need to enhance international macro-economic policy coordination. The outbreak has disrupted production and demand across the globe. Countries need to leverage and coordinate their macro policies to counteract the negative impact and prevent the world economy from falling into recession. We need to implement strong and effective fiscal and monetary policies to keep our exchange rates basically stable. We need to better coordinate financial regulation to keep global financial markets stable. We need to jointly keep the global industrial and supply chains stable. What China will do in this regard is to increase its supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients, daily 150 Selected Documentation


necessities, and anti-epidemic and other supplies to the international market. What's more, we also need to protect women, children, the elderly, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups, and provide for people's basic needs. China will continue to pursue a proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy. We will continue to advance reform and opening-up, widen market access, improve the business environment, and expand imports and outbound investment to contribute to a stable world economy. I want to call on all G20 members to take collective actions - cutting tariffs, removing barriers, and facilitating the unfettered flow of trade. Together, we can send a strong signal and restore confidence for global economic recovery. The G20 needs to draw up an action plan and promptly set up communication mechanisms and institutional arrangements for anti-epidemic macro policy coordination. Dear Colleagues, Now is a crucial moment, a time for us to rise up to challenge and act with swiftness. I am convinced that through solidarity and mutual assistance, we will prevail over this outbreak and we all will embrace a brighter future for mankind! Thank you. (H) Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit Statement on COVID-19 Source: https://g20.org/en/media/Documents/G20_Extraordinary%20G20% 20Leaders%E2%80%99%20Summit_Statement_EN%20(3).pdf Released on: March 27, 2020 The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic is a powerful reminder of our interconnectedness and vulnerabilities. The virus respects no borders. Combatting this pandemic calls for a transparent, robust, coordinated, largescale and science-based global response in the spirit of solidarity. We are strongly committed to presenting a united front against this common threat. We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life and the suffering faced by people around the world. Tackling the pandemic and its intertwined health, social and economic impacts is our absolute priority. We express our gratitude and support to all frontline health workers as we continue to fight the pandemic. The G20 is committed to do whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic, along with the World Health Organization (WHO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank Group (WBG), United Nations (UN), and other international organizations, working within their existing mandates. We are determined to spare no effort, both individually and collectively, to: 151 Selected Documentation


▪ Protect lives. ▪ Safeguard people’s jobs and incomes. ▪ Restore confidence, preserve financial stability, revive growth and recover stronger. ▪ Minimize disruptions to trade and global supply chains. ▪ Provide help to all countries in need of assistance. ▪ Coordinate on public health and financial measures. Fighting the Pandemic We commit to take all necessary health measures and seek to ensure adequate financing to contain the pandemic and protect people, especially the most vulnerable. We will share timely and transparent information; exchange epidemiological and clinical data; share materials necessary for research and development; and strengthen health systems globally, including through supporting the full implementation of the WHO International Health Regulations (IHR 2005). We will expand manufacturing capacity to meet the increasing needs for medical supplies and ensure these are made widely available, at an affordable price, on an equitable basis, where they are most needed and as quickly as possible. We stress the importance of responsible communication to the public during this global health crisis. We task our Health Ministers to meet as needed to share national best practices and develop a set of G20 urgent actions on jointly combatting the pandemic by their ministerial meeting in April. We fully support and commit to further strengthen the WHO’s mandate in coordinating the international fight against the pandemic, including the protection of front-line health workers, delivery of medical supplies, especially diagnostic tools, treatments, medicines, and vaccines. We acknowledge the necessity of urgent short-term actions to step up the global efforts to fight the COVID-19 crisis. We will quickly work together and with stakeholders to close the financing gap in the WHO Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. We further commit to provide immediate resources to the WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation (CEPI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, on a voluntary basis. We call upon all countries, international organizations, the private sector, philanthropies, and individuals to contribute to these efforts. To safeguard the future, we commit to strengthen national, regional, and global capacities to respond to potential infectious disease outbreaks by substantially increasing our epidemic preparedness spending. This will enhance the protection of everyone, especially vulnerable groups that are disproportionately affected by infectious diseases. We further commit to work together to increase research and development funding for vaccines and medicines, leverage digital technologies, and strengthen scientific international cooperation. We will bolster our coordination, including with the private sector, towards rapid 152 Selected Documentation


development, manufacturing and distribution of diagnostics, antiviral medicines, and vaccines, adhering to the objectives of efficacy, safety, equity, accessibility, and affordability. We ask the WHO, in cooperation with relevant organizations, to assess gaps in pandemic preparedness and report to a joint meeting of Finance and Health Ministers in the coming months, with a view to establish a global initiative on pandemic preparedness and response. This initiative will capitalize on existing programs to align priorities in global preparedness and act as a universal, efficient, sustained funding and coordination platform to accelerate the development and delivery of vaccines, diagnostics and treatments. Safeguarding the Global Economy We commit to do whatever it takes and to use all available policy tools to minimize the economic and social damage from the pandemic, restore global growth, maintain market stability, and strengthen resilience. We are currently undertaking immediate and vigorous measures to support our economies; protect workers, businesses—especially micro-, small and mediumsized enterprises—and the sectors most affected; and shield the vulnerable through adequate social protection. We are injecting over $5 trillion into the global economy, as part of targeted fiscal policy, economic measures, and guarantee schemes to counteract the social, economic and financial impacts of the pandemic. We will continue to conduct bold and large-scale fiscal support. Collective G20 action will amplify its impact, ensure coherence, and harness synergies. The magnitude and scope of this response will get the global economy back on its feet and set a strong basis for the protection of jobs and the recovery of growth. We ask our Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to coordinate on a regular basis to develop a G20 action plan in response to COVID-19 and work closely with international organizations to swiftly deliver the appropriate international financial assistance. We support the extraordinary measures taken by central banks consistent with their mandates. Central banks have acted to support the flow of credit to households and businesses, promote financial stability, and enhance liquidity in global markets. We welcome the extension of swap lines that our central banks have undertaken. We also support regulatory and supervisory measures taken to ensure that the financial system continues to support the economy and welcome the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB) announced coordination of such measures.

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We also welcome the steps taken by the IMF and the WBG to support countries in need using all instruments to the fullest extent as part of a coordinated global response and ask them to regularly update the G20 on the impacts of the pandemic, their response, and policy recommendations. We will continue to address risks of debt vulnerabilities in low-income countries due to the pandemic. We also ask the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to monitor the pandemic’s impact on employment. Addressing International Trade Disruptions Consistent with the needs of our citizens, we will work to ensure the flow of vital medical supplies, critical agricultural products, and other goods and services across borders, and work to resolve disruptions to the global supply chains, to support the health and wellbeing of all people. We commit to continue working together to facilitate international trade and coordinate responses in ways that avoid unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade. Emergency measures aimed at protecting health will be targeted, proportionate, transparent, and temporary. We task our Trade Ministers to assess the impact of the pandemic on trade. We reiterate our goal to realize a free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environment, and to keep our markets open. Enhancing Global Cooperation We will work swiftly and decisively with the front-line international organizations, notably the WHO, IMF, WBG, and multilateral and regional development banks to deploy a robust, coherent, coordinated, and rapid financial package and to address any gaps in their toolkit. We stand ready to strengthen the global financial safety nets. We call upon all these organizations to further step up coordination of their actions, including with the private sector, to support emerging and developing countries facing the health, economic, and social shocks of COVID-19. We are gravely concerned with the serious risks posed to all countries, particularly developing and least developed countries, and notably in Africa and small island states, where health systems and economies may be less able to cope with the challenge, as well as the particular risk faced by refugees and displaced persons. We consider that consolidating Africa’s health defense is a key for the resilience of global health. We will strengthen capacity building and technical assistance, especially to at-risk communities. We stand ready to mobilize development and humanitarian financing. 154 Selected Documentation


We task our top relevant officials to coordinate closely in support of the global efforts to counter the pandemic’s impacts, including through proportionate border management measures in accordance with national regulations and to provide assistance where necessary to repatriate citizens. We value the efforts to safeguard our people’s health through the postponement of major public events, in particular the decision by the International Olympic Committee to reschedule the Olympic Games to a date no later than summer 2021. We commend Japan’s determination to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 in their complete form as a symbol of human resilience. We stand ready to react promptly and take any further action that may be required. We express our readiness to convene again as the situation requires. Global action, solidarity and international cooperation are more than ever necessary to address this pandemic. We are confident that, working closely together, we will overcome this. We will protect human life, restore global economic stability, and lay out solid foundations for strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth.

April (I) Full text of joint open letter from world political parties concerning closer international cooperation against COVID-19 Source: https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202004/02/WS5e85e349a310128 217284071.html Released on: April 2, 2020 A Joint open letter from World Political Parties concerning closer international cooperation against COVID-19 Today, as COVID-19 is spreading rapidly across the globe, it constitutes the most urgent and serious challenge to both the health of the humanity and world peace and development. Faced with this unprecedented situation, we, major political parties of various countries tasked with the weighty responsibility of improving people's wellbeing, promoting national development and safeguarding world peace and stability, hereby issue our joint appeal as follows: I. We pay our loftiest tribute to all the people, health workers in particular, who devote themselves to saving lives and protecting people's health. We extend our heartfelt sympathies and solicitude to those who are suffering from pain and 155 Selected Documentation


whose lives are under the threat of COVID-19 as well as the bereaved families of those deceased. We also express our deep mourning for the unfortunate loss of lives in the outbreak. II. We recognise that if the COVID-19 outbreak is not effectively and promptly contained, it will inflict even greater harm to the lives, safety and health of many more people, and exert a severe impact on the economic and social development of most countries as well as on international exchanges and cooperation. We call on all countries to put the lives, safety and health of the people above everything else and take resolute and forceful measures to put an end to the spread of COVID-19. III. We support countries to put in place contingency plans and strategies for combating COVID-19 in light of their specific national conditions and to strengthen cooperation, with equal emphasis on containing the further spread and on patient treatment. Meanwhile, modern science and technology must be applied to the full to ensure the quickest and best possible results. IV. We call on the general public of all countries to comply with prevention and mitigation measures with a due sense of social responsibility. We encourage countries to fully leverage the strength of civil society organisations and volunteers with a view to unleashing the power of all social sectors to combat COVID-19. V. We encourage all countries, while devoting efforts to epidemic control, to adopt an integrated approach to ensure economic and social development, take targeted measures to protect vulnerable groups and the SMEs, and honour their commitment to people's living standards and social progress. We call on all countries to step up the international coordination of macroeconomic policies to maintian stability of global financial market as well as that of industrial and supply chains, and to reduce or exempt tariffs for trade facilitation so as to prevent world economic recession. Countries are also encouraged to maintain an appropriate level of international exchanges, in particular to facilitate the cross-border transportation of urgently needed medical equipment and protective materials for the fight against COVID-19. VI. We are aware that the virus respects no borders, and no country can respond to the challenges alone in the face of the outbreak. Countries must enhance their consciousness of a community with a shared future for mankind, proactively rendering mutual help and support to one another as the situation becomes more difficult. Closer international cooperation, coordinated policies, concerted actions, and mobilisation of resources and forces globally will enable us to defeat this virus, a common enemy to all of humanity.

