عربي Español Русский Français 简体中文

Opening Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Xu Bu at The ASEAN-China Seminar on Disaster Management & Emergency Response

(From Chinese Mission to ASEAN)

2016/02/01

1 February 2015, Siem Reap

Your Excellency Dr. Soeung Rathchavy, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and ASEAN SOM Leader of Cambodia,

Your Honorable Adelina Dwi Ekawati, Director of Sustainable Development Directorate of the ASEAN Secretariat,

 

Distinguished Guests,
Dear Friends,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Morning!

It's my great pleasure to be invited to Siem Reap attending the ASEAN-China Seminar on Disaster Management and Emergency Response. First and foremost, on behalf of the Chinese government, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to our host, Cambodia, for its considerate and meticulous preparations.

Recent years witnessed an overall stable political and security situation in our region, with economic growth and social progress enjoying a favorable momentum. However, a variety of natural disasters ranging from earthquakes, typhoons to tsunamis are still haunting this region, sometimes causing loss of lives and properties, and bringing forth harm to economic growth of related countries. To name just a few, the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 wreaked havoc, the deadliest earthquake trembled China's Wenchuan in 2008, Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in 2013, and Myanmar and Malaysia got flooded in 2015. Therefore, strengthening regional disaster management cooperation in a concerted effort in combating natural disasters well serves the practical needs of all parties. It should remain as a key and priority area to deepen regional cooperation.

More than a month ago, the 4th Meeting of Conference of the Parties to the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) and the 3rd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management were convened in Phnom Penh. The ministerial officials of all ASEAN countries conducted discussions on promoting regional cooperation in dealing with natural disasters, and adopted the ASEAN 2025 Vision on Disaster Management, which served as not only a blueprint guiding the cooperation among ASEAN countries on disaster management in the upcoming decade, but also a benchmark for China and ASEAN to advance the related cooperation. China stands ready to work with ASEAN toward the implementation of 2025 Vision, thus benefiting the peoples in the region.

We should fully take advantage of the current cooperation mechanisms. Over the years, under the joint efforts by all parties concerned, multilateral dialogue and cooperation mechanisms with ASEAN at the core have been playing an irreplaceable role in promoting regional practiced cooperation in economic and security areas. Among others, the cooperation on non-traditional security affairs such as disaster management has become something important and highlighted. Under such frameworks as ASEAN+1, ASEAN+3(China, Japan and ROK), East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM+), enormous amount of cooperation has been carried out. These mechanisms produced a solid base supporting our cooperation on disaster management.

We should further enhance country-to-country policy coordination. Disaster management involves wide-ranging areas such as disaster monitoring and forecasting, emergency rescue and post-disaster rebuilding. Great difference of national conditions among various countries, to somewhat extent, stands in the way of country-to-country cooperation in this area. The Seminar well focuses on the role of National Disaster Management Offices (NDMOs) in promoting coordination and cooperation, and addressing challenges and policy recommendations. As the central agency in charge of disaster management of a country, the national disaster management agencies have a crucial role to play in pushing through efficient international cooperation. I am convinced that all of us here today would take this good chance to learn from each other and build on consensus to better draw upon advantages in terms of human resources, capital, experience and technology of the countries in our region, so as to minimize the negative impact by natural disasters.

We should attach significance to strengthening capacity building. The majority of ASEAN countries are developing countries, burdened with capital and technology bottlenecks in terms of disaster management and emergency response. China is also a developing country and has gained experience through a long-haul battle against various natural disasters. The Chinese government is willing to continue stepping up cooperation, and sharing know-how and experience on disaster prevention and relief with our ASEAN friends. In confronting the major natural disasters, China and ASEAN countries could help each other, learn from each other and improve capacity building for each other.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As one of the countries that are most affected by natural disasters around the globe, China has always attached great importance to disaster prevention and relief. In recent years, China has made remarkable achievements in terms of disaster management through formulating and implementing a national comprehensive planning, gradually building up related institutions, mechanisms and legal systems, constantly improving natural disaster monitoring and early warning mechanism, and raising public awareness in various forms.

While underlining the development of national disaster management system, China has been advancing international and regional cooperation in this regard. On 9 October 2013, when attending the 16th China-ASEAN Summit, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang proposed to strengthen China-ASEAN cooperation on disaster prevention and mitigation, and announced a grant of RMB 50 million to ASEAN in the purpose of helping the latter better implement the ADDMER. I am pleased to know that both sides are staying in close communication about the details on pushing through concrete projects. I am convinced that early harvests could be reaped soon. As a Chinese saying goes, "Best steel should be used to make the cutting edge." The aforesaid grant could also be used to enhance capacity building and personnel training of ASEAN countries in order to upgrade experience-sharing and operational skills. I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to the ASEAN Secretariat and the AHA Center for your strong support and facilitation in making sure that the grant would be put into good use in a speedy and effective manner.

China also emphasizes promoting mutual assistance with the countries in the region. Disasters have no mercy, but we humans do. In the face of sudden natural disasters, the countries in the region always render helping hands to each other, embodying a friendship sharing weal and woe. The Chinese government and people did our best to be of help to the countries severely affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami, Typhoon Haiyan and floods in Myanmar and Malaysia. Vice versa. China also gets precious assistance from the international community including ASEAN countries during our struggle against natural disasters in emergency search and rescue, and post-disaster rebuilding. We Chinese people are deeply grateful.

In May 2015, China and Malaysia jointly conducted the 4th ARF Disaster Relief Drill, representing an exploring effort aimed at building a cooperation mechanism of disaster management that will best fit the actual needs of regional countries. Under the new circumstances, China is more than willing to work with ASEAN countries, in the spirit of openness and inclusiveness, to jointly build a people-centered and sustainable system of disaster management and emergency response in order to promote harmony, tranquility, stability and prosperity in the region.

Thank you.

Suggest to a friend
Print