BEIJING, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- As China progresses toward its goal of eradicating poverty domestically by 2020, it is taking an ever more important global role in matters such as energy, climate, and global health and development, says Mark Suzman, chief strategy officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Since 2007, the foundation has been supporting China in overcoming domestic health and development challenges, focusing on issues like HIV, tuberculosis, tobacco control and fight against extreme poverty, Suzman told Xinhua in an interview on Monday.
"To support China's poverty eradication efforts, we are working with Chinese partners to pilot innovative interventions in child nutrition, primary healthcare, and financial services for the poor" said Suzman.
China has a remarkable record of reducing millions of malaria cases to zero within its borders over the past 60 years.
"China is also the main source of the science that makes control possible," he said, citing Chinese scientist Tu Youyou, who won a Nobel Prize for discovering artemisinin, the gold standard treatment for malaria around the world. China is also among the world's largest suppliers of insecticide-treated bed nets, which have prevented well over 500 million cases of malaria in just over a decade.
The foundation is working with partners such as the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and the National Health Commission to deliver high-quality, low-cost, Chinese-made malaria commodities, to encourage China to help fill the global gap in malaria funding, and to apply China's experience in disease surveillance and response systems to local communities with high malaria incidences in Africa.
China could lead the world in other areas too. Its pharmaceutical expertise inspired the foundation to help create the Global Health Drug Discovery Institute in partnership with the Beijing Municipal Government and Tsinghua University to develop new drugs for diseases such as tuberculosis that disproportionately affect people living in low-income countries.
"All these exciting developments have only reinforced China's potential as a positive catalyst for development worldwide," said Suzman.
The upcoming Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will serve to deepen collaboration, with China embracing its ability to advance progress on the most urgent challenges facing Africa.
China also serves as one of the best examples of economic growth driven by agricultural transformation, and here too it can help transform Africa.
Since 2016, the Gates Foundation has been working with MOFCOM and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs to support the Agricultural Technology Demonstration Centers set up by China in Mozambique and Zambia.
"Our goal is to pilot a model where China's expertise in crop breeding, mechanization, and technology extension can be applied to local conditions and generate systems' changes in different African contexts," said Suzman.
As the Gates Foundation enters the second decade of its partnership with China, it is looking to continue to support China in fulfilling its full potential to create a better shared future for all.
"I'm eager for the summit to set an example for the future of development cooperation as China sets its sights on becoming an even stronger leader in the field," said Suzman.