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VII. We take note of the significant progress in the fight against COVID-19 in China and some other countries, which has bought time and offered experience to the rest of the international community. We highly commend countries including China for adopting an open, transparent and responsible attitude to disclosing related information in a timely fashion, sharing experience on response and patient treatment, and in particular providing medical and other supplies to the best of their ability to other affected countries. These represent a major contribution to the global fight against COVID-19, boosting the hope and confidence of countries that they can win this battle. VIII. We welcome the Extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit Statement on COVID19 and support countries to strengthen the sharing of experience and medical cooperation in containing the outbreak, including joint research and development of specific medicines, vaccines and tests. We call on the provision of material, technical and other support to developing countries and countries with vulnerable public health systems. Let the sunlight of cooperation disperse the darkness of the pandemic. IX. We call for science-based professional discussions on issues like prevention measures and the origin of the virus. We strongly oppose the politicisation of public health issues and the stigmatisation of other countries under the excuse of COVID-19. We stand firmly against all discriminatory comments and practices against any country, region or ethnic group, and call on governments of all countries to take proactive measures to protect the health, safety and legitimate interests of foreign nationals and students they host. X. We are of the view that the COVID-19 outbreak has laid bare the need for all countries to further foster the global governance outlook of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration and to support the leading role of the United Nations and the World Health Organisation in global public health governance. We call for all parties to enhance coordination and cooperation within the framework of the G20 and other international mechanisms for effective international prevention and control as we strive to build a global community with a shared future for public health. As major political parties from countries of the world, we undertake to maintain close communication under the unusual circumstances, and ensure better performance of the due role of political guidance for the purpose of injecting political energy into the global fight against COVID-19. We firmly believe that our current difficulties are only temporary, just as the sunlight shall eventually shine after each storm. If the international community makes concerted efforts with confidence and resolve and takes a science-based and targeted approach, it will definitely win the final victory in the all-out global war against COVID-19. It is our belief that, after the pandemic, the community with a shared future for mankind will emerge stronger and humanity will embrace a brighter tomorrow. 157 Selected Documentation


(J) The Declaration of the Special ASEAN Summit on COVID-19 Source: https://asean.org/storage/2020/04/FINAL-Declaration-of-the-Special -ASEAN-Summit-on-COVID-19.pdf Released on: April 14, 2020 Declaration of the Special ASEAN Summit on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (14 April 2020) 1. We, the Heads of State/Government of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) held the Special ASEAN Summit via video conference on 14 April 2020. The Summit was chaired by H.E. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of Viet Nam, in his capacity as Chair of ASEAN. 2. We expressed our serious concerns about the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which the World Health Organization (WHO) declared as a pandemic on 11 March 2020, and its negative effects on the well-being of the people and global socio-economic developments. 3. We were deeply saddened by the loss of life and the suffering caused by the pandemic. We also commended our medical professionals, healthcare workers and other frontline personnel. 4. Recalling the Chairman’s Statement on ASEAN Collective Response to the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 of 14 February 2020, we reaffirmed our determination and commitment, in the spirit of a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN, to remain united, and to act jointly and decisively to control the spread of the disease while mitigating its adverse impact on our people’s livelihood, our societies and economies. 5. We appreciated the extensive measures undertaken by each ASEAN Member State and the timely efforts by the ASEAN Health Sector and other sectoral bodies of ASEAN, in collaboration with ASEAN’s external partners and the international community, to prevent, detect, control and respond to the spread of COVID-19 and address its severe and multi-faceted challenges. 6. Recognising our interconnectedness and vulnerabilities in the face of COVID19, we emphasised the critical importance of a coherent, multi-sectoral, multistakeholder and whole-of-ASEAN Community approach in ensuring ASEAN’s timely and effective response to the pandemic.

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7. We recognised the important role of the WHO and committed to working closely with the WHO, relevant organisations and the international community towards enhancing our collective pandemic preparedness and response. We underscored the value of regular and timely exchange of information and sharing of best practices among ASEAN Member States and with ASEAN’s external partners in effectively responding to COVID-19. 8. We called for further enhancement of a caring and sharing ASEAN Community where ASEAN Member States help each other in this challenging time. 9. Building upon existing efforts by individual ASEAN Member State and that of the ASEAN Community, we hereby resolve to: (i) Further strengthen public health cooperation measures to contain the pandemic and protect the people, including, inter alia, through timely and transparent exchange of information on real time situation and pandemic response measures taken by Member States, sharing of experience and best practices in epidemiological research and development, clinical treatment, joint research and development of vaccines and anti-viral medicines, enhancing capacity for the public health systems of ASEAN Member States while protecting and ensuring the safety of public health workers. In this regard, we commend the efforts to enhance practical cooperation among ASEAN defence establishments to organise information and best practice sharing activities, and with our external partners, bilaterally or multilaterally, including the holding of a tabletop exercise on public health emergencies response by the ASEAN Center of Military Medicine (ACMM); and the Network of ASEAN Chemical, Biological and Radiological Defence Experts in promoting scientific cooperation and enhancing professional linkages, as agreed by the ASEAN Defence Ministers in their Joint Statement on Defence Cooperation against Disease Outbreak of 19 February 2020. - Intensify cooperation for adequate provision of medicines, essential medical supplies and equipment, including, but not limited to diagnostic tools, personal protective equipment etc. and encourage the development of regional reserves of medical supplies as well as utilising relevant ASEAN reserve warehouses to support the needs of ASEAN Member States in public health emergencies. - Strengthen the implementation of the WHO International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) and consider formulating an ASEAN standard operating procedure (SOP) for public health emergencies. - Bolster national and regional epidemic preparedness and response, including through the possible setting up of a network of experts on public 159 Selected Documentation


health emergencies for future need, strengthening the capacity of existing ASEAN’s emergencies response network namely the ASEAN Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) Network, the ASEAN Risk Assessment and Risk Communication Centre, the ASEAN BioDiaspora Virtual Center (ABVC) and the ASEAN Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) for future public health emergencies. (ii) Prioritise the well-being of our peoples in ASEAN’s collective fight against COVID-19, and provide appropriate assistance and support to the nationals of ASEAN Member States affected by the pandemic in each other’s country or in third countries. - Encourage the effective operationalisation of the ASEAN Guidelines on the Provision of Emergency Assistance by ASEAN Mission in Third Countries to Nationals of ASEAN Member Countries in Crisis Situations. (iii) Enhance effective and transparent public communication involving multiple forms of media including timely updates of relevant government policies, public health and safety information, clarifications on misinformation, and efforts to reduce stigmatisation and discrimination. Encourage the ASEAN information sector to strengthen cooperation in countering misinformation and fake news, as well as to develop a set of guidelines and a possible common platform to facilitate timely sharing of information in ASEAN. (iv) Reaffirm our commitment to take collective action and coordinate policies in mitigating the economic and social impact from the pandemic, safeguarding the people’s well-being and maintaining socio-economic stability. - Task our ministers and officials to implement the ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Joint Statement on Strengthening ASEAN’s Economic Resilience in Response to the Outbreak of COVID-19 of 10 March 2020, including, inter alia: Remain committed to keeping ASEAN’s markets open for trade and investment, and enhance cooperation among ASEAN Member States and also with ASEAN’s external partners with a view to ensuring food security, such as the utilisation of the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR), and strengthening the resiliency and sustainability of regional supply chains, especially for food, commodities, medicines, medical and essential supplies. Implement appropriate measures to boost confidence and improve stability of the regional economy, including through policy stimulus, assist people and businesses suffering from the impact of COVID-19, especially the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and vulnerable groups.

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- Cooperate in ensuring social safety net for our peoples, preventing social disruption and instability as a consequence of negative impact of the pandemic, continue efforts to design and implement risk-informed and shockresponsive social protection systems to reduce the vulnerabilities of at-risk populations and improve their overall resilience. - Encourage the development of a post-pandemic recovery plan to share lessons learned, restore ASEAN’s connectivity, tourism, normal business and social activities, prevent potential economic downturns. (v) Stress the importance of a multi-stakeholder, multi-sectoral, and comprehensive approach by ASEAN to effectively respond to COVID-19 and future public health emergencies. Commend the active role of the ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) and the good work of the ASEAN Coordinating Council Working Group on Public Health Emergencies (ACCWG-PHE) and other relevant sectoral bodies of ASEAN. Instruct the ACCWG-PHE to assist the ACC serving as the main platform that coordinates ASEAN’s overall response to public health emergencies situations. (vi) Task our Economic Ministers and Senior Economic Officials to explore an arrangement to preserve supply chain connectivity, particularly amongst ASEAN Member States, that provides for trade to continue for the smooth flow of essential goods, including medical, food and essential supplies; ensures our critical infrastructure for trade and trading routes via air, land and sea ports remain open; and refrain from imposing unnecessary restrictions on the flow of medical, food and essential supplies, in accordance with the rights and obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) covered agreements, the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) and principles of international law. (vii) Support reallocating existing available funds and encourage technical and financial support from ASEAN’s partners to facilitate cooperation against COVID-19, including the proposed establishment of the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund. We tasked the ACC, supported by the ACCWG-PHE to oversee ASEAN’s coordinated efforts in responding to COVID-19 and addressing its socioeconomic challenges, regularly report to the ASEAN Leaders with appropriate recommendations for further guidance and instructions. In this regard, we call on all relevant sectoral bodies of ASEAN to fully and closely cooperate with ACC in realising the commitments and agreements by the Leaders set forth in this Declaration. We pledge to remain united and vigilant against COVID-19 and commit to work closely with the WHO, ASEAN’s external partners and the international 161 Selected Documentation


community to suppress the spread of the pandemic, protect people’s lives and livelihoods, maintain socio-economic stability while sustaining ASEAN Community building momentum for sustainable development, inclusive growth and leaving no one behind./. (K) Joint Statement of the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19 Source: https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/wjdt_665385/2649_665393/t17 69824.shtml Released on: April 14, 2020 Joint Statement of the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (14 April 2020) WE, the Heads of State/Government of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the People's Republic of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, held the Special ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Summit on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) via videoconference on 14 April 2020. The Summit was chaired by H.E. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of Viet Nam, in his capacity as the Chair of ASEAN. DEEPLY CONCERNED about the unprecedented and severe challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to the well-being, livelihood and safety of our peoples and its adverse impact on the socio-economic development of our respective countries and the world at large. EXPRESSING deepest condolences and sympathies for the loss of life and suffering caused by the pandemic. RECOGNISING the exponential spread and severity of COVID-19, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared as a pandemic on 11 March 2020. EMPHASIZING our gratitude and support to all medical professionals, healthcare workers and other frontline personnel who have been working with all their hearts and minds to fight the pandemic, saving people's lives. ACKNOWLEDGING the importance of people's participation in preventing and controlling COVID-19. WELCOMING steps taken by International Financial Institutions (IFIs) to support countries in need by using and enhancing their instruments in response to their members' urgent needs.

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SUPPORTING the call by the United Nations Secretary-General for all nations to respond decisively, innovatively and collectively to suppress the spread of the virus and address the socio-economic impact of COVID-19. NOTING the commitment expressed by the G20 Leaders in their Extraordinary Summit statement of 26 March 2020 to present a united front against the common threat of COVID-19. STRESSING the important role of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the global campaign to control and contain the spread of COVID-19, recognising the importance of implementing the health measures under the International Health Regulations (2005) and underscoring the necessity for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in addressing public health challenges such as COVID-19; COGNISANT of the important role of APT cooperation for peace, security and prosperity in the East Asian region. Emphasising the significance of health cooperation and its existing mechanisms in addressing public health challenges, including our successful partnership in fighting the SARS pandemic in 2003. COMMENDING the timely and active efforts by the APT Health cooperation platforms and among the Plus Three partners in jointly responding to COVID-19 from its early outbreak. NOTING with satisfaction the encouraging outcomes of the Special Video Conference of the APT Senior Officials Meeting on Health Development on 3 February 2020, the China-Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers' Special Video Conference on COVID-19 on 20 March 2020; the Special Video Conference of the APT Health Ministers in enhancing cooperation on COVID-19 on 7 April 2020. RECOGNISING the decisions to re-organize a number of major events including the Olympic and Paralympic Games. WELCOMING the ASEAN Chairman's Statement of 14 February 2020 and the Declaration of the Special ASEAN Summit on COVID-19 of 14 April 2020 that demonstrated ASEAN's highest-level commitment on collective response to the outbreak of COVID-19, in the spirit of a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN. Supporting ASEAN's multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder, whole-of-community approach to address the multi-faceted challenges posed by COVID-19. REAFFIRMING our shared commitment to strengthen solidarity, enhance cooperation and mutual support among the APT countries to control and contain the spread of the pandemic, addressing the adverse impact of the pandemic on our societies and economies. To this aim, we hereby resolve to: 163 Selected Documentation


