Countries in Himalaya region urged to enhance cooperation to fight COVID-19
Published: Aug 29, 2020 10:50 AM

Health workers wait to collect swab samples from journalists for COVID-19 test in Kathmandu, Nepal, Aug. 28, 2020. (Photo by Sulav Shrestha/Xinhua)

Under the growing threat of COVID-19 pandemic in the Himalaya region, Chinese experts say it’s important for countries, such as Nepal and India, to enhance cooperation to fight the coronavirus, boost trade cooperation and people-to-people exchange, which will benefit the region’s development.

An international panel of experts reached that consensus at a seminar titled “Risk and Cooperation: the Fourth International Symposium on Himalayan Studies,” hosted by Tibetan Think Tank of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), and Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of CASS.

During the conference, Wang Yanzhong, head of the institute said that China, as the first country to conquer COVID-19, has made the biggest effort in this battlefield and achieved significant results; and it is important for countries to fight this war together.

A health worker collects swab samples for COVID-19 test in Hyderabad, India on Aug. 28, 2020. (Str/Xinhua)

India on Friday passed yet another coronavirus milestone, recording more than 77,000 new cases, to lead the world in the number of cases confirmed in a single day. Nepal reported 1,100 new coronavirus cases on Friday, its highest in a single day.

Experts also explored the huge potential for countries in this region to boost economic cooperation in the post-pandemic era.

Wang Lei, head of Bureau of International Cooperation under CASS, said that countries in Himalaya region have vast populations and resources, which endows them with huge potential for cooperation. Boosting regional cooperation would also benefit all people in the region.

Sun Hongnian, a researcher at the Institute of Chinese Borderland Studies, said further development of the India-Nepal-China economic corridor should be speeded up in the post-pandemic era. “The corridor has great potential for development, and it would enhance cultural and people-to-people exchange between those three countries.”

Experts from Nepal, Japan and the US, including Tom Grunfeld, from Empire State College of the State University of New York; and Mrigendra Bahadur karki, an associate professor of Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, attended the seminar, and issued their opinions on regional development.