FM: China supports Margaret Chan to run for WHO top position
Updated: 2006-09-07 19:12

BEIJING -- Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang said Thursday that China hopes Margaret Chan can successfully run for the top position in the World Health Organization (WHO).

Qin said Chan has an excellent professional background, rich practical experience and is familiar with the operating rules of the WHO, adding that her achievements during her work at the UN's health agency have been remarkable and won high praise from many countries.

He pointed out that the Chinese government attaches great importance to Chan's running for director-general of the WHO. China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health and its embassies and consulates to foreign countries have supported her bid for the job.

"We believes Chan is an excellent and competent leader in international health," said Qin.

There are a total of 13 candidates in the running.

Margaret Chan, from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, has served as the WHO's Assistant Director-General for Communicable Diseases for three years. Before starting her work at the WHO in 2003, Chan was the director for health in Hong Kong.

The election of the WHO Director-General will be held in Geneva in November. The winner will replace former WHO head Lee Jong-Wook of South Korea, who died suddenly in May.