1. STRENGTHEN the early warning system in the region for pandemics and other epidemic diseases as well as regular, timely, and transparent exchange of real-time information on the situation on the ground and measures taken by each country in combating COVID-19; sharing of experience and best practices, extending mutual technical support in the prevention, containment and control of transmission as well as clinical treatment of infected cases. Support strong, collective and orchestrated response for control and treatment to harness synergies for effective curbing of COVID-19 measures that are relevant and appropriate to the severity and further evolution of the disease in Member States and within the region, as guided by: national risk assessments; the periodic reports on Risk Assessment on the International Dissemination of COVID-19 in the ASEAN Region; and, subsequent video conferences of the ASEAN Plus Three SOMHD on policy and strategic matters, and the ASEAN EOC Network on technical concerns. 2. ENHANCE national and regional capacities to prepare for and respond to pandemics, including the protection of healthcare workers and other frontline personnel, and the provision of adequate medicines and medical supplies, especially diagnostic tools, personal protective equipment, medical equipment, by adhering to the objectives of efficacy, safety and accessibility. 3. CONSIDER setting up an APT reserve of essential medical supplies that enables rapid response to emergency needs. Encourage tapping on existing regional emergency reserve facilities including the warehouses managed by the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre), among others, further consider the utilisation of the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR). 4. SUPPORT ongoing regional collective efforts by the APT health cooperation sector and by ASEAN to enhance capacities to prevent, detect and respond to public health threats, leveraging on the implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005 and through existing mechanisms, including, among others, the ASEAN Emergency Operations Center Network for public health emergencies (ASEAN EOC Network) and the ASEAN BioDiaspora Virtual Centre. 5. STRENGTHEN scientific cooperation in epidemiological research, including through the APT Field Epidemiology Training Network (FETN), coordination, including with the private sector, towards rapid, research, development, manufacturing and distribution of diagnostics anti-viral medicines and vaccines, adhering to the objectives of efficiency, safety, equity accessibility and affordability as well as actively share and leverage on digital technologies and innovation to promote a science-based response to combat COVID-19. 164 Selected Documentation


6. ENCOURAGE mutual support and assistance between ASEAN and the Plus Three countries in the development of human resources and capacity for the public health sector, including support for upgrading of health facilities for infection prevention and control, training of public health workers and provision of scholarships for students from ASEAN Member States to study in educational and training institutions and related fields of sciences of the Plus Three countries and strengthen the national health systems. 7. ENDEAVOUR to ensure adequate financing to contain the pandemic and protect our peoples, including through the proposed establishment of the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund for public health emergencies which would be reallocated from existing ASEAN+1 and APT cooperation funds, with possible additional support from ASEAN's external partners. 8. ENHANCE cooperation to provide appropriate support and assistance to nationals of the APT countries, especially the most vulnerable, who stay, work, and study in each other's countries, working towards the dignity, health, wellbeing, safety and fair and effective treatment of those affected by COVID-19 as well as facilitating the movement of people as appropriate. 9. INTENSIFY efforts to promote effective public communication, involving multiple forms of media, including timely updates of relevant government policies, public health and safety information, of clarifications on misinformation and fake news, and efforts to reduce stigmatisation and discrimination. 10. REAFFIRM commitments to keep markets open for trade and investment, and enhance cooperation among ASEAN Plus Three countries with a view to ensuring food security, such as the utilisation of the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR), and strengthening the resiliency and sustainability of regional supply chains, especially for essential goods such as food, commodities, medicines and medical supplies through smooth and continued operation of the logistics networks, while ensuring that measures deemed necessary for public health emergency response are targeted, proportionate, transparent and temporary and that they do not create unnecessary barriers to trade or disruption to regional supply chains, and are consistent with WTO rules. 11. ENCOURAGE to maintain necessary interconnectedness in the region by facilitating to the extent possible the essential movement of people, including business travels, while ensuring the safeguarding of public health in line with our efforts to combat the pandemic as well as to minimize socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19. 165 Selected Documentation


12. REAFFIRM our commitments to strengthen joint efforts toward postpandemic recovery, stimulate economic development and financial resilience, restore growth, connectivity and tourism, maintain market stability, and prevent potential risks of economic recession. 13. IMPLEMENT appropriate and necessary measures to boost market confidence to improve stability and resilience of the regional economy in a preemptive and concerted manner, including through economic stimulus, and to assist people and businesses suffering from the impact of COVID-19, especially the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and vulnerable groups. Leverage technologies and digital trade to allow businesses, especially the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to maintain operations. 14. STRENGTHEN efforts to stabilise the manufacturing and supply of essential goods and services, including vital medical supplies, critical agricultural products, maintain necessary flow of goods and services and sustain supply chain connectivity within the region and beyond by making the supply chain more resilient, sustainable and less vulnerable to shocks in order to support economic development, reaffirming our commitment described in the Joint Leader's Statement on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership released in 2019 15. REMAIN vigilant to the potential risks to regional financial stability, foster closer regional financial cooperation and policy coordination and support the ASEAN Plus Three Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) in monitoring the economic and financial development in the region and providing timely risk assessment and policy advice. Reaffirm our commitment to the readiness of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM), the Regional Financial Arrangement (RFA), as a reliable layer of the Global Financial Safety Net. 16. COMMIT to work closely with the WHO, relevant organisations and the international community as well as encourage public-private partnership (PPP) and a whole-of-society approach in the global fight against the pandemic, while tackling the profound social and economic consequences of COVID-19, protecting people's well-being and sustaining growth. 17. STAY united on high alert and be ready to take any further action that may be required. 18. TASK the APT Foreign Ministers to serve as the main coordinating body, in close collaboration with the relevant sectoral bodies within the APT framework, to monitor the implementation of the commitments and agreements underscored in this Statement. Adopted on this 14th day of April, 2020. 166 Selected Documentation


(L) Speech by Premier Li Keqiang at the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19 Source: https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/zxxx_662805/t1769720.shtml Released on: April 14, 2020 Speech by H.E. Li Keqiang Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China At Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19 Beijing, 14 April 2020 Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Colleagues, It is good to see you all via video link. We meet at a challenging time when countries around the world are battling COVID-19. This has made our Special Summit all the more relevant. I wish to thank Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc for his tremendous efforts in making this meeting possible. With more than 200 countries and regions affected to date, COVID-19 is gravely threatening the health, safety and life of people around the world. The global economy has come under severe strain, with simultaneous contraction of supply and demand, massive volatility in the financial markets, and plummeting trade and investment. We are at growing risk of a social governance crisis, a humanitarian crisis, and even a possible food crisis. The outbreak has turned more destructive than anticipated, and has presented a major test for each and every country. At the recent Extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit, President Xi Jinping highlighted the imperative for the international community to strengthen confidence, act in unity and make a collective response by comprehensively stepping up international cooperation. Being each other's close neighbors, we, the APT countries, have developed a fullfledged industrial chain and a mutually complementary specialization structure. We have gained valuable experience of jointly tackling crises and have put in place mechanisms for enhancing emergency preparedness. In fighting the epidemic, our fortunes are closely inter-connected; in sustaining economic growth, our interests are closely aligned. The battle against COVID-19 has made us more aware that we are in a community with a shared future. We must act with a greater sense of common 167 Selected Documentation


purpose and stronger resolve. We must make more determined efforts and work together in closer coordination and cooperation. We need to send a message of partnership, solidarity and mutual assistance among East Asian countries to boost confidence in our region and beyond. Together, we must secure an early victory against COVID-19 in East Asia. Facing this unexpected disease, the Chinese government has consistently followed a people-centered approach. China puts the life and health of all its people front and center. It has adhered to the principles of shoring up confidence, strengthening unity, following a science-based approach and taking targeted measures, and has all along been open and transparent. Thanks to the painstaking efforts of the whole country and society, China has achieved major progress in containing the outbreak, and life and work is returning to normal at a faster pace in our country. We introduced massive tax and fee cuts to lessen corporate burdens, boost consumption growth and bolster new forms of industry. We will persist with reform and opening-up and intensify fiscal and monetary policies in an effort to promote economic and social development. Going forward, we will sustain outbreak control measures targeting priority areas and potential risks to forestall a resurgence of infection. Any complacency in this regard would be misplaced. We will never forget that fellow APT countries provided valuable assistance to us at a most difficult time. No country can tackle this disease on its own. We are all in this together. Here, I wish to put forward China's proposals on APT cooperation in fighting the outbreak. First, APT countries need to enhance all-round cooperation against the epidemic and build up public health capacity. Protecting and saving lives is a first-order priority. We need to protect the safety and health of the foreign nationals we host, especially students, the same way we protect our own citizens. We should strengthen coordination and collaboration among the health, customs, transportation and immigration authorities of APT countries. And a liaison mechanism should be explored for smooth and regular communication among us on outbreak development, control measures and management of border entries and exits. This will create greater synergy of our responses which is essential for curtailing the spread of infection. 168 Selected Documentation


We need to share diagnostic and treatment experience, research data and information, and conduct joint research and development of drugs and vaccines. We need to coordinate the production, demand and supply of medical supplies, and facilitate each other's purchase of these supplies on a commercial basis. China will provide support and assistance to ASEAN countries to the best of our capability as grant assistance and via commercial channels, and will send more medical experts to ASEAN countries in light of your needs. Various groups in Chinese society are also mobilizing resources to provide antiepidemic and humanitarian assistance for the ASEAN countries in need. China supports ASEAN in setting up a COVID-19 ASEAN response fund, and will provide necessary support through the ASEAN-China Cooperation Fund and APT Cooperation Fund to boost its capacity. In view of both current and longer-term needs, China suggests an APT reserve of essential medical supplies be established to make our response faster and emergency supplies more readily available. We need to carry out tabletop exercises for public health emergencies and make better use of the APT Cooperation Fund to conduct more public health training programs. We should also support WHO in leading a global response to the outbreak. We need to beef up coordination and cooperation with WHO, and work jointly to safeguard regional and global public health security. Second, we need to revitalize economic growth and deepen regional economic integration. We APT countries enjoy high economic complementarity, strong business ties, full-fledged industrial systems and closely-entwined interests. These are our strengths that must be brought out to the full. On this basis, we should further ease tariffs, eliminate barriers, boost the flow of trade and investment, and keep markets open to each other, in an effort to restore growth in East Asia as quickly as possible. With all the necessary control measures in place, we should consider opening a "fast-track lane" for essential personnel on urgent visits in the areas of commerce, logistics, production and technological services. China is discussing this idea bilaterally with the ROK and Singapore, and hopes that in time such arrangements will be expanded to other countries with similar needs. This will be conducive to maintaining the necessary flow of people and goods and 169 Selected Documentation


stabilizing the industrial and supply chains without compromising outbreak control. We need to conduct joint research on enhancing the industrial and supply chains among APT countries to shore up the weak links and make them more resilient. We should advance cooperation on health and medical care, smart manufacturing, big data, and 5G to foster new drivers of growth. We also need to work toward signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement within the agreed time-frame, and speed up the Trilateral FTA negotiations to enhance regional economic integration. Third, we need to intensify policy coordination to weather all kinds of risks and challenges. The APT framework played a positive role in tackling the Asian and global financial crises. We should remain confident about our ability to overcome the financial risks and challenges brought by COVID-19, and serve as an anchor of stability for the region. We should expand the use of local currencies in regional trade and investment and improve the currency-swap network. Mechanisms such as the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM) and the APT Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) need to be fully leveraged to enhance crisis preparedness. We should support the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and other multilateral financial institutions in taking prompt actions to ensure adequate liquidity. China will earmark US$10 million in its Poverty Reduction and Regional Cooperation Fund under the ADB to support outbreak control programs in the region. We also welcome the AIIB's proposal of a COVID-19 Recovery Facility with an initial capitalization of US$5 billion. Our region is one of the world's main grain producers. It is home to over a quarter of the world's population, and most of us are developing countries. Ensuring food security is vitally important. We must make full use of the APT Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR), intensify collaboration to ensure regional grain supply and market security, and fend off a food crisis. Viruses are a common enemy of humanity. It falls on all of us to rise to the occasion and meet this challenge with solidarity and concerted action. Working together in partnership is the right way forward. 170 Selected Documentation


The Chinese people will continue to stand side by side with other peoples in East Asia and across the world in navigating these tough times. I have every confidence that together we will prevail over the epidemic. We will revitalize the regional economy, and contribute to the prosperity and stability of the world. Thank you.

