China vows to strengthen cooperation with ASEAN in health sector

Huang Panyue

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- China has promised to strengthen pragmatic cooperation in the health sector with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The pledge was made at the 6th ASEAN-China and the 7th ASEAN+3 (China, Japan, South Korea) health ministers meetings held here on Thursday.

Wang Hesheng, vice minister of China's National Health and Family Planning Commission, said at the meetings that China and ASEAN, its important partner in the public health sector, have carried out deepening cooperation in the health sector since 2003.

The cooperation has effectively safeguarded the region's health security, boosted the development of the health sector, as well as enhanced the friendship between the two sides, he added.

According to Wang, China will also conduct cooperation in such key areas as public health, telemedicine, and disaster health response, among others under the ASEAN+3 mechanism.

On the sidelines of the meetings, Dr Hj Zulkarnain, Brunei's health minister, told Xinhua that "we agreed to intensify cooperation in health development based on a whole-of-society approach with emphasis on strong and effective multi-sectoral collaboration."

Two joint statements were issued after the meetings, calling for addressing health challenges with a comprehensive approach while strengthening cooperation.

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