Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday, asked Afghanistan and Nepal to be like “iron brother” Pakistan and urged to forge four-party cooperation to overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wang hosted the first joint video conference with Afghanistan’s acting Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar, Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali and Pakistan’s Economic Affairs Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar.
The four ministers discussed “strengthening anti-epidemic cooperation between neighbouring countries in regular epidemic prevention and control, and promoting economic recovery and development,” the Chinese ministry spokesperson said.
During the meeting, Wang firmly supported the four-point plan including consolidating the consensus on unity and fight against the Coronavirus pandemic, avoiding politicisation and stigmatisation of the pandemic and firm support for the World Health Organization (WHO) in playing its due role to jointly building global health community. They also spoke on boosting economic recovery and resuming BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) infrastructure projects.
Wang said all the four countries should carry out regional cooperation on joint prevention and control of the pandemic and the need to ensure the flow of trade and transport corridors, drawing on the experience of “iron brother” ties between Beijing and Islamabad.
When the Chinese vaccine is developed, he assured the ministers that China will improve the accessibility of vaccines to the three countries and help them strengthen their public health systems.
“We will actively promote the building of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Trans-Himalayan Connectivity network (THCN), support the extension of the corridor to Afghanistan, and further unleash the dividends of regional connectivity,” Wang said.
The ministers of Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan “actively supported” the four-point cooperation initiative proposed by Wang and thanked China for providing medical material assistance and food support, and shared experience in epidemic prevention and control, the statement said.