Philippine Foreign Secretary hails China’s anti-virus efforts

By Chen Qingqing and Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/21 23:58:00


Teodoro Locsin Jr. Photo: Yu Jincui/GT

Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin praised China's efforts to contain the novel coronavirus pneumonia with its scientific capabilities to monitor the disease to prevent a larger scale of spreading across continents, offering a ­perspective of the Southeast Asian country in handling crisis on regional cooperation to fight the disease. 

"Finally, we must deplore the lies spread by govts and people who are stooping so low as to use a threat against all humanity as an instrument of geopolitical strategy. Shame on them," Locsin said in a tweet on Friday. 

Locsin noted in another tweet that the world got a head start because the Chinese scientific community had a robust disease-monitoring network in place to detect emerging flu strains, and had experienced the SARS outbreak from 2002 to 2003.

"Common conclusion: We owe China for COVID containment on continental scale," he added. 

China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are expected to work together to fight the deadly disease, which has already caused over 76,000 infections worldwide with major outbreaks in China and other Asian ­countries like Japan, South Korea and Singapore. 

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also met  the ASEAN Secretary-General and the foreign ministers of the Philippines and Singapore to talk about a joint fight against the disease as countries in the region share woes amid the outbreak. 

It also shows globalization and regional integration is essential for the international community to deal with massive cross-border crises together, which could also be turned into new opportunities for countries to enhance their ties, observers said. 

Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Friday that "most countries in Asia, even around the world, don't have enough capabilities and resources to handle such a massive public health crisis alone, so if China is unable to detect the virus in the early stages and contain the outbreak within its territory effectively, these countries would have to face the crisis directly and this could be an unimaginable disaster for most of them." 

"So this has proven that China and ASEAN as well as every country are in the same boat," and many countries with conscience, including the Philippines, are aware of the fact and they sincerely appreciate China's efforts, since China is not only fighting to save its people but also trying its best to minimize the impact to the rest of the world, Li said.

During the meeting in Vientiane, capital city of Laos on Thursday, the Chinese Foreign ­Minister said China and ASEAN countries are like members of a family with a shared future. 

The two sides should engage in closer and more proactive cooperation to effectively prevent the spread of the virus, protect the lives and health of all our people, Wang noted. 

Locsin also praised China's fast-responding mechanism by sharing virus-related data with the global community. Locsin said in another tweet that within weeks of the virus being reported, scientists in China quickly isolated and sequenced the virus, sharing the data with the international research community. This also accelerated global efforts to develop diagnostics, vaccines and therapies. 


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