May (M) Speech by President Xi Jinping at opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) Source: https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1188716.shtml Released on: May 18, 2020 Fighting COVID-19 Through Solidarity and Cooperation Building a Global Community of Health for All Statement by H.E. Xi Jinping President of the People's Republic of China At Virtual Event of Opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly Beijing, 18 May 2020 President of the World Health Assembly, Director General of the World Health Organization, Dear Delegates, To begin with, I wish to say that it is of significant importance for this World Health Assembly to be held at such a critical moment as the human race battles this novel coronavirus. What we are facing is the most serious global public health emergency since the end of World War II. Catching the world by surprise, COVID-19 has hit over 210 countries and regions, affected more than seven billion people around the world and claimed over 300,000 precious lives. I mourn for every life lost and express condolences to the bereaved families. The history of human civilization is one of fighting diseases and tiding over disasters. The virus does not respect borders. Nor is race or nationality relevant in the face of the disease. Confronted by the ravages of COVID-19, the international community has not flinched. The people of all countries have 171 Selected Documentation


tackled the virus head on. Around the world, people have looked out for each other and pulled together as one. With love and compassion, we have forged extraordinary synergy in the fight against COVID-19. In China, after making painstaking efforts and enormous sacrifice, we have turned the tide on the virus and protected the life and health of our people. All along, we have acted with openness, transparency and responsibility. We have provided information to WHO and relevant countries in a most timely fashion. We have released the genome sequence at the earliest possible time. We have shared control and treatment experience with the world without reservation. We have done everything in our power to support and assist countries in need. Mr. President, Even as we meet, the virus is still raging, and more must be done to bring it under control. To this end, I want to make the following proposals: First, we must do everything we can for COVID-19 control and treatment. This is a most urgent task. We must always put the people first, for nothing in the world is more precious than people's lives. We need to deploy medical expertise and critical supplies to places where they are needed the most. We need to take strong steps in such key areas as prevention, quarantine, detection, treatment and tracing. We need to move as fast as we can to curb the global spread of the virus and do our best to stem cross-border transmission. We need to step up information sharing, exchange experience and best practice, and pursue international cooperation on testing methods, clinical treatment, and vaccine and medicine research and development. We also need to continue supporting global research by scientists on the source and transmission routes of the virus. Second, the World Health Organization should lead the global response. Under the leadership of Dr. Tedros, WHO has made a major contribution in leading and advancing the global response to COVID-19. Its good work is applauded by the international community. At this crucial juncture, to support WHO is to support international cooperation and the battle for saving lives as well. China calls on the international community to increase political and financial support for WHO so as to mobilize resources worldwide to defeat the virus. Third, we must provide greater support for Africa. Developing countries, African countries in particular, have weaker public health systems. Helping them build capacity must be our top priority in COVID-19 response. The world needs to provide more material, technological and personnel support for African countries. China has sent a tremendous amount of medical supplies and assistance to over 50 African countries and the African Union. Five Chinese 172 Selected Documentation


medical expert teams have also been sent to the African continent. In total, in the past seven decades, over 200 million people in Africa have received care and treatment from Chinese medical teams. At present, 46 resident Chinese medical teams are in Africa helping with COVID-19 containment efforts locally. Fourth, we must strengthen global governance in the area of public health. We human beings will eventually prevail over the coronavirus. Yet this may not be the last time a major health emergency comes knocking at our door. In view of the weaknesses and deficiencies exposed by COVID-19, we need to improve the governance system for public health security. We need to respond more quickly to public health emergencies and establish global and regional reserve centers of anti-epidemic supplies. China supports the idea of a comprehensive review of the global response to COVID-19 after it is brought under control to sum up experience and address deficiencies. This work should be based on science and professionalism, led by WHO and conducted in an objective and impartial manner. Fifth, we must restore economic and social development. While working on an ongoing basis to contain the virus, countries where conditions permit may reopen businesses and schools in an orderly fashion in observance of WHO's professional recommendations. In the meantime, international macroeconomic policy coordination should be stepped up and the global industrial and supply chains be kept stable and unclogged if we are to restore growth to the world economy. Sixth, we must strengthen international cooperation. Mankind is a community with a shared future. Solidarity and cooperation is our most powerful weapon for defeating the virus. This is the key lesson the world has learned from fighting HIV/AIDS, Ebola, avian influenza, influenza A (H1N1) and other major epidemics. And solidarity and cooperation is a sure way through which we, the people of the world, can defeat this novel coronavirus. Mr. President, China stands for the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind. China takes it as its responsibility to ensure not just the life and health of its own citizens, but also global public health. For the sake of boosting international cooperation against COVID-19, I would like to announce the following: — China will provide US$2 billion over two years to help with COVID-19 response and with economic and social development in affected countries, especially developing countries.

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— China will work with the UN to set up a global humanitarian response depot and hub in China, ensure the operation of anti-epidemic supply chains and foster "green corridors" for fast-track transportation and customs clearance. — China will establish a cooperation mechanism for its hospitals to pair up with 30 African hospitals and accelerate the building of the Africa CDC headquarters to help the continent ramp up its disease preparedness and control capacity. — COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, will be made a global public good. This will be China's contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries. — China will work with other G20 members to implement the Debt Service Suspension Initiative for the poorest countries. China is also ready to work with the international community to bolster support for the hardest-hit countries under the greatest strain of debt service, so that they could tide over the current difficulties. To conclude, I call on all of us to come together and work as one. Let's make concerted efforts to protect the life and health of people in all countries. Let's work together to safeguard planet Earth, our common home. Let's work together to build a global community of health for all! I thank you. (N) Speech by Premier Li Keqiang at the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress For detail see: https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-05-22/Full-text-Premier-Lis-speech-at-the-third-session-of-the-13th-NPC-QHaP1FpB8k/index.html Released on: May 22, 2020 (O) Report on the Work of the Government For detail see: http://english.www.gov.cn/premier/news/202005/30/content_ WS5ed197f3c6d0b3f0e94990da.html Released on: May 30, 2020

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June (P) The ASEAN Plus Three Economic Ministers’ Joint Statement on Mitigating the Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic Source: https://asean.org/storage/2020/06/29052020-ASEAN-Plus-ThreeEconomic-Ministers-Statement-on-COVID-19-FINAL.pdf Released on: June 4, 2020 ASEAN PLUS THREE ECONOMIC MINISTERS’ JOINT STATEMENT ON MITIGATING THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC 4 June 2020 1. The Economic Ministers from ASEAN, the People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea express serious concern over the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to affect the lives of people in the region and around the world. They also express their deepest sympathies to the loss of lives and the suffering caused by the pandemic. They expect that the contagion of the outbreak should be stemmed within the soonest possible time and express their commitment to a coordinated response among themselves to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic to their respective countries and the region. 2. The Ministers welcome ASEAN’s readiness to explore cooperation with its external partners and the international community to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. They acknowledge that there is an urgent need for intensified and concerted efforts to address the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their people, including economic disruptions that have affected regional supply chains, the financial markets, and human capital. 3. The Ministers were encouraged by the Joint Statement of the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and agreed to take the necessary next steps to translate the Leaders’ directive into concrete actions. 4. The Ministers reaffirm the importance of keeping the markets open for trade and investment to strengthen the resiliency and sustainability of regional supply chains and maintain necessary flow of goods and services. Consistent with the rights and obligations under the WTO covered agreements, the Ministers agree to refrain from taking unnecessary measures that may affect the smooth flow of essential goods such as food, commodities, medicines and medical supplies in the region, and will notify all trade-restrictive measures in compliance with existing WTO rules. The Ministers also express their commitment to make utmost efforts to ensure the continued flow of trade in goods and services, especially for essential goods and services. 175 Selected Documentation


5. The Ministers will continue to address non-tariff barriers, especially those that impede the smooth flow of goods and services in supply chains. In line with the objectives to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, they will ensure that measures restricting cross-border movement of goods and services that are deemed necessary for public health emergency response will be targeted, proportionate, transparent, temporary, and consistent with the WTO rules so as not to unnecessarily restrict trade within the region. The Ministers encourage pursuit of facilitative measures that will expedite economic rebound from this crisis. 6. The Ministers recognize the importance of facilitating essential movement of business people across borders and therefore encourage their Governments to establish, at the national level and on a voluntary basis, relevant guidelines that would allow, in the event of global health crises, essential cross-border travel, on an exceptional basis, in accordance with national policies, laws and regulations, and without undermining efforts to prevent the spread of the virus and safeguard public health during the pandemic. 7. The Ministers welcome efforts to effectively utilize the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) to overcome possible food shortages and help ensure food security in the region during emergencies. They will also endeavour to exchange information regarding the production and trade of essential medical supplies in order to support the initiative to explore the possibility of developing regional stockpiling of such goods. 8. The Ministers will support businesses, particularly the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and the vulnerable economic sectors. They encourage them to make use of the digital economy and technologies to allow them to continue operations and repurpose their capacities to meet new needs amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ministers underscore the importance of facilitating cross-border transfer of information and data by electronic means for the development of the digital economy, as well as to strengthen consumer and business trust in the digital economy, while respecting both domestic and international legal frameworks and support ongoing negotiations on electronic commerce at the WTO. 9. The Ministers welcome knowledge sharing and exchange of best practices on policies and programs to manage the COVID-19 pandemic’s adverse effects on the economic activities. They will use and enhance existing platforms, such as the SEOM Plus Three Consultations, to promote and strengthen sharing and exchange of information, experience and best practices in the region, particularly preemptive, mitigative and corrective measures to be taken in response to COVID-19. The Ministers encourage the senior officials to share policies as they are being announced and to inform each other of the impacts of 176 Selected Documentation


these measures over time, so that the strength and learning of one economy may translate into best practices for the region as a whole. These include measures to boost business confidence, such as policy stimulus and assistance to businesses suffering from the impact of COVID-19, especially MSMEs. 10. The Ministers encourage close coordination, especially among the Customs agencies, to continue promoting trade facilitation measures, especially at land borders, taking into account the standards and recommendations of the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the provisions of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. They will keep working closely with all partners in the global and regional supply chains to accelerate relevant procedures at the border so as to facilitate and promote the development of cross-border trade. 11. The Ministers task the officials to identify and pursue initiatives, such as the Joint Study on 10+3 Cooperation for Improvement of Supply Chain Connectivity (SCC) under the existing ASEAN Plus Three framework, to strengthen joint efforts toward post- pandemic recovery in the region, stabilize manufacturing and supply chains of goods and services towards improving stability and resilience of the regional economy, restore growth and connectivity as well as to make them more resilient, sustainable and less vulnerable to future internal and external crises. 12. The Ministers will work together to restore economic growth in the region by enhancing regional trade and economic cooperation through, among others, addressing trade barriers, promotion of trade and investment, and expansion of the fields of cooperation. They remain committed to the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement in 2020, and working together to resolve India’s outstanding issues in a mutually satisfactory way, as mandated in the Joint Leaders’ Statement on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) issued in 2019 as part of efforts to achieve a higher level of regional economic integration. (Q) Fighting COVID-19: China in Action (White Paper) For detail see: http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1190779.shtml Released on: June 7, 2020 (R) The Joint Statement of the High-Level Video Conference on Belt and Road International Cooperation: Combating COVID-19 with Solidarity Source: https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/wjdt_665385/2649_665393/t17 90079.shtml Released on: June 19, 2020

