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News: Melinda Gates praises China in poverty reduction, and commits millions more in joint work

Melinda Gates in Beijing, July 217. Source: Peoples Daily sreenshot.By Wen Liu   July 31, 2017

Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was recently in Beijing, according to People’s Daily report and China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission website. She was there to participate in the launch of yet another joint program with the Chinese government. This time, it was on poverty relief through healthcare and AIDS control.

On July 23, Melinda Gates and her party met with Mdm. Cui Li, deputy director of the National and Family Planning Commission. Cui Li thanked the Gates Foundation for its long term support of China’s work in health and family planning by providing funds, technology and personnel. She pointed out especially the great results the two sides had achieved in the control of AIDS, TB and smoking, and expressed hope that the cooperation would continue in poverty relief through healthcare, maternal and newborn care, breast-feeding, etc.

On her part, Melinda Gates said that the mission of the Foundation and the goal of the Commission were the same. She expressed her appreciation of China its tremendous determination and substantial action in alleviating poverty, her agreement with Cui Li's proposal in continued cooperation, and her willingness to promote the bilateral efforts to benefit China and the world.

In an interview with the People’s Daily, Melinda Gates reflected on China’s enormous progress in the two decades since her and Bill’s first visit to China in 1995. “Seven hundred million people lifted out of poverty. Wow, that's a huge number,” she said. In poverty reduction and healthcare, she continued that China had rich experience and expertise that was worth sharing with the world. Melinda also commented on the “one belt, one road” project and said it could bring many benefits to the world, to Africa, where she and Bill had visited three to four times a year, not just China.

Since her Foundation opened its office in Beijing in 2007, Melinda pointed out, it has carried out a lot of work and at the same time, it also witnessed China’s development and change. What made her and Bill proud, she said, was that while witnessing, they were also telling the world that China’s great achievement in poverty relief, in lowering mortality among new mothers and babies, in malaria prevention and treatment, etc., contributed to the progress of the whole world.

Love in the Sunshine Summer Camp in Beijing. Source: nhfpc.gov.cn screenshotJoining China’s First Lady Peng Liyuan, Melinda Gates also attended and spoke at the opening of the 2017 “Love in the Sunshine Summer Camp in Beijing." Now in its eighth year, the camp was created to help AIDS affected children to broaden their horizon, experience warmth of the society and improve their overall health of body and mind.

At the same ceremony, Melinda Gates and Cui Li, of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, signed the “Framework Agreement on Poverty Relief through Healthcare and AIDS Control.” According to the agreement, Gates Foundation would contribute $16.5 million to the joint work.

(For more information on major events in Washington state-China relations, go to WA China Chronicle.)