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BEIJING, Oct. 24 (APP): A total of 24 scholars from 20 universities and research institutions in 13 countries, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Canada, South Korea and India gave well-received speeches at the webinar held by the South & Southeast Asian University Network kicked off at Yunnan University.

The webinar on ‘Post-COVID Regional Cooperation: New Opportunities and New Actions’ focused on the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on regional cooperation, especially in the fields of trade cooperation, investment cooperation, as well as international institutions, according to China Economic Net (CEN) here on Friday.

Experts stressed that the on-going COVID-19 epidemic has posed great challenges to South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the entire world.

They noted that the coronavirus knows no borders, nationalities, or beliefs, adding that the most profound lesson from this pandemic is that unity, cooperation, and scientific rationality are the only way out instead of pursuing a beggar-thy-neighbor policy or blaming others.

They added that anti-globalization sentiments and decoupling will not only endanger the economic and social development of all countries, but will also threaten the lives of people around the world. Human civilization cannot rely on the Law of the Jungle and Social Darwinism, but through extensive consultations, joint contributions, and shared benefits.

Experts noted that responses to the COVID-19 epidemic and the measures that were enacted to combat it showed that regional cooperation is not out of date, but should be further strengthened.

The prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic will be more effective with strong regional cooperation. Non-traditional security issues represented by COVID-19 have the characteristics of transcending national boundaries and transcending ideology.

Countries in the region should take the opportunity to learn lessons from the COVID-19 epidemic and further promote cooperation in public health, as well as other non-traditional security fields.

The experts all agreed that the COVID-19 epidemic will eventually pass, as well as that the economic and social recovery plans of various countries should be put on the agenda as soon as possible.

They noted that regional cooperation on trade, investment, and institutions are the main driving forces for regional and global recovery.

The development and improvement of global and regional industrial chains, trade chains, and value chains that are in line with the laws of economic development can benefit the people of all countries in the region.

Any deliberate interference will only hold back the economic and social recovery, as well as the development and prosperity of the region.

The webinar has garnered new consensus on regional cooperation, with new measures for regional cooperation discussed and jointly promoted, fully demonstrating the role and deeds of universities as a community of social knowledge.

The S&SE ASIAN UN was initiated by YNU in 2018. It has drafted and published the Joint Statement of the South & Southeast Asian University Network on Joining Efforts in Fighting against COVID-19, which was signed by 59 universities from 12 countries, harnessing the strength of universities in South Asia and Southeast Asia to fight the COVID-19 epidemic together.

In addition, it also held seminars on “Fighting the COVID-19 epidemic on campus” and “Online teaching” to provide assistance to member universities to share their experiences and to overcome difficulties.

The S&SE ASIAN UN will focus on the needs of member universities and society in the future, continue to strengthen research on countries, regions, and the world in the post-COVID-19 epidemic era, as well as provide intellectual support for regional cooperation, economic recovery, and public welfare.

As the secretariat unit of the S&SE ASIAN UN, YNU will also further provide public products, as well as create a cooperation platform that serves the development of member universities and benefits teachers, students, and society, jointly promoting the construction of an educational community and a community with a shared future.

The online international seminar is one of the sub-forums of the 2020 Online Forum on Education Cooperation in South & Southeast Asia organized and sponsored by Yunnan Provincial Department of Education.

It was held both online and offline, enabling countries inside and outside of the region to participate in academic research and policy discussions together.