Chen Dehai, secretary-general of the ASEAN-China Center, spoke at an online conference on Monday, stressing poverty reduction is the common challenge facing the international community and efforts made by ASEAN and China have added value to global poverty reduction efforts.
Media professionals and experts from China and ASEAN countries explored China's poverty alleviation program, as well as discussed future cooperation, at the conference, which covers ASEAN media views of China's anti-poverty campaign.
Chen said the COVID-19 pandemic is posing a severe threat to anti-poverty efforts worldwide, and according to the International Labor Organization, between 8.8 and 35 million additional people will be among the working poor worldwide.
Under this tough circumstance, the international community needs to enhance coordination and exert joint efforts to address the pandemic, and ASEAN and China have been setting a good example of cooperation for the world by helping each other and supporting each other to tide over the crisis, he said.
"In recent years, ASEAN and China have expanded anti-poverty cooperation to cover areas such as free trade zones, green energy and cultural cooperation," Chen said.
"In the first six months of 2020, despite the raging pandemic and sluggish international trade, ASEAN-China trade volume saw a trend bucking growth of 5.6 percent, year–on-year. ASEAN overtook the EU to become China's largest trading partner," he said.
This year marks the China-ASEAN Year of Digital Economy Cooperation, which can be a good opportunity for China and ASEAN countries to seize the new round of technology revolution and industrial transformation. More job opportunities can be provided to the poor by using the digital economy, he said.
What's more, the media can play an important role in enhancing mutual learning and experience sharing, since China and ASEAN countries have built up unique and valuable experiences in poverty reduction and development over the years, Chen said.
"The ASEAN-China Center will work together with media friends to promote exchanges and cooperation across the board and make greater contributions to defeating the pandemic, eradicating poverty in the region and building a closer ASEAN-China community with a shared future," Chen said.