Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming At the Lunch in Honour of the Heart Cells Foundation
(28 June 2011, Chinese Embassy in the UK)
（From Chinese Embassy in UK）
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very warm welcome to the Chinese Embassy.
Before I host this lunch for the Heart Cells Foundation, I looked up some background information about the correlation between health and the economy a few days ago.I had some surprise findings. Apparently, the annual report of the World Economic Forum on global risks puts chronic diseases as a leading factor affecting the health of the global economy. Treatment of these diseases costs the world 1 trillion US dollars every year. This means a greater burden on the global economy than even the financial crisis.Cardiovascular diseases cause particular damage. According to the WHO, they are the "number one killer" among deaths caused by diseases. In China, every two out of ten adults suffer from some form of cardiovascular illnesses, similar to the figure in the UK. That is why the Chinese Guideline for National Scientific and Technological Development for the Medium to Long Term (2006-2020) has taken the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases as a priority area in the field of population and health.
Prevention is the best way to deal with cardiovascular diseases. We can protect ourselves through a healthy way of living. We should have a balanced diet and regular exercises. But active treatment is equally important if unfortunately the illness occurs. One potential treatment is through stem cell research. The Heart Cells Foundation has been raising funds to support clinical research on finding the latest cure of this killer disease through stem cell. This research could lead to lives being saved. I highly admire and commend your efforts.
The research you are funding is not only beneficial to people in this country, but for the whole world. Science goes beyond national borders. Health and well-being is a common blessing for all mankind.
China and the UK have worked closely together in addressing health challenges in recent years. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has just concluded his two-day official visit to the UK. His visit produced important results in further promoting our cooperation in two-way trade and investment, and people-to-people exchanges. The two sides also explored potential cooperation in the areas of life sciences and health.
Earlier this month we convened the sixth session of the China-UK Joint Commission on Science and Technology. During this session, population and health was identified as a key area of scientific cooperation between our two countries in the coming two years.
China is engaged in an ongoing effort to build and improve its basic medical care system. Special emphasis will be given to community health services.
As the birthplace of modern primary health services, Britain has a lot of useful experience that may offer guidance to other countries. I am glad to learn that British health care experts were invited to several cities in China to give lectures and share good practices with Chinese hospitals and health care agencies. Another report last week also shows that China has decided to establish general practice clinics, another institution that has its origins in Britain a hundred years ago.
Chinese scientists have worked hard in recent years to explore stem cell treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Some progress has been made. But China still lags behind in some cutting-edge areas such as adult stem cell application. We would very much hope to see greater exchanges and collaboration among the scientific communities of our two countries across the whole range of science and health areas. Stem cell research on heart diseases should no doubt be part of our exchanges.
Greater collaboration benefits both of us, as it helps to strengthen our respective capacities to deliver better and more effective health care to our two peoples.
Before I conclude, I wish the Heart Cells Foundation every success in your future endeavours.
I hope and I am sure that the stronger you become, the more people you will be able to help.
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On 28th June, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming hosted a lunch for the Heart Cells Foundation at the Chinese Embassy in the UK and addressed the audience. More than 50 members of the Foundation attended the lunch. Minister Counsellor Chen Futao from the Science and Technology Section was present.
Heart Cells Foundation is a specialized charity committed to research on treating heart disease with adult stem cells. This research has high scientific value and is highly relevant in our time. Most of the members of the Foundation have been to China.
Members of the Foundation said that Ambassador Liu's address helped them gain a better understanding about contemporary China, especially about the tireless efforts China has made to improve the health conditions of its people. They commended China's achievements in life sciences and expressed a keen interest in stepping up exchanges and cooperation with China in the field.
During the lunch, Ambassador Liu exchanged views with guests on how China and the UK could expand medical, health and scientific cooperation and how we could put into practice the agreements reached during Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to the UK.
(Ambassador Liu Talking with Members of the Heart Cells Foundation)