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Joint Statement of the High-level Video Conference on Belt and Road International Cooperation: Combating COVID-19 with Solidarity 1. We, the foreign and other ministers of the Belt and Road cooperation partners*, held a video conference under the theme of "Belt and Road International Cooperation: Combating COVID-19 with Solidarity" on 18 June 2020. We welcome the participation of the Director-General of World Health Organization and the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. 2. The COVID-19 pandemic poses a serious threat to human health, safety and well-being as well as the socio-economic development of our countries and the world at large. Our first priority is to contain the spread of the virus, save lives and safeguard global public health. We offer our sincere condolences to the families and societies of the victims of the pandemic. We also express our gratitude and support to all frontline health-care workers, medical professionals, scientists and researchers as well as other essential workers around the world who are working under difficult and challenging conditions to deal with the pandemic. 3. The COVID-19 constitutes a global challenge that calls for global response based on unity, solidarity, mutual support and multilateral cooperation. We recognize the central role of the United Nations system in catalyzing and coordinating the comprehensive global response to control and contain the spread of COVID-19 as well as the efforts of Member States therein, and acknowledge in this regard the key leadership role of the World Health Organization. 4. We agree that there is no place for any form of discrimination, stigmatization, racism and xenophobia in our response to the pandemic. 5. Recalling the spirit and principles reflected in the Joint Communique of the Leaders' Roundtable of the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, we will continue our efforts in promoting international cooperation, including high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. Such equal cooperation will continue to be open, green and clean, based on extensive consultation, joint efforts, shared and mutual benefits, as well as pursuit of highstandard, people-centered and sustainable development. Towards a Health Silk Road 6. We support mutual efforts in combating the COVID-19, and will cooperate to address, control and overcome the pandemic through the sharing of timely and necessary information, experiences and best practices for diagnosis and treatment of the COVID-19, strengthening and upgrading the capacity of public 178 Selected Documentation


health system, promoting joint scientific research and international dialogues among health professionals, and providing assistance to countries in need. We encourage bilateral, regional and international mechanisms to jointly counter the COVID-19, where necessary. 7. We underscore that an equitable access to health products is a global priority. We are committed to enhancing the availability, accessibility and affordability of health products of assured quality, particularly vaccines, medicines and medical supplies, which are fundamental to tackling the pandemic. Along these lines, we welcome and appreciate mutual support and assistance offered among partner countries. We welcome the United Nations' efforts to strengthen global humanitarian response depots, and welcome relevant countries to explore the possibility to set up regional reserve centers or units for rapid deployment of medical supplies or personnel. We believe that COVID-19 vaccines should be recognized as global public goods. 8. We call for investment in building sound and resilient health related infrastructures, including the development of telemedicine. We will provide necessary healthcare support for each other's citizens affected by COVID-19 in our territories including the frontline health workers and those working for Belt and Road and other programmes within available national capabilities in line with respective national laws and regulations. Boosting Connectivity 9. We believe that promoting global partnership on connectivity based on openness, transparency, and inclusiveness, provides an opportunity for all and will contribute to combating the COVID-19 pandemic, mitigating its impacts and promoting socio-economic recovery. We support comprehensive and multimodal infrastructure connectivity and sustainable transport system. We encourage countries to enhance their air, land and sea links through interoperable and multi-modal transport. We recognize the importance of crossborder and trans-regional transport and logistic passages, which include land, air and sea routes as well as transport infrastructure projects, in delivering vital medical supplies, equipment, food, critical agricultural products, and other essential goods, securing supply chains and promoting international trade, and meeting the needs of people's livelihood and economic development. We will cooperate to keep those passages open or resume operation as soon as the situation permits. 10. We reiterate our support to build high-quality, reliable, resilient and sustainable infrastructure, ensuring its viability, affordability, accessibility, inclusiveness and broad benefit over its entire life-cycle, and contributing to sustainable development of partner countries and the industrialization of developing countries. 179 Selected Documentation


11. We welcome efforts to resume, in an orderly and step-by-step manner, normal cross-border movement of people while strictly following necessary epidemic prevention and control measures. We support the efforts by countries in need to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation, including through the establishment of relevant networks, such as the voluntary development of express passenger channels for cross-border flow of business personnel, professionals and technical experts involved in international development cooperation projects, and green passages for cross-border trade in goods at the earliest convenience. We encourage relevant measures which include but are not limited to communication and coordination on mutual recognition of health testing results and quarantine arrangements agreed among relevant ministries in respective countries. Promoting Economic Recovery 12. We support a universal, rules-based, open, transparent and nondiscriminatory multilateral trading system with WTO at its core. We call for stabilizing the regional and the global industrial chains and supply chains, ensuring the continued flow of goods, services and personnel, as well as assisting the industries and economies adversely affected by COVID-19. We also highlight the importance of fair competition and the protection of intellectual property. 13. Our measures to promote economic recovery particularly the orderly resumption of productive activities and re-connection of the global value chain, will draw upon the professional advice of the relevant international organizations including WHO, based on our efforts in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. In view of the global economic and social disruption caused by the COVID-19, it is important for countries to enhance cooperation in such areas as digital economy,health care industry and food security,and explore new sources of growth by promoting e-commerce,smart cities and other applications of digital technology, as well as the use of artificial intelligence and big data technology, helping narrow the digital divide while drawing on international good practices. 14. We support dialogues and exchanges in areas of major development strategies, plans and policies, including through the coordination between the Belt and Road Initiative and other national, regional and international development strategies, programmes or initiatives. We encourage and support business friendly policies, particularly for the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and the vulnerable economic sectors. We also take note of the efforts of certain countries to gradually restore tourism while ensuring sufficient epidemic prevention and control measures. We emphasize the importance of strengthening cooperation in human resource development, 180 Selected Documentation


education, vocational and professional training to build up the capacity of our peoples to better adapt to the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. We remain committed to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Change Agreement while giving due consideration to the special needs and requirements of the LDCs and LLDCs. We welcome the UN system's continued support to the Belt and Road cooperation. 15. We welcome the G20's initiative on suspension of debt service payments for the world's least developed countries for promoting their economic recoveries and sustainable development. Deepening Practical Cooperation 16. Building on the progress already made, we will move forward with our cooperation on economic and transport corridors, economic and trade cooperation zones and other Belt and Road practical cooperation, in accordance with respective national development agenda, to further boost economic growth, social development and the improvement of people's livelihood. 17. We emphasize the importance of economic, social, fiscal, financial and environmental sustainability of projects. We call on all market players in the Belt and Road cooperation to respect corporate social responsibility and follow the principles of the UN Global Compact. 18. We will continue to implement the consensus reached during the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation together with other partners, and promote bilateral, trilateral and multilateral cooperation in areas such as development policy synergy, increased infrastructure investment, economic corridors, economic and trade cooperation zones, industrial parks, finance, trade, innovation and technology, maritime cooperation, business-to-business ties, people-to-people and cultural exchange. We encourage all parties to create an enabling business environment for trade and investment promotion and industrial cooperation. 19. We will advance our cooperation in a people-centered approach. We reiterate that promoting peace, development and human rights, mutuallybeneficial cooperation, and honoring the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and international law are our common responsibilities; achieving strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth and improving people's quality of life are our common goals; creating a prosperous and peaceful world with shared future is our common aspiration. * The following countries are represented by their foreign or other ministers at the video conference: the Republic of Belarus, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the 181 Selected Documentation


Republic of Chile, the People’s Republic of China, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Hellenic Republic, Hungary, the Republic of Indonesia, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Kenya, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Nepal, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, the Republic of Serbia, the Republic of Singapore, the Republic of Tajikistan, the Kingdom of Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the Republic of Uzbekistan. The Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation delivered a written statement. (S) The ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement on a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN For detail see: https://asean.org/storage/2020/06/Final-ASEAN-LeadersVision-Statement-on-a-Cohesive-and-Responsive-ASEAN-final.pdf Released on: June 26, 2020 (T) Chairman’s Statement of the 36th ASEAN Summit For detail see: https://asean.org/storage/2020/06/Chairman-Statement-ofthe-36th-ASEAN-Summit-FINAL.pdf Released on: June 27, 2020

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Part III Selected Analysis


(III) Selected Analysis (January-June 2020) Foreign Affairs (A) China support vital to Myanmar’s transition President Xi Jinping visited Myanmar for the first state visit of the top leader from China in 19 years. The visit coincided with the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Myanmar. It reminds me of the glorious old days in the 1950s, the period of close and cordial relationships between the leaders of both sides amid the tense atmosphere of the Cold War. The leaders at that time, Premier Zhou Enlai from China and Prime Minister U Nu and General Ne Win from Myanmar had jointly undertaken a number of hard jobs in bilateral cooperation and friendship, such as the successful completion of the boundary demarcation treaty, ChinaMyanmar Treaty of Friendship and Mutual Non-Aggression, etc. On top of those would be the declaration of five principles of peaceful coexistence together with India. The time-tested principles are still useful and relevant for developing countries in the current international circumstances of instability and great powers rivalry. Myanmar and China already signed the "Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership Agreement," a kind of top level agreement between the two nations. Nevertheless, realization of that agreement is still slow and faces challenges due to local and international situations. There are problems and difficulties demanding close collaboration and coordination between the two countries such as security and stability issues in border areas, transboundary organized crime, a physical infrastructure deficit of Myanmar in regional connectivity, weak inter-community communication and people-to-people relations, international interference by outside powers, etc. President Xi's visit, hopefully, sought to find effective ways to overcome such challenges. As a matter of fact, both countries have strong mutual interests in various areas for further cooperation. China's mega project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a game changer in international strategic landscape, needs active participation of partners including Myanmar. Myanmar provides a gateway to the global market via the Indian Ocean and South Asia through land routes for land-locked southwestern provinces of China like Yunnan and Sichuan. Myanmar is thus indispensable for regional and bilateral projects of the BRI like the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar 185 Selected Analysis


Economic Corridor and the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor. Such projects could substantially enhance Myanmar's national development since they are in line with Myanmar's own national comprehensive development strategy that is based on regional economic integrity. From a strategic perspective, the ASEAN region including Myanmar is inevitably tangled in global powers rivalry between China and the US in the Asia-Pacific Theater. Myanmar, situated at the strategic nexus bridging three important regions i.e. China, South Asia and mainland Southeast Asia, becomes a pivotal area attracting foreign powers' interference in its domestic affairs. That threatens the stability and security of Myanmar, a country in transition, as well as success of Chinese BRI projects in the area. It is in China's interests to maintain stability and keep prosperity around its periphery. Such factors call for closer cooperation and coordination between China and Myanmar. Regarding economic cooperation, China is the largest trading partner of and crucial investor in Myanmar. Being an agricultural country, Myanmar's principal export commodity is rice which depends mainly on the Chinese market. Moreover, import volume from China is growing fast. Items include consumer products and machinery. That shows the significance of China in Myanmar's economy. In order to balance trade disparity and improve productivity, Myanmar needs immediate broad modernization efforts and deep cooperation from the largest industrial power, China. Not only for an ample market of over 50 million people, but also for access to neighboring countries, Myanmar also happens to be an important economic partner of China. Politically, China often supports Myanmar when the latter faces tricky situation in the international arena and its strategic weight is crucial for Myanmar, which is now under political scrutiny from various directions. At the same time, peace and prosperity of its southwestern neighbor will surely support China's great ambitions for the BRI. That is why China is helping Myanmar in the peace processes and helping solve the Rohingya crisis. All the sectors mentioned above indicate the requirement of cementing bilateral ties and cooperation at the highest level. And President Xi's visit can fulfill those requirements. Xi's visit, and agreements made during the trip, will not instantly solve all the problems and challenges between the two countries. Many Myanmar analysts, however, believe that this visit will open a new chapter in bilateral relations toward a much higher stratum backed by the sufficient political and economic might of China. Written By: Ko Ko Hlaing Source: Global Times

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Published: 19 January 2020 The author is co-founder of Myanmar’s Center for Strategic and International Studies.

