Strengthening cooperation over ‘Virus fight’ the only choice: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi

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Foreign ministers of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (ROK) held a video conference Friday morning with “cooperation” the key word in their trilateral meeting.

It came at a time when all three countries are battling COVID-19. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the three nations have so far demonstrated friendship and mutual support in the fight against the disease.

Japan and the ROK helped China in the early stages of its outbreak, and now China is providing its support and assistance to the two nations.

“China, Japan and the Republic of Korea are three close neighbors with deeply intertwined interests and frequent personnel exchanges,” Wang said.

“Strengthening cooperation and fighting against the epidemic is the only choice. China hopes to share its experience with the two nations and reach consensus on working together against the disease,” he added.

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Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono also suggested information-sharing and coordination should play a crucial role in fighting against COVID-19, adding that “proper border control measures” are necessary for preventing further spread of the virus.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the ROK Kang Kyung-wha said at the meeting that the ongoing pandemic has affected the lives of three nations’ citizens, calling for countries to “put hands together and coordinate to stop the further spread of the epidemic.”

Both China and the ROK have seen a downward trend in locally transmitted infections.

The trilateral meeting reached consensus on further strengthening cooperation between the three countries, including in medicine and vaccine development.

Meanwhile, necessary exchanges between trade officials will continue in an effort to maintain the stability of the trilateral supply chain. Wang said the meeting also agreed to hold a meeting between health ministers of the three countries soon.

All sides said they would undertake international responsibility and make contributions to the global fight against the virus.

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