BEIJING: A China-led meeting has discussed the fast-tracking of “cross-border flow of people” and a green channel to facilitate each other’s nationals in three South Asian countries — including Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nepal — as well as Beijing itself, a Chinese official said Tuesday.
The spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, Wang Wenbin, said a video conference on COVID-19 was held between the foreign ministers of China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nepal.
“We will resume the cross-border flow of people in an orderly manner when certain conditions are met and discuss and we will discuss setting up of fast track and green channel,” Wang stated.
The spokesperson said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had hosted the foreign ministers’ meeting wherein the “parties exchanged views and reached [a] consensus on joint fight against COVID-19 and resuming economic and social development”.
As partners and neighbours, the four nations reached fruitful outcomes, including timely sharing of information and a joint fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Wang emphasised that in face of tackling the coronavirus crisis, all parties must strengthen joint prevention and control, promote the resumption of work and production, uphold their citizens’ health, facilitate trans-border trade, and ensure people’s livelihood until their triumph over the virus.
“We believe solidarity and the cooperation is the most powerful weapon,” he said. “We should adhere to the multilateralism and community welfare with the shared future for mankind, support World Health Organisation’s [WHO] leading role and uphold to regional and global public health security.”
Underscoring that the four states needed to bolster information-sharing, communications, policy coordination, and cooperation in action, Wang noted that China stood “ready to work with other parties in terms of testing diagnosis, treatment, and research of vaccine and medicine”.
“Moreover, we will assist the three countries in improving their capacity building of public health.”
The Chinese official stressed that once a vaccine was developed, it would become a global public good. These four countries, he added, would also agree on a standard operation procedure (SOP) for border control, academic prevention, and emergency response.
“We agreed to strengthen Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) cooperation to boost economic and social recovery besides upholding stability, supply, and industrial chain,” he added.