Beijing’s top diplomat Wang Yi on Thursday called for countries to resume bilateral trade and people-to-people ties with China, saying it had taken “forceful action” to stem the spread of the deadly coronavirus at a special Asean-China meeting held in Vientiane. Some analysts said the meeting was partly a public relations exercise. Asst Prof Dylan Loh of social sciences at NTU said the meeting could “be seen as a legitimacy building exercise where external actors take turns to vindicate and praise Chinese efforts in fighting the coronavirus”. Benjamin Ho, a research fellow at RSIS, said it was “first and foremost” to “project a favourable image of China given all the negative news we have seen the past month”, while RSIS’s senior analyst Zi Yang said the event gave China an opportunity to project confidence to the world.
Last updated on 21/02/2020