Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets with the new head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 18, 2017. (Xinhua/Zhang Duo)
BEIJING, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Friday met with the new head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, saying that China will continue to support the UN health agency.
Li congratulated Tedros on assuming the position as the first African WHO director-general, saying that it is of great significance to promoting healthcare in developing countries.
China attaches great importance to the role WHO has played in coordinating global healthcare affairs and promoting the development of healthcare worldwide, Li told Tedros during their meeting in Beijing.
"China will continue to actively support the work of WHO and is ready to enhance cooperation with WHO in areas including the Belt and Road Initiative," Li said.
Li said China will speed up the establishment of a basic medical and healthcare system with Chinese characteristic that covers all rural and urban citizens, expressing the hope that WHO will continue to support China's healthcare reform.
Tedros said China has undergone a large-scale, fast and high-quality healthcare system reform which is instructive and inspiring to many other countries.
WHO appreciates the efforts the Chinese government has made to global healthcare development and its contribution in addressing public health emergencies including the Ebola epidemic and H1N1 flu virus, said Tedros, adding that WHO is willing to enhance its strategic cooperation with China.
Ethiopia's former health minister and foreign minister, Tedros took office on July 1, succeeding Dr. Margaret Chan from Hong Kong who had held office since January 2007.
He was elected at the 70th World Health Assembly in May. It was the first time that WHO has chosen its top office from multiple candidates.
Earlier Friday, Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong also met with Tedros, and together they attended a Belt and Road high-level meeting for health cooperation.
Addressing the meeting, Liu called on countries along the Belt and Road to cement health cooperation, coordinate health policies, strengthen joint prevention and control of infectious diseases, and enhance capabilities in responding to public health emergencies.