(B) Hun Sen visit proves solidarity between China, Cambodia Spring Festival in 2020 has been a special holiday. Due to the epidemic caused by the new type of coronavirus, relatives and friends couldn't be able to make the traditional home visits that feature family banquets, games and long chats. It's a strange sight to see few pedestrians on usually busy streets. But none of this has prevented the arrival of a special guest from afar: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Hun Sen in Beijing on Wednesday. As usual, the Chinese government gave a gracious reception to the guest. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi greeted Hun Sen at the airport. President Xi and Premier Li Keqiang held separate meetings with Hun Sen at the Great Hall of the People. Hun Sen said Cambodia will stand firmly with the Chinese government to eliminate panic and overcome difficulties together. Cambodia believes that the Chinese people would surely win the fight against the epidemic, said Hun Sen. At this special moment, Hun Sen and the Cambodian people have demonstrated the deep and sincere friendship between China and Cambodia through actions. Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia, Hun Sen has repeatedly stated the position of the Cambodian government: Students studying in China and diplomats working in China will not be brought back, nor will flights between Cambodia and China be suspended. Except for flights to and from Wuhan, Cambodia has not banned other Chinese flights from entering or leaving Cambodia. Cambodia's Siem Reap Province has donated 100,000 medical masks to Chongqing after the outbreak. On February 3, the first batch of 1,190 boxes containing 59,500 surgical masks arrived in Chongqing. Even the 86 Cambodian children who received free congenital heart disease treatment in Yunnan have recently purchased 5,021 masks in Cambodia to support China's fight against the epidemic. History shows the friendship between China and Cambodia has stood the test of time. Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and other Chinese leaders and Cambodian KingFather Norodom Sihanouk supported each other, weathered storms together and forged a solid friendship. After achieving peace in Cambodia, the two countries made full use of highly complementary resource endowments and development advantages to actively carry out comprehensive economic cooperation. 187 Selected Analysis


At present, China has become Cambodia's largest trading partner and source of foreign investment. From January to November 2019, bilateral trade volume between China and Cambodia reached $8.53 billion, a year-on-year increase of 27.8 percent. By the end of November 2019, China had invested nearly $9 billion in Cambodia, giving a strong boost to the country's sustained and rapid economic growth. China and Cambodia are geographically close, and increasing people-to-people exchanges have linked people's hearts. In the first half of 2019, Cambodia received 1.29 million Chinese tourists, a year-on-year increase of 38.7 percent. Since the two countries established diplomatic ties in July 1958, China has always given priority to developing relations with Cambodia in its neighborhood diplomacy and supported Cambodia in pursuing a development path suited to its national conditions. Cambodia has also provided China with firm political support on various international and regional political issues. The two countries are sincere friends, good partners for comprehensive strategic cooperation and truly good brothers. Hun Sen's visit not only demonstrates the warmth of the hearts of ChinaCambodia friendship, but also reflects the importance of rational thinking at critical moments. Regarding the outbreak, the World Health Organization has repeatedly emphasized that it is not recommended that countries implement any travel or trade restrictions, and urges countries not to listen to rumors, adhere to science, and take evidence-based measures. But some countries have responded by stepping up quarantine measures and restricting flights to and from China, including the US, which on Sunday banned all noncitizens who have traveled to China in the past 14 days from entering. Some Western media, which have long been anti-China, called the new coronavirus a "China virus," and took the crisis as an opportunity to stir up antiChina sentiment. These irrational and even extreme actions will only cause panic which is worse than the virus itself. In the era of globalization, the interests and destinies of all countries are intertwined. In the face of a public health crisis, only through solidarity and cooperation will countries truly safeguard their common interests. Hun Sen has repeatedly emphasized that the new coronavirus is not only a problem for China, but a problem for the world. This is the rational and human attitude that the international community should face when dealing with global issues. Hun Sen's visit once again confirms that China-Cambodia friendship is a model for neighborhood diplomacy and international relations. Written By: Tang Qifang Source: Global Times Published: 7 February 2020

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The author is an assistant researcher at the China Institute of International Studies.

(C) Social media diplomacy, between China and world The February 22 edition of The Economist has turned its eye on how Chinese diplomats are tweeting. As more Chinese diplomats become active on Twitter, posting their daily work, sharing videos and relaying comments, it has become a convenient way for the public to get informed about China. Some official accounts even act like an official "spokesperson" or media source. In the age of social media, such "diplomacy" is a major step forward for Chinese diplomats wishing to communicate with the world to create a better and more comprehensive understanding of China. However, while many Chinese diplomats are just beginning to tweet, their foreign counterparts are already veterans on China's Weibo and other emerging Chinese social media platforms. Foreign embassies in China has been practicing "Weibo diplomacy" or "Weidiplomacy" for years. It's a remarkable publicity practice. To gain popularity in China, some politicians, like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have opened official accounts on Weibo. Trudeau opened his Weibo account in 2013. The UK embassy in China launched its official Weibo account soon after the government distributed Twitter and public diplomacy guidance to cabinet members in 2009. Its account tends to behave like a newsroom, updating the public on high-level exchanges and visits of British officials and business representatives. Sometimes, the embassy also posts recruitment advertisements and visa policies. Of the embassy accounts on Weibo, the U.S. embassy's account is probably one of the more active. Seminars on American society, culture, history, education, visa policies, U.S. politics and elections constitute the main contents. However, one of the most attractive topics on Weibo this January was perhaps the online "wars" between the U.S. embassy and Iranian embassy, centered on the Soleimani assassination. It is very interesting, especially since the two embassies are located opposite sides of a road in Beijing. In terms of promotion, many embassies have strategies and have hired special people to implement them. "Durian activities" and "Thai food festival" are brands for the Thailand embassy in China. Every year, the Thai embassy will organize activities, invite influential online figures and interact with them online. Thailand is one of the most 189 Selected Analysis


attractive destinations for Chinese tourists in recent years. Interactions, including "online quarrels" among Sweden, Norwegian and Denmark embassies in Beijing, sometimes trigger a wave of media coverage. Nowadays, the Scandinavian countries are emerging spots for Chinese travelers. Beyond brand setting, home decorations could be a very attractive and unique edge. Sushi, Mountain Fuji, kimonos and Japanese bullet train Shinkansen make up the Japanese embassy's Weibo account homepage. Joint promotion activities on China-Japan exchanges are the main themes among the Japanese embassy, consular offices, Japan's local tourism agencies, and influential Chinese travel vloggers. The Israeli embassy in China would be a good example for a case study. The Middle East is a complex region with many sensitive topics. In its strategy, specialists operate Weibo and WeChat account to attract its target audience, interact with followers, shape public opinion on Israel and exert Israeli soft power. Israeli public diplomacy has been careful in handling sensitive issues and has set a good image among Chinese netizens. So far, its official Weibo account has 2.09 million followers, just a little bit fewer than the U.S. embassy's 2.68 million followers and the Canadian embassy's 2.33 million followers. But the embassy's publicity campaign is pretty impressive. With newly emerged content platforms like Jinri Toutiao, many embassies and foreign organizations in China are trying to adjust their publicity approaches. Similar trends are emerging in international communication, as Chinese diplomats want to talk more with the locals, and the locals are eager to learn more about China. Therefore, to meet the increasing demand for Chinese stories, more Chinese diplomats have joined social media, including Twitter. Today, social media is more influential than traditional media. As China becomes the world's second-largest economy, no country can be excluded from hot topics related to China. Therefore, more Chinese voices on social media could provide more perspectives for people to have a better, more vivid, comprehensive and balanced view of China. Written By: Shen Shiwei Source: China Daily Published: 25 February 2020 The author is a GTN news editor and columnist, a non-resident fellow at the Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University and a research fellow at Charhar Institute.

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Political Affairs (D) The global politics of the coronavirus It is not surprising that the deadly coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan in China's Hubei province has become a contentious issue in international politics. While the number of fatalities has reached 565 and more than 28,000 have been infected in China to date, the issue has become politicised and polarised because it emerged in an Asian superpower that is aggressive in its pursuit of global supremacy. Had the virus with its pneumonia-like characteristics started in a small country with no global ambitions, international reactions might have been less frenzied and controversial. But China is big and powerful and it is so enmeshed in the world economy that few countries will be left unaffected when it is hit by such an uncontrollable pandemic. By comparison, when the H1N1 flu started in the United States in 2009, it infected more than 1.6 million and took some 284,500 lives across 214 countries, with a morbidity rate of 17.4%. Global reactions to the H1N1 flu were less hysterical and critical, compared to the coronavirus, which is said to have a 2.1% mortality rate among those infected. Nevertheless, as the coronavirus spreads and claims more casualties in the weeks ahead, it is likely to become a new geopolitical battleground between those aligned with China and others that are not. The adverse knock-on effects on geopolitics and the world economy are also likely to compound global tensions and domestic challenges in many countries. Global demand is likely to be dampened, and a global recession may be in the offing as space for fiscal stimuli is limited. China has already injected a stimulus package of 1.2 trillion yuan (5.3 trillion baht), which seems to be only a fraction of what will be needed to shore up growth ahead of 2021 when the Chinese Communist Party celebrates its centenary. So far, the tally of attitudes and responses to the coronavirus has been remarkably divisive. Thailand is a good example of how not to respond to a pandemic of this scope and scale. External shocks tend to test the mettle of governments. In Thailand's case, the government dithered during the critical period in the initial stages when the outbreak had just reached other countries beyond China by refusing to ban flights to and from Wuhan. It also declined to suspend visa-on-arrival services for Chinese tourists. The government's dithering over much of January caused 191 Selected Analysis


confusion, anger, and insecurity among the public. Fortunately, Thailand's medical personnel and facilities, ranked among some of the top in the world, acted as a cushion to calm public anxiety and fear. Since it failed to respond effectively and quickly, the Thai government is now playing catch-up in trying to bring Thais home from Wuhan and trying to deal with the wider fallout from air travel, tourism, and other industries related to the coronavirus. To be on top of such a crisis, the government's response needed to be firm, clear, fast, and with a plan of action. Since this did not happen, the government fell behind the evolving narrative of fear and panic, fuelled by social media and fabricated and exaggerated news. At the same time, the Thai government's inept response acts as a reflection of China's soft power. Tourism now accounts for more than 12% of Thailand's GDP and nearly a third of it derives from Chinese visitors. While restrictions and bans on Chinese tourists could stifle growth, the lack of response led to a health risk to the Thai public. Calibrating the right mix of restrictions and relaxation vis-Ă vis China is understandably difficult but the Thai government should have been proactive and clear from the outset. The Thai government's response to the coronavirus can be interpreted as politically favourable towards China. In fact, Chinese internet users have reportedly applauded the official Thai response. The Thai public, however, is divided, with many sceptical and insistent on looking after the well-being of Thais instead of Chinese tourist money. The same goes for Cambodia's government, where Prime Minister Hun Sen has hardly lifted a finger to stem the proliferation of the coronavirus, although the Cambodian people may have been even more sceptical. Japan, which has warmed to China over the past two years, also has surprisingly been measured and supportive of China's efforts to contain the virus. Tokyo imposed an entry ban on foreigners from Hubei province and holders of Chinese passports issued in Hubei but has otherwise been more lenient compared to other major powers. Since October 2018, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping have realigned their bilateral interests despite historical enmity in view of the US-China trade and tech conflict and US President Donald Trump's apparent inattentiveness to Japan's security considerations. Mr Xi is due to visit Japan this April to solidify the China-Japan realignment, reciprocating Mr Abe's visit to Beijing in 2018. The US and Australia, on the other hand, banned travellers from mainland China at a much earlier stage of the outbreak. More recently, Taiwan has followed suit. Vietnam and the Philippines, two Southeast Asian countries with prickly issues concerning China over the South China Sea, also joined global scepticism early on against China over the virus outbreak. 192 Selected Analysis


As the novel coronavirus is still on the loose and global jitters are still on the rise, it is plausible that many countries will have no choice but to impose more and more restrictions on most things Chinese in and out of their territories. However, to China, the latter stages will not be as important as the early stages. The Chinese government may well remember in the long-run those countries and peoples which became tough on China earlier rather than later and which did so only when they had no choice left. The Chinese people, on the other hand, may view the adverse global reactions as a way of keeping China down, fanning nationalist sentiment at home and worsening geopolitical rivalry and tensions abroad. Written By: Thitinan Pongsudhirak Source: Bangkok Post Published: 7 February 2020 The author is an associate professor and director of the Institute of Security and International Studies at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Political Science, with more than 25 years of university service. He earned his MA from The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and PhD from the London School of Economics where he was awarded the UK’s top dissertation prize in 2002.

