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China, U.S. cope with health issues through strategic dialogue
Latest Updated by 2006-12-14 09:24:32
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China and the United States will discuss some common challenges such as rural medical care, infectious diseases and aging population in talks this week, U.S. health chief said here Wednesday.

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael O. Leavitt said at a press conference that he wants to discuss these problems, which are challenges for both China and the United States, with his Chinese counterpart in the upcoming China-U.S. strategic economic dialogue, and bring the discussion into a broader way.

Other issues such as the financing of medical costs, science and technological exchanges and regulatory cooperation mainly on food, drug and medical devices are also listed in his agenda about the dialogue.

Leavitt is a member of the cabinet delegation led by Secretary of Treasury Henry M. Paulson for the strategic dialogue.

The officials are scheduled to have a two-day close-door meeting with their Chinese counterpart officials on a wide range of issues such as currency and trade.

"We're coming to have this dialogue not only because we believei t's good for the Chinese government but because we believe it's good for the United States for China to be a strong, vibrant, integrated, harmonious society," Leavitt said.

He held talks with Chinese Health Minister Gao Qiang on Wednesday, and also attended the opening ceremony for a collaborative office between the Chinese and U.S. centers for disease control.

According to a bilateral agreement in 2005, the office will focus on infectious diseases like AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and bird flu, Leavitt said.

Before his Beijing tour, Leavitt also visited southwest China's Sichuan Province and south China's Guangdong Province.

In Sichuan, he visited some rural clinics, medical stations and hospitals. Local health officials briefed him on local medical infrastructures and disease control.

He also visited an eight-year old girl who recovered from the H5N1 strain of bird flu in May.

"It's very clear to me from my conversations from the village level all the way to the health ministry that China takes infectious disease seriously," Leavitt told the reporters.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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