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Roundup: ASEAN+3 leaders’ meeting on COVID-19 shows joint resolve against pandemic, experts say

PHNOM PENH, April 15 (Xinhua) — The just-concluded special meeting of leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ASEAN Plus Three or APT) on COVID-19 has demonstrated their joint commitment to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Cambodian experts said Tuesday.

Joseph Matthews, a senior professor at the BELTEI International University in Phnom Penh, said the virtual meeting showcased the unity and cooperation among the East Asian countries in the face of the pandemic.

It is “high time” that all countries, big and small, joined one another to defeat this pandemic, he told Xinhua.

“As the ASEAN Plus Three countries are also partners in many economic, social and cultural development projects in the region, their cooperative spirit and traditional mutual trust can bring the new dynamic in the efforts to defeat this virus much earlier than Europe and America,” he added.

Matthews said China has been successful in containing the virus compared with Europe and the United States, so the ASEAN countries can immensely benefit from China’s experience in dealing with this plague.

“China can share its experience, technology, knowledge and resources with ASEAN to fight against this epidemic, and thus defeat the virus and restore the social and economic normality in this region,” he said.

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