China assists Southeast Asian countries to tide over COVID-19 challenges

By Zhao Yipu, People’s Daily
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented and severe challenges to the well-being, livelihood and health of peoples in Southeast Asian countries. China, as their close and friendly neighbor, is lending a helping hand to them to tide over the difficulties together.
A “gift pack” of N95 masks, infrared thermometers, protective suits and disinfectant was sent to the Cambodian national utility company Electricite du Cambodge (EDC) from China Huadian Corporation LTD. around a month ago, shortly after the Cambodian New Year. The donation is a symbol of the profound friendship between Cambodia and China, said Keo Rottanak, managing director of EDC at a reception ceremony.
Besides, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in south China and Shanghai municipality also donated medical supplies to Cambodia. China’s contributions to the international efforts in fighting the pandemic have been appreciated and lauded for times by Cambodian Prime Minister Hunsen, who hopes the iron-clad friendship between the two countries would grow stronger.
On May 5, a batch of medical supplies donated by China Foundation for Peace and Development was handed over to Myanmar at an office building of the latter’s Ministry of Health and Sports (MHS) in Yangon.
At a handover ceremony, Zaw Than Htun, director general of the MHS’ Department of Medical Research and Win Khaing Moe, director general of the Department of Research and Innovation of the Ministry of Education of Myanmar, extended gratitude to China for the timely assistance, saying the materials would be distributed to the places in dire need and play their due roles.
Another handover ceremony was held on May 4 at the No. 1 Defense Services General Hospital in Mingaladon township, Yangon, Myanmar, to mark the donation of anti-pandemic supplies from a medical team dispatched by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to the Defense Services of Myanmar. The supplies included nucleic acid testing equipment and consumables such as automated nucleic acid extraction instrument. A COVID-19 testing laboratory aided by the PLA was also put into use on the same day.
The support and assistance in technology, materials and management offered by PLA medical experts in the past 10 days were extremely valuable for Myanmar, said Commanding Officer Brig. Gen. Myint Zaw of the No. 1 Defense Services General Hospital.
The Myanmar side would actively put into practice the experience and solutions shared by the Chinese medical team, believing that the bilateral cooperation in fighting the pandemic would make another milestone for the pauk-phaw friendship, the commanding officer noted.
He remarked that Myanmar would learn from China’s experience in fighting the pandemic and make all-out efforts to combat the disease, adding Myanmar hopes all countries would stay united and fight the pandemic together, in a bid to build a better world.
A batch of donation made by the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) recently arrived at the office building of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations. Sounthone Xayachack, head of the commission said that the two countries, two parties and two peoples offered mutual help and worked closely with each other to fight the pandemic, which deeply touched his country.
Calling the donation from the Chinese side very valuable, he extended sincere gratitude to the CPC, the Chinese government and people for their selfless support and assistance on behalf of the LPRP, the Lao government and people.
The China Chamber of Commerce in Luang Prabang, Laos, the Nam Ou River Cascade Hydropower project undertaken by the Power Construction Corporation of China, as well as China’s D&T Group in Laos recently donated supplies to the government of Luang Prabang to help the latter cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vongsavanh Thepphachanh, deputy governor of Luang Prabang, thanked the Chinese companies at a handover ceremony, saying the Chinese medical experts have offered precious experience for the Lao side in pandemic response.
So far, the Chinese government has offered batches of material aid to the Philippine government. Besides, the Philippines’ sister cities and provinces in China, including Fujian, Hainan, Shandong, Guangzhou and Nanning, as well as Chinese enterprises such as the Jack Ma Foundation, Heng Feng Investment Group, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd and Panhua Group Co., Ltd also lent a hand, donating huge amount of anti-pandemic supplies and millions of pieces of protective equipment to the regions in the Philippines.
China assisted the Philippines in purchasing nearly 10,000 cubic meters of anti-epidemic supplies and a large amount of medicines, which helped the latter effectively curbed the development of the disease. The Chinese Embassy in the Philippines also rent a chartered flight to deliver the medical supplies.
These moves demonstrated the new era partnership of mutual support between China and the Philippines during the time of trying.

Wang Wentian, Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia (L) and Mam Bun Heng, Minister of Health of Cambodia attend a handover ceremony to mark the medical supplies donated by the government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region to the Cambodian government on April, 10. (Photo courtesy of Chinese Embassy in Cambodia)

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