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Xi Jinping Urged Greater, Concerted Efforts in Scientific Research On Novel Coronavirus Outbreak to Provide a Strong Scientific Underpinning for Defeating the Epidemic

On 2 March, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, President of the People's Republic of China, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, inspected scientific research work on containing and mitigating the COVID-19 outbreak in Beijing. On behalf of the CPC Central Committee, President Xi expressed sincere appreciation and cordial greetings to the professionals fighting on the front line of scientific research to defeat the epidemic. He stressed that science and technology are the most powerful weapon for mankind in the fight against the disease and that scientific advances and technological innovation are indispensable for humanity to prevail over major disasters and epidemics. Scientific research on COVID-19 is a priority and pressing task. It must be advanced with concerted and coordinated efforts across disciplines. On the basis of science and security, the research efforts should be advanced as quickly as possible to tackle the key and thorny problems in epidemic control at an early date and provide strong scientific underpinning for winning this all-out, people's war against the epidemic.

Xi underscored that for a country with 1.4 billion people, forestalling and diffusing major epidemics and public health emergencies is a matter of utmost importance over which we can never drop our guard. It is imperative to strengthen the national monitoring network for major epidemics, improve related laws and regulations, develop cutting-edge technologies and cultivate top-notch professionals with greater efforts, so as to enhance China's preparedness for public health emergencies as fast as possible.

Xi cautioned that major communicable diseases and bio-safety are serious risks and challenges to the country's security, development and social stability. Bio-safety must be ensured as an important part of overall national security. Epidemic prevention and control and public health research system and capacity building must be enhanced to ensure good prevention and research at normal times and sound emergency response including treatment and mitigation during an outbreak. Strategic and preemptive planning and epidemic warning and forecast mechanisms must be stepped up to gather information in a timely and effective manner and take prompt responses.

Xi pointed out that major advances in science and technology concerning people's life and safety and bio-safety are of paramount importance for the country, and the system of disease prevention and control and public health emergency response is an important part of the national strategic system. Efforts should be made to improve the new nationwide mechanism for breakthroughs in key and core technologies, assign research resources in population health, bio-safety and other areas more effectively, and put in place an integrated national framework of major research projects in life sciences, biotechnology, medical and health care, and medical equipment. A number of national clinical research centers need to be built, and the technology input in public health must be increased. Basic research in life sciences needs to be strengthened and greater efforts are required to seek breakthroughs in key and core medical health technologies. It is also important to enhance strategic research capabilities and expand strategic reserve in disease prevention and control and public health.

Xi pointed out that public health security is a common challenge for humanity, which requires the joint efforts of all countries. As the COVID-19 outbreak is emerging in quite a number of countries, we need to step up communication with the World Health Organization, and strengthen cooperation on source tracing, drugs, vaccines and testing with the countries concerned, particularly those most seriously affected. By sharing research data and information, and working on joint response to the epidemic, we will contribute our wisdom and energy to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

(The full text is available at: http://www.xinhuanet.com/politics/leaders/2020-03/02/c_1125652961.htm)

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