China and foreign ministers from 10 Southeast Asian nations are meeting Tuesday and this week about how they can help each other recover from the pandemic.
State news media reports said the meeting Tuesday in Chongqing will also discuss the reopening of tourism through a vaccine passport.
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi will talk with all his counterparts on the sidelines. Despite tensions over territorial claims, China has been working to build its influence with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
China has received complaints from the Philippines and Malaysia for its incursions into their respective territories. Last week, Malaysia cautioned China for sending 16 military jets into its airspace - describing it as a "serious threat" to national sovereignty.
The Philippines had lodged complaints against China for repeated incursions of its maritime borders. Philippine officials said fleets of China vessels had trespassed into its exclusive economic zone several times in the past months.
"Over the past three decades, China-Asean cooperation has grown in leaps and bounds, becoming the most successful and dynamic example of cooperation in the Asia Pacific region," China Foreign Ministry representative Wang Wenbin said.
Wang said the Asean members' acceptance of its invitation to meet with China - despite the threat of the pandemic - was a sign of how they valued China-Asean relations.
The U.S. has put pressure on China with a strong, active naval presence in the South China Sea. The U.S. has built its influence in the region and has said it was concerned over China's growing presence along its allies' borders.
On Monday, three U.S. senators visited Taiwan and committed to giving the nation 750,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses. The visit was prompted by Taiwan's complaints that China was hindering its ability to secure vaccine doses.