By Ma Fei
China, Japan and South Korea have well explained their profound friendship that enables them to work together to get through difficult times as they are making all-out efforts to combat the sudden outbreak of the novel coronavirus with multiple measures to mitigate the negative impacts on the economy, said Cao Jing, Deputy Secretary-General of the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS).
She made the remarks during a recent interview with People’s Daily. “Their collaboration to combat the epidemic will inject new impetus to deepening their cooperation,” Cao said.
Cao told People’s Daily that the virus respects no borders, but neighboring countries care about each other. The heads of state and foreign ministers of the three countries have exchanged views on and pointed direction for enhancing cooperation to fight the epidemic through phone calls, visits and meetings.
Japan and South Korea have lent a helping hand to China in the fight against the epidemic. Despite its own short supplies of emergency materials, China has offered nucleic acid test reagents and masks for Japan and South Korea, Cao introduced. “Though oceans apart, we’re under the same moon” – the line that recently went viral is a highlight of the cooperation among the three countries, she said.
Cao believes that the cooperation and assistance in disasters are the sincerest. By offering timely assistance and extending the caring, the people of the three countries have released a strong signal to join hands to defeat the virus, protect their health, and promote regional health security, she said.
She holds that global countries are a community with a shared future in the era of globalization where they co-exist and co-develop, adding that the viruses are a public enemy of the entire human race, and no one is able to resist them alone.
“We firmly believe that the epidemic is controllable and curable, and only by cooperation and mutual assistance can we finally defeat it,” she said.
“This year marks the beginning of the third decade of China-Japan-ROK cooperation, and the three countries are implementing the consensus reached at the China-Japan-ROK leaders’ meeting last year, injecting more impetus to their cooperation,” Cao told People’s Daily.
She said the tri-lateral cooperation is not only promoting the development of the three countries and driving East Asian collaboration, but also making huge contribution to global development and prosperity.
Though the epidemic would to different extents exert impacts on the economic development, personnel exchange and cooperation models of the three countries, they are only temporary, limited and remedial, Cao said.
“The three countries see highly integrated interests and close connection among their supply and industrial chains. It is believed that their cooperation potential will embrace an accelerated release after the epidemic, which will further expand cooperation space,” Cao said.
Cao introduced that China, Japan and South Korea shall deepen cooperation in three aspects. First, they should enhance health cooperation, including sharing information, conducting joint prevention and control, exchanging experiences, and strengthening epidemic prevention and quarantine at ports to jointly combat the virus and safeguard regional health security.
In addition, relying on the powerful scientific strength of the three countries, they should steadfastly promote scientific innovation and cooperation on modern services to foster new growth points and have the trilateral cooperation always in the leading position in East Asian cooperation.
Besides, they should also accelerate the Japan-China-ROK Free Trade Agreement negotiations to lower trade and investment barriers, promote economic and trade cooperation, and realize stable economic growth of the three countries and the region.
“It is believed that after the epidemic, the three countries will regain their vitality; the friendship and mutual trust among the three peoples will be further enhanced; and their trilateral cooperation will be injected with new connotation and be brought onto a new level,” Cao said.