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French health foundation's cooperation commended

By CAO DESHENG | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-09 00:29
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President Xi Jinping talks with President of the Merieux Foundation Alain Merieux at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on April 8. [Photo/Xinhua]

President Xi Jinping highlighted the enduring Sino-French friendship on Monday when meeting with Alain Merieux, president of the Merieux Foundation, and his wife, Chantal, in Beijing, and expressed China's willingness to promote high-level exchanges and close cooperation with France to bring bilateral relations to a higher level.

The Merieux Foundation, headquartered in Lyon, France, is an independent family foundation that aims to fight infectious diseases in developing countries, especially by helping them set up clinical laboratories.

During the meeting, Xi expressed his appreciation for the Merieux Foundation's long-standing support for the development of Sino-French relations as well as China's healthcare industry.

He said the world is currently witnessing profound changes not seen in a century and is entering a period of turbulence and transformation. Humankind not only needs to address health challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, but also confronts geopolitical issues such as the Israel-Palestine conflict and the Ukraine crisis, he added.

China has been consistently advocating peace over war, calling for an end to conflicts, and promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, Xi said.

Noting that this year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France, Xi commended the two countries' enduring friendship that has been passed on from generation to generation.

China and France have undertaken a series of fruitful collaboration projects in the healthcare sector, he said, adding that China welcomes the Merieux Foundation's continued efforts in deepening cooperation in the area.

In 2018, Merieux was awarded the China Reform Friendship Medal for his support for China's reform and opening-up as well as his commitment to public health in China, particularly the fight against infectious diseases.

Merieux started building firm cooperation with China in fighting tuberculosis and other infectious diseases more than 40 years ago, when China embarked on reform and opening-up.

Merieux expressed his gratitude to Xi for the meeting, which he said fully embodies China's friendliness toward the French people.

He said he has consistently followed and admired China's development and progress since he started engagement and friendship with the nation 46 years ago.

The Merieux Foundation will continue to actively promote Sino-French friendship and cooperation in the healthcare sector, he added.

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