On 12 August 2022, the Symposium on ASEAN-China Cooperation on Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, jointly hosted by the ASEAN-China Centre (ACC), the China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU) and the Institute of Disaster Prevention (IDP) of China, was successfully held in Beijing. The symposium was supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of China and the China Earthquake Administration (CEA). Mr. Chen Dehai, Secretary-General of ACC, Mr. Gao Fei, Vice President of CFAU, Mr. Guo Xun, Vice President of IDP of China, Ms. Zhang Hongyan, Director of Department of Science and Technology and International Cooperation of CEA, and Ms. Cai Feifei, Deputy Director of Department of Asian Affairs of MFA of China, attended the symposium and addressed the opening ceremony. More than 100 participants in total attended the event online and offline, including H.E. Mr. Pehin Dato Rahmani, Bruneian Ambassador to China, Mr. Thongsavanh Phyathep, DCM of the Embassy of Lao PDR in China, Mr. Sanmugan Subramaniam, DCM of the Embassy of Malaysia in China, diplomats from Cambodia and the Philippines to China, as well as representatives from ASEAN and Chinese governments in charge of disaster management, academia, enterprises and media.
In his address, Mr. Chen Dehai said that ASEAN and China, both in disaster-prone regions of the world, face similar challenges in terms of geographical diversity, climate change, population growth and urbanisation. As close neighbours, friends and partners sharing weal and woe, ASEAN and China should strengthen exchanges and mutual learning, deepen cooperation in disaster risk monitoring and early warning, disaster preparedness and emergency response, and post-disaster recovery and reconstruction, jointly enhance disaster management capacity, build resilient societies, and benefit people in the region. ACC is ready to continue playing a bridging role, promoting bilateral exchanges and cooperation on disaster prevention and mitigation.
Mr. Gao Fei said that disaster management is an important part of the long-term friendly cooperation between China and ASEAN, as well as a key and priority area of regional cooperation. The Institute of Asian Studies of CFAU is committed to deepening China-ASEAN mutually beneficial cooperation, and has actively participated in a series of activities within the framework of ASEAN related cooperation. It is ready to give full play to the important role of the three think tanks, namely the Network of ASEAN-China Think Tanks (NACT), the Network of Trilateral Cooperation Think Tanks (NTCT) and the Network of East Asian Think Tanks (NEAT) as high-end think tanks for East Asian cooperation, and work with other parties to contribute to the China-ASEAN disaster prevention and mitigation cooperation.
Ms. Zhang Hongyan said that CEA has extensively participated in regional dialogue and cooperation mechanisms, committed itself to building a cooperation platform between earthquake disaster mitigation institutions of China and ASEAN, and conducted fruitful cooperation on earthquake disaster prevention and related capacity building. CEA will continue to promote mutual learning between China and ASEAN Member States and deepen policy exchanges and concrete cooperation in the field of earthquake preparedness and disaster mitigation.
Ms. Cai Feifei stated that strengthening cooperation on disaster prevention and mitigation is a necessary part of building the China-ASEAN comprehensive strategic partnership as well as “a safe and secure home” put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping. In the face of major natural disasters, China and ASEAN have always stood together and helped each other. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke highly of the achievements of bilateral cooperation on disaster management at the China-ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. As friendly neighbours, it is of great practical significance for China and ASEAN to further deepen cooperation on disaster management. China is ready to strengthen communication and coordination with ASEAN, give full play to the role of various regional cooperation mechanisms, enhance disaster relief collaboration and experience sharing, and conduct more practical cooperation.
Experts and scholars from the National Disaster Reduction Centre of Ministry of Emergency Management of China, the Institute of Geophysics of CEA, the Beijing University of Technology, the Institute of Asian Studies of CFAU, IDP of China, University Gadjah Mada of Indonesia and the National University of Singapore, and representatives from the Chinese high-tech enterprises such as AVIC International and Yunlu Technology made comprehensive introduction, case analysis and in-depth discussions on three topics, including cooperation and practice of disaster prevention and mitigation between ASEAN and China, establishing urban disaster prevention system and post-disaster recovery and reconstruction, and establishing high-resilient cities and societies.
At the closing ceremony, Mr. Guo Xun spoke highly of the symposium and thanked all the speakers and participants for their active participation and strong support. He said that experts and scholars from China and ASEAN gathered together to discuss, share achievements and look forward to the broad prospects of China-ASEAN cooperation on disaster prevention and mitigation. IDP will take this opportunity to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with relevant institutions of ASEAN countries and contribute to the sustainable and high-quality development of China-ASEAN relations.
After the symposium, the guests paid a visit to the IDP campus located in the Sanhe City, Hebei Province, where they heard the academic report of Vice President Guo Xun and other experts on the Institute’s development and research achievements, experienced the earthquake vibration, visited the disaster simulation laboratory to observe experiments on earthquake isolation, sand liquefaction, landslide and debris flow, and had an in-depth exchange with the faculty members and students to explore future cooperation.