New vision and strengthened partnership for WHO and China

21 August 2017 | GENEVA WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus concluded a 3-day official visit to the People’s Republic of China paving the way for stronger and more strategic WHO-China collaborations. Outcomes of Dr Tedros’ meetings with high-level leadership in the Government of China included a new financial contribution to WHO from China and strengthened commitments to improve the health of billions of people represented in the 60 countries engaged in the Belt and Road Initiative.

“China’s health reforms show it’s possible to implement far-reaching, quality transformations in a short time. Its success in providing 95% of its population with access to health insurance is a model for other countries in how to make our world fairer, healthier and safer. We can all learn something from China,” said Dr Tedros.

While in Beijing Dr Tedros met privately with Premier Li Keqiang for a high-level discussion on a more strategic partnership between WHO and China, as well as how China can expand its international health security cooperation in Belt and Road countries. He also met with Vice Premier Liu Yandong and Vice Chairman Han Qide of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), National Health and Family Planning Commission Minister Li Bin, and Prof Peng Liyuan, WHO Goodwill Ambassador for HIV/AIDS and TB.

During his meeting with Minister Li Bin, China signed a memorandum of understanding with WHO for an additional voluntary contribution of US$ 20 million in support of WHO’s global work. WHO and China agreed to enhanced collaboration to reduce the impact of health emergencies; build stronger health systems to deliver universal health coverage; and focus on the well-being of women, children and adolescents at the centre of global health efforts.

In addition to official government meetings, Dr Tedros met China’s next generation at an event in Beijing with more than 200 young health leaders. Dr Tedros encouraged the young leaders to inspire their peers and loved ones to make healthy choices, telling them “you are the future, it is true. But you are also the present. Your ideas and actions matter now, and I believe in you.”

Dr Tedros also made time to visit the WHO China offices and meet with staff, where he spoke passionately about WHO’s mission to ensure all people have access to quality health care services.