China, US eye cooperation in fighting global epidemic diseases

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-5-13 21:21:09

Around 400 scholars, officials and business leaders from China and the United States gathered at a conference Tuesday to discuss how the two countries could work together to fight global infectious diseases.

With the theme of "Global Infectious Diseases: Prevention, Preparedness and Response," the 2015 China-US Relations Conference aims to figure out ways how both countries can cooperate in tackling emerging infectious diseases and pandemics not only on their own soil, but also in other countries, especially in the developing world.

"The recent outbreak of Ebola reminds us health problems are not just one country's or one region's problem, they are the world's problems," said Tom Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a keynote speech.

Frieden praised the public health partnership between China and the United States, saying it has been critical in improving health in Asia and the world at large.

His view was echoed by Li Xiaolin, president of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and co-chair of Tuesday's conference.

"Infectious disease knows no boundaries, especially in today's increasingly inter-connected world," Li said, adding that major countries should shoulder more responsibility.

Xu Kuangdi, president of China-US People's Friendship Association, said that public health threats such as infectious diseases have gone beyond the paradigm of bilateral relations, they are of global significance and urgency.

"China and the United States, the world's two biggest economies and two populous nations, should deepen and expand our cooperation in the field of public health and medicine," Xu said.

Xu proposed that well-to-do nations form a global fund to help developing countries combat emerging infectious diseases.

US President Barack Obama sent a congratulatory letter to the conference. "In addressing global health challenges, America and China have a common interest of historic consequence," he said in the letter.

This year's China-US Relations Conference is the sixth in the series initiated by former US President George H.W. Bush in 2003.

Posted in: Diplomacy

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