On April 25, 2023, the inauguration ceremony of the China-ASEAN Science and Technology Cooperation Center for Public Health (the Public Health Center) was held at the Centennial Memorial Hall of Peking University. Vice Minister Zhang Guangjun delivered an address at the event.
Vice Minister Zhang said that the establishment of the Public Health Center is the follow-up to the call of President Xi Jinping at the 30th anniversary of the China-ASEAN dialogue relations, and the proposals of former Premier Li Keqiang at the 24th and 25th China-ASEAN Summit. At the 11th meeting of the China-ASEAN Joint Committee on Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation in June 2022, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) proposed to establish a science and technology cooperation platform for public health. Peking University could be the lead entities, and work with other Chinese and foreign institutions for infectious disease prevention and control, emergency response to public health incidents, vaccine and drug research and development, epidemic monitoring, and talent training. The initiation of the center showed the proposal has become a reality, and it will deepen the regional cooperation in public health, build a strong shield for public health, and bring closer the community of shared future between China and ASEAN.
Zhang Guangjun stressed that China and ASEAN are geographically connected, culturally linked, and share a common destiny, and ASEAN is a key partner for cooperation on science, technology and innovation. The Public Health Center is a new platform and injects new impetus for STI cooperation between the two sides. It is hoped that the center will accelerate the formation of a collaborative network covering all ASEAN members, become a stage for talent exchange between China and ASEAN, and play a great role in safeguarding public health in the region.
Peking University President Gong Qihuang, Indonesian Ambassador to China Djauhari Oratmangun, and Mahidol University Vice President Nopraenue Sajjarax Dhirathiti delivered speeches at the ceremony, which was moderated by Peking University Executive Vice President and Dean of the Medical School Qiao Jie. Representatives from the Ministry of Education, the National Health Commission, the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Science and Technology of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, representatives from the embassies of Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, Laos, and the China-ASEAN Center, and public health experts from 20 domestic and foreign universities and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention attended the event.