Around 40 high-level health officials from China and the UK held a video meeting in a bid to strengthen ties and increase cooperation amid the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
China's National Health Commission and the UK Department of Health jointly organized the meeting on Friday. Attendees included Ma Xiaowei, the director of National Health Commission and his counterpart Matt Hancock, the UK's heath secretary.
Ma introduced the progress of China's epidemic prevention and control and international cooperation, expressing China's willingness to actively implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, strengthen Sino-British anti-epidemic cooperation under the framework of the World Health Organization and the G20, and deepen technical exchanges and experience sharing between the two sides, to work together to maintain global health security.
Hancock said he appreciated the cooperation so far between the two nations in their joint response to the epidemic, and expressed that the UK is willing to strengthen anti-epidemic cooperation with China and to use the epidemic prevention and control agreements as an opportunity to deepen bilateral health and global health cooperation.
At the meeting, the experts from both sides outlined the latest developments in their respective countries and their prevention and control strategies. They held in-depth discussions on topics including lockdown-lifting strategies and reiterated their willingness to strengthen experience sharing and technical cooperation to jointly safeguard the people of the two countries.
Tripartite meeting of health ministers
Another video meeting of health ministers from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea on the response to COVID-19 was also held on Friday.
Presided by Ma, the meeting was attended by Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato, South Korean Health Minister Park Neunghoo, Takeshi Kasai, WHO regional director for the Western Pacific, and MICHIGAMI Hisashi, secretary-general of the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat.
Ma introduced China's current epidemic prevention and control measures and experience, and put forward several proposals for future cooperation among the three nations, including supporting the WHO in playing a leading role in fighting the pandemic, actively implementing international cooperation on joint prevention and control, and working together to help countries with fragile health systems build resilience.
He called on the countries to continue the cooperation on combating the pandemic, jointly safeguard regional and global health security, and support the building of a community of common health for mankind.
The representatives of Japan and South Korea briefed on their latest situation as well as measures of the epidemic prevention and control. They expressed their willingness to continue to support the WHO's leading role in the global pandemic containment, and pledged to strengthen global solidarity and cooperation in the fight against the pandemic.
The meeting adopted a joint statement, reviewed the previous work of close cooperation and solidarity among the three countries in the fight against COVID-19, and put forward a joint proposal on the next step of collaboration on the containment.