(E) China’s drain on Mekong More water discharged from Chinese dams to the lower Mekong River in the dry season and less water in the rainy season. That means a reduction of drought and flooding in the lower Mekong countries. That was the ideal "cooperation" Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam expected from China. In reality, China seems to have done the opposite. A new study, conducted by Eyes on Earth Inc, vividly points out that China turned off its taps on the upper stretches of the river last year as it enjoyed higher than usual precipitation due to heavy rainfall and snowmelt. Its action resulted in an unusually severe drought in the four Mekong countries downstream. Citing data derived from satellite imagery, remote sensing processes and water levels gauged on a stretch of the Mekong in Thailand's Chiang Rai province, the study shows that from April to September 2019 China's 11 dams blocked or restricted water more than ever before, causing the lowest water levels in 50 years on the lower Mekong. Had it let the water run its course, the four countries could have enjoyed above-average water volume. The study also shows that the 11 Chinese dams have stored a high volume of water over the past three decades. 193 Selected Analysis


China has never been open about how much water it has withheld or released from its reservoirs since it started building dams on the Mekong, known as Lancang there, in the 1990s. In the wake of the study released on Monday, China disputed the findings, insisting it has guaranteed a reasonable discharge of water. Nobody will buy its defence as long as it offers no transparency on its use of Mekong water upstream. If China wants to prove it did not impound water at the cost of Thai, Lao, Cambodian and Vietnamese people, it should have shared comprehensive information on its storage and discharge of water. The findings from the study have indicated that sudden floods on the lower Mekong in the past years could be attributed to China's regulation of the Mekong flow -- discharging overabundant water to avoid floods in the Lancang stretches. Since China started building dams, many worried that it could impound water from the downstream countries whose citizens rely on the river as their sources of food and income. When Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam formed the Mekong River Commission (MRC) to cooperate on development in the basin, China did not join it. Beijing merely became a "Dialogue Partner" of the MRC from 2002. And its only tangible cooperation with the MRC is the sharing of data on water levels from its two monitoring stations on the Lancang only during the wet season. True, the rise in the severity and frequency of drought and floods on the lower Mekong could also be partly caused by the changing climate. But the study shows that it was largely caused by China stocking up on water. Becoming an MRC member could have forced China to be more transparent about its water use and share all information on its water levels. China must have been aware that it would mean opening a Pandora's box. So it established the socalled Mekong-Lancang Cooperation, an alternative platform which it can control and manipulate. Given that it has expanded its trade and geopolitical power in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, China should have treated these countries as its partners and friends by starting to tell them exactly how much water it has been impounding and discharging from the mighty Mekong. Written By: Ploenpote Atthakor Source: Bangkok Post Published: 17 April 2020 The author is Bangkok Post Editorial Page Editor.

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(F) Asean link in China-US Covid-19 fight It took Laos, the coordinator of Asean-US relations, a full three days to work on the joint statement from the April 23 teleconference between the Asean foreign ministers and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo before it could be released. The reason was simple: The Asean leaders did not want their platform or the joint statement to echo the strong anti-Chinese sentiments expressed by Mr Pompeo during the virtual meeting, which lasted more than two hours. It has long been the grouping's practice not to allow any dialogue partners to attack a third party via its platform. During the teleconference, Mr Pompeo hit out hard at China on issues related to the South China Sea and the way China has handled Covid-19. The rest of the discussion focused on US relations with Asean on public health issues. Well aware of Washington's strong position, Asean did not discuss President Donald Trump's knee-jerk decision to halt an estimated US$400 million (13 billion baht) in funding to the World Health Organization. Again, Asean was polite and showed it wants to proceed to work with the US on the coronavirus outbreak. Since Covid-19 became a global pandemic, both China and the US have been playing the blame game, confronting each other on their methods for managing the spread and mitigation of the virus, an attitude that has led to confusion among their allies and friends. At the regional level, Asean under Vietnam's chair has successfully tapped into both countries' greatest assets related to their scientific, medical and human resources without jeopardising longstanding relations. Since the outbreak made global headlines in mid-January, the leaders of Asean and China have been able to frequently communicate on how they can work together when epidemics strike. Lest we forget, both Asean and China met and worked together during a special summit when the Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak hit the region in 2003. Since then, both sides have been working on Sars control and prevention and the eradication of its multifarious effects. Additionally, both Asean and China have close economic links and are major tourist destinations for each other, with an annual travel flow of over 65 million visits. Furthermore, China is the grouping's largest trading partner while Asean is China's second. 195 Selected Analysis


As such, the fraternal ties between Asean and China at the leader and working group level are much closer. In a time of crisis, both sides trust each other as they share similar outlooks governing general values within the Asian region. It can easily be seen that China has won admiration and praise due to the speed of Beijing's assistance to individual Asean members. For instance, China was able to respond to the immediate needs of Asean members for medical supplies and equipment as well as supporting the Asean Response Fund on Covid-19 even before the term of reference of a Thaiproposed financial plan was being considered. Indeed, no Asean leader has laid blame on China during the pandemic. The Asean and Chinese foreign ministers met for the first time on February 20 in Vientiane and came out with a fully fledged action plan to fight Covid-19. As it turned out, the Vientiane meeting would be the last face-to-face meeting between them. A series of regional summits was postponed due to the viral outbreak. The AseanUS special summit in Last Vegas, scheduled for March 14 was also suspended. But close scrutiny of the approaches adopted by China and the US reveals many similarities and similar concerns. First of all, both countries give top priority to the real-time sharing of available epidemiological information, best practices, technical guidelines and solutions for epidemic prevention and control, diagnosis, treatment and surveillance. Secondly, the two countries also agree on the need to promote effective public communication and counter fake news. Thirdly, special attention has been placed on strengthening national and regional capacity in responding to public health emergencies, epidemiological research and development, clinical treatment, research and development of vaccines and anti-viral medicines including promoting capacity and preparedness to respond to public health emergencies. Fourthly, Washington and Beijing continue to rely on their existing bilateral cooperation with Asean through various Asean-led mechanisms, both collective and bilateral, on public health issues. For instance, in the case of the US, both the US Agency of International Development and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have played significant roles in the capacity building of Asean's health workers. As far as China is concerned, several existing mechanisms with Asean are in place, such as the Asean-China Health Ministers' Meeting and the Asean-China Senior Officials' Meeting on Health Development. Since the coronavirus outbreak, both sides have worked together to fully implement the Asean-China memorandum of understanding on health cooperation and support other mutually agreed projects in order to enhance capacity. 196 Selected Analysis


Finally, China and the US have reaffirmed to Asean the need for a well-rounded series of policies to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on the economy through stimulus packages, fiscal and non-fiscal incentives as well as monetary and financial sector policies. Furthermore, they agree to preserve the regional supply chain, in particular the flow of essential goods and services, and sharing of policies and measures designed to mitigate the socio-economic impacts of the outbreak. In the final analysis, both in the short and medium terms, China can be more flexible and accommodate the needs of Asean members. But in the longer term, and through its cooperation in education areas through individual Asean members and existing funds that target economic integration, the US could be the winner. Engagement with the US and China on Covid-19 allows Asean to learn how to efficiently manage these two important bilateral relations beyond trade and strategic matters. One thing is clear: With issues related to public health having gained significance and urgency in the current and post-pandemic era, there will be more institutionalised platforms within the Asean health sector with the grouping's dialogue partners. As such, Asean health-related professionals and organisations need a new mindset that will encourage stronger regional endeavors and cooperation to better fight the unseen enemies of the future. Written By: Kavi Chongkittavorn Source: Bangkok Post Published: 5 May 2020 The author is veteran journalist on regional affairs.

Economic Affairs (G) Chain reaction: China must mitigate risks of decoupling Since its accession to the World Trade Organization, China has been increasingly integrated into the global value chain. But as China has become more embedded into the global value chain, it is increasingly dependent on the global supply chain. That means that whenever a crisis strikes, all it takes is an interruption in one part of the global value chain for the entire supply chain to grind to a halt,

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thanks to complex and extensive transmission mechanisms magnifying the crisis. The novel coronavirus has proven more deadly than trade frictions, as the latter are manageable to a certain extent. Epidemic containment, on the other hand, is also a matter of public health and safety. It is hard to gauge the duration of the epidemic and its effects. Additionally, the diminishing demographic dividends in China are squeezing its comparative advantage. As the senior citizens' population grows and birthrates drop, China is aging faster than ever, and it is expected to become a super-aged society with senior citizens making up more than 14 percent of the total population in the next two years. This is happening at a time when China is already seeing growing labor costs. Given the high infectivity of the novel coronavirus and the unprecedented scale of containment efforts, labor costs will continue to rise, further weakening China's competitiveness in the export of goods. Competition has been fierce in the textile, electromechanical and chemical industries given the high degree of similarity in exports between China and Southeast Asian countries and the overlaps in export destinations. As the cost of labor in China is rising, the enterprises of developed economies such as the United States, the European Union and Japan are moving their factories to more cost-competitive countries in Southeast Asia including Vietnam and Cambodia, the novel coronavirus is likely to catalyze this shift of labor-intensive industries. The novel coronavirus will affect the supply chain through both supply and demand. Domestic demand for production and consumption will plunge in the immediate term, which will squeeze imports. On the supply side, most domestic factories have pushed back their reopening dates after the Spring Festival holiday due to the outbreak, which has disrupted the supply of intermediate goods and hindered the production processes in downstream companies overseas. Thanks to the great achievements of epidemic prevention and control in China, China's purchasing managers' index (PMI) was 52.0 percent in March, up 16.3 percentage points from last month. However, it must be noted that the PMI rebound in March was achieved on a very low base in February, and there is still a big gap compared with the previous months. The foreign epidemic situation, especially in the developed countries in Europe and the United States, is out of control unexpectedly, which makes China's economy face the pressure of both sides of supply and demand again. In terms of trade structure, the hardest hit economies will be the ones that are heavily dependent on China for supply or demand. Countries in the upstream of the global value chain are mainly resource exporters, especially those that rely on oil or mineral exports, such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Brazil and Australia. 198 Selected Analysis


Countries in the downstream are mainly developed economies such as the USďź? one of China's biggest trading partners. The US had been increasing its imports from China up until November 2018. The course was reversed in the following month as US imports from China dipped by 7.68 percent, only to be dwarfed by a decline of over 15 percent in imports during the first two months of 2020. On the other hand, shares of US imports from Japan, Germany and the Republic of Korea have remained steady, while shares of imports from Canada and Mexico are trending up. As US companies shift their suppliers from China to Canada and Mexico, the pandemic will accelerate the decoupling of the US and China in the global value chain. Among Asian countries, China is the largest export destination for Japan and the ROK, while the ROK and Japan are the largest and second-largest source of imports for China. As all three countries have been hard hit by the virus, they will struggle to maintain their value chain as it is. In 2019, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations replaced the US as China's secondlargest trading partner. As ASEAN countries are not among the hardest hit by the epidemic, the China-ASEAN value chain has only suffered mild impacts. On the other hand, China's total trade with the European Union, its largest trading partner, saw a significant decline. Compounded by the gravity of the epidemic in Europe, Sino-European trade can expect to take a big hit in 2020. In terms of the pandemic's impacts on industries, trade in services has suffered the most, with tourism services, transportation and construction recording the largest downturns. Trade in travel-related services has been the biggest component of China's trade in services for years. But due to the impacts of the epidemic, tourism services and transportation will inevitably experience precipitous declines. Energy, consumer goods and the high-tech industry will also experience shocks over the short run due to shrinking industrial demand in China. In the energy sector, demand for refined oil products has shrunk due to short-term shocks to upstream industries such as the crude and mining industries as a result of the epidemic. Additionally, electromechanical goods and high-tech products may see a notable decline in their export. Substitutions and relocations in the supply chain will bring out fierce competition given the rising complexity of global trade frictions, and the risks of a secondary shock may persist even after the epidemic is over. Even though the epidemic has been contained in China and things continue to improve, the virus is spreading rapidly in China's major trading partners, Europe and the US, which translates into rising trade risks. The risk of decoupling is real given the supply constraints in China and demand shocks abroad, and is particularly salient in energy, consumer goods, tourism and high-tech sectors. It is therefore particularly important to optimize China's supply chain arrangements. Written By: Liu Bin

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Source: China Daily Published: 7 April 2020 The author is a research fellow at the Academy of China Open Economy Studies at University of International Business and Economics. The author contributed this article to China Watch, a think tank powered by China Daily.

(H) Two Session outcomes and two goals for China’s economic recovery The annual sessions of China's top legislature and political advisory body, commonly known as the Two Sessions, have always been a global media event for the setting of the annual growth target and the government's agenda and policy priorities for the year. This year's meetings were not only critical to China's leaders and citizens, but also of major interest to global companies, politicians, trade groups and other institutions. As the world looks to China for results of the battle against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), its current economic state and what the future holds, there are three key areas of especial interest: what we have learned from the results of the Two Sessions, a look at China's post-COVID-19 recovery thus far, and two key factors that will help determine the speed and scope of China's rebound. Economic recovery The Two Sessions departed from tradition in many ways this year. Perhaps the biggest piece of news was that the government did not set a growth target for the year. This is due to the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the target was between 6 percent and 6.5 percent and the economy grew by 6.1 percent. The second big takeaway was the announcement of a package of policies aimed at stabilizing the economy and spurring employment including a deficit increase of 1 trillion yuan ($140 billion) over last year and issuance of 1 trillion yuan of government bonds for COVID-19 control. The country also plans to issue 3.75 trillion yuan ($523 billion) of special local government bonds this year, up 1.6 trillion yuan ($223 billion) from 2019. One of the most enduring images of China during the COVID-19 outbreak was the blue skies across major industrial cities and regions, the clarity and duration of which had not been seen in years. This was great news for Chinese people and the environment but also a stark indicator that China would have to restart production.There are many encouraging signs that life, business, and economic normalization is taking place. The first sign of recovery is that factories, both 200 Selected Analysis


large and small, are humming with activity again. While it is apparent that in China, and elsewhere around the world, there will likely not be a V-shaped recovery and there may be ups and downs for the next six to 18 months, signs of change are obvious. Perhaps no sector of the economy suffered more than manufacturing as plant after plant was shut down to stop the spread of the epidemic. While many office workers in big cities were able to work remotely, factory workers suffered from loss of income and the country suffered from lack of exports. According to China's National Bureau of Statistics, industrial output grew by 3.9 percent in April after an 8.4-percent drop in the first three months. By any measure, China is still the factory of the world and its economy, global supply chains and consumers around the world depend on Chinese exports. This is especially important at a time when global companies are considering reshoring and diversifying their manufacturing maps. Another bright spot is consumption. A key goal of the 12th and 13th five-year plans for 2011-15 and 2016-20 is to shift a significant percentage of China's growth and GDP to consumption and services. This has been a highlight of the last 10 years of China's economic growth. Research we have completed recently regarding consumption, e-commerce, pace of openings, products and brand assessment points to long-term growth in all sectors of consumption with stable employment numbers. Retail sales of consumer goods fell by 7.5 percent in China in April, but compared to the decline in spending and retail sales in other parts of the world, Chinese consumers have kept the economy from further plunge.The role that services are playing in the recovery is notable as well. Services ranging from cloud computing, restaurants and banking to marketing are recovering. These are generally provided by large corporations, both domestic and foreign, who are better positioned to both endure difficulties and spur recovery. The bigger worry for China is the tens of thousands of small businesses that may struggle to stay open, stay profitable and keep people employed. Keeping people employed is key to maintaining stability and domestic harmony, not to mention regaining the momentum of building a society based on President Xi Jinping's vision of the Chinese dream—that of a prosperous, stable country where each generation does better than the previous, and which through influence created by investment, wealth and outreach will play an increasingly major role on the world stage. The biggest threat to that future is mass unemployment. 201 Selected Analysis


What's next? Getting people back to work will be the most critical action item on the 2020 and 2021 agenda for the Chinese Government. During the Two Sessions, Premier Li Keqiang said the government will take strong measures to stimulate employment. Anything that will get businesses stable, reopened, and fully staffed is paramount. New companies that meet the needs of a post-COVID-19 world in fields such as medicine, business, transportation and food safety, among others could be big winners over the next decade at home and abroad. New digital commerce and smart-living technologies and biomedicine companies are also key to building the new economy, and could become forces for multi-decade growth and job creation, rather than simply trying to settle for returning to the pre-virus state. The evolution of e-commerce and digital commerce and the industries they created, led by Alibaba, Tencent, JD.com, Huawei, Xiaomi and Pinduoduo, not to mention sub-industries like key opinion leaders on e-commerce management, have transformed the way consumers look for, buy and consume the majority of products and services and has been a job growth engine for almost 20 years. Now is the time to focus on further development of world-class digital commerce and technology companies as generators of jobs. The next six to 18 months will be challenging for almost every business and government in the world. Therefore, not only is it important for China and other countries to work internally on a restart and return to growth, but also to work together on this global problem that requires both domestic and global solutions. Written By: Michael Zakkour Source: Beijing Review Published: 31 May 2020 The author is an op-ed contributor to Beijing Review and founder and CEO of 5 New Digital

(I) Geoeconomic implications of Covid-19 The longer the coronavirus pandemic wends its way around the world, the more it takes on permanent features. As case infections still persist virulently, especially in the US, Brazil, Russia and India, states, societies and individuals are being forced to make adjustments. There will be winners and losers in the geoeconomic competition for market shares and supply chains. Those with more 202 Selected Analysis


effective public health systems will stand in good stead with opportunities to reemerge less scathed and better positioned to carry on, whereas others with less adequate health infrastructure will face more risks and disadvantages. For the first time in generations, health security has become the main determinant in the fate of nations and peoples. Longer-term effects from the virus are already evident. While the virus is the enemy, density has become adversity. The scattering and spacing of people have reconfigured time and space, with staggered shifts and shorter office hours. The difference is made up by work from home and other remote sites. The virus also has blurred established lines between public and private diplomacy. Asean is about to hold its biannual summit from remote places. This virtual event will be un-Asean because the organisation's key agreements and progress in the past took place through personal and private channels, including sideline meetings and chats on the golf course and singing salons. On the other hand, online activities from webinars and remote learning to virtual meetings and conferences are becoming the new norm. At issue will be how long a course the pandemic will run and what happens thereafter. If a vaccine is found in the near term or public health responses, such as physical distancing, travel restrictions and heightened hygiene, become more successful in minimising infections and deaths while the pandemic subsides, then conditions prior to Covid-19 like crowd gathering and travel movements may return in fuller force and faster than we think. If so, the online activities we are encountering now may become complementary, supplemental or discontinued altogether as the previrus way of life returns. But if the coronavirus potency lasts into next year, the online adjustments during the interim will become the next normal of how life and livelihoods will be. Already some economic growth forecasts have been written off not just for the current or next quarter but this entire year. Consequently, this uncertain and precarious environment bears geoeconomic implications for different states and societies. First, countries that can contain the spread of coronavirus have stood out. They are likely to form trade and investment corridors with other peers that have similarly handled the virus effectively. So-called "travel bubbles" are in the works, whereby low-infections countries may open up mutual airspaces. In the recent past, some of these pacts were known as bilateral trade agreements. Now they may become more like bilateral travel agreements. Either way, they are fundamentally discriminatory and preferential, further undermining global economic integration and globalisation. But necessity from health concerns will necessitate these two-way travel flows and business activities between them. 203 Selected Analysis


Second, countries with low infection numbers that may have had problematic ties prior to Covid-19 may end up working together. The worldometers coronavirus tracker table holds clues as to which countries might partner with each other because their healthcare systems are similarly effective. Even though they are both in Asean, Thailand and Vietnam, for example, could start a travel flow because their virus infections and deaths are relatively low. In a similar vein, Japan and South Korea, with prickly relations prior to Covid-19, may be compelled to make mutual accommodation and allow a travel bubble. Third, economies with critical mass and size will have an advantage. As much of the world economy slows or shuts down completely, various countries will need to look within for answers. The domestic territory becomes the main market. China, with its 1.4 billion population and considerable per capita income, will be able to focus on domestic demand and local business activities to persevere as virus cases have stabilised. The US is a large and rich market but its infections are not yet under control. India is a huge market with an alarming rate of infections and low consumer purchasing power. Countries that are export-dependent but smaller in size, such as New Zealand, will face a major dilemma. Keeping the virus away means virtually having to shut out visitors from outside. Yet New Zealand's 4.8 million market is not large enough to stimulate economic activities without travel bubbles with select countries. Somehow countries in this category may need to make trade-offs between putting up with manageable case infections and restarting trade and other economic activities in a limited fashion. The Thai economy faced headwinds before Covid-19 and a sharp economic contraction is in store. Yet the numbers appear a little less disastrous compared to last April, when the IMF projected a contraction of 6.7%. By June, the World Bank came out with a 5% GDP forecast in negative territory. Over the same period, Thailand slid in the coronavirus league table from the 30s to 93 to date out of 213 countries and territories. If Thailand can leverage its comparatively low infection numbers, its economic prospects may improve further. It can do this by a fuller focus on domestic consumption and smarter government spending at home that produces wider multiplier effects in view of a quasi-autarkic world economy where domestic economies are the main growth locomotives. Thailand should soon start to use its low virus numbers to establish limited and conditional travel deals with other countries in the same boat. At home, the Thai government should further rebalance health security and economic imperatives by minimising infections and deaths, opening up more of the domestic economy while eyeing partners that offer attractive market sizes and virus controls. Written By: Thitinan Pongsudhirak

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Source: Bangkok Post Published: 26 June 2020 The author is an associate professor and director of the Institute of Security and International Studies at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Political Science, with more than 25 years of university service. He earned his MA from The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and PhD from the London School of Economics where he was awarded the UK’s top dissertation prize in 2002.

Socio-cultural Affairs (J) China must drive cooperation on climate change in this new decade As the new decade begins, burning signs of climate change make efforts to tackle the crisis more urgent than ever. Fires in Australia are still ablaze, continuing a series of climate-related disasters last year, including fires in the Amazon and California and record-breaking summer heat waves. These climate-related extreme weather events are becoming more frequent, threatening lives and livelihoods around the world. However, the international community still lacks resolve in working together to improve global climate governance, as seen by the failure of the 25th UN Climate Change Conference and the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. In this context, over the coming decade, China, as the largest developing country and the world's second largest economy, has a pivotal role to play in promoting global climate governance. Over the past few years, China has made remarkable achievements in climate and environmental management. At the same time, it has provided extensive practical experience for other developing countries in striking a balance between economic development and environmental protection. In 2017, China achieved, ahead of schedule, a target pledged at the Copenhagen COP15 in 2009 - to reduce CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by 40-45 percent before 2020. China is expected to be a key force in global carbon trading. The major task of the UN Climate Change Conference in 2019 was to negotiate how to implement Article Six regarding carbon market mechanisms and cooperation, the biggest point of contention at the conference. Such a global carbon trading market mechanism is the key to achieving the goal of limiting the rise of global average temperature from above pre-industrial level within 1.5°C. It is estimated that if international cooperation under Article Six can be 205 Selected Analysis


effectively implemented, $249 billion can be saved from global climate actions per year by 2030. China has the world's largest potential carbon trading market. Once fully activated, it can cover more than 5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, making a major contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, there is a limit to what one country can achieve alone. Just as signs of the climate crisis become clearer than ever, the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement has left a void in global climate governance, making it even harder to reach consensus on climate issues. In this situation, China can still play a bigger role in strengthening global climate and environmental governance. First of all, China shall step up efforts to address its own climate change and environmental protection problems. Following President Xi Jinping's call for "clear waters and green mountains," over the coming decade, China must redouble efforts to build a green economy and push forward China's sustainable development focusing on quality of growth, rather than just speed. Second, China should strengthen cooperation with the EU on climate change to combine their influence and resources in this mission. China and the EU have become the two main forces supporting the Agreement. The EU issued a "Green Deal" at the recent climate conference, setting a goal of achieving "carbon neutrality" by 2050. Meanwhile, China will host COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2020. As Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi noted, climate change is one of the foremost global challenges of our times and also a highlight of China-EU cooperation. There is scope for China and Europe to improve communication and build a cooperation mechanism that addresses climate change, which will in turn help to galvanize action across the world. Third, besides greenhouse gas emissions, China should increase efforts to address other climate and environmental issues including ozone depletion, plastic pollution, and ocean acidification. This should include investing more in research on how to alleviate these problems. In addition, China can also bring other countries together to form a consensus and establish multilateral cooperation mechanisms to address these particular issues. Fourth, China should expand the role of civil society in tackling climate change. Climate and environmental issues have impacted us all. So, environmental protection is not only the responsibility of the government, but all of society. Think tanks, environmental NGOs and research institutions should be empowered to offer their unique strengths to China's efforts in environmental protection and global climate governance. Climate and environmental issues are common challenges crucial to the survival 206 Selected Analysis


of humanity. To overcome them, all countries must work together. As a key stakeholder in the international community in the coming decade, China is committed to increasing its efforts and taking on more responsibilities to help overcome the gridlock in international cooperation for global climate governance, to realize sustainable development and a shared future for humankind. Written By: Wang Huiyao Source: Global Times Published: 26 January 2020 The author is president of the Center for China and Globalization.

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ARCID CHINA UPDATE SERIES 1. ARCID China Update Volume 1, No. 1 (January-June 2018) 2. ARCID China Update Volume 1, No. 2 (July-December 2018) 3. ARCID China Update Volume 2, No. 1 (January-June 2019) 4. ARCID China Update Volume 2, No. 2 (July-December 2019) 5. ARCID China Update Volume 3, No. 1 (January-June 2020)

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