Hungary is committed to cooperation with China

Monday, June 19, 2017

Hungary is committed to cooperation with China, and wishes to become the engine of cooperation in health care between China and the Eastern-Central-European region, Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén said at the conference of the Health Ministers of the Eastern-Central-European countries and China held in Budapest on Monday.

In his speech opening the conference, Mr Semjén stressed: the time has come for extending cooperation between China and the region not only to the financial sector and industry, but also to health care and the health industry, and Hungary wishes to become the engine and an active builder of this process.He took the view: the conference serves as feedback that Hungary’s health care performance is also remarkable by international standards, and may provide a useful example for other countries as well.

The Deputy Prime Minister drew attention to the fact that the Eastern-Central-European countries as members of the European Union are some of the most competitive, and constitute one of the most prosperous regions in the world in terms of economic growth, while China is one of the largest economies in the world. In his view, when two dynamically developing regions unite their efforts, they may bring about great things, and this is particularly true when one of the most important issues, health care brings those parties together.

He stressed: China is open to Central-Europe, and this is embodied in “the policy of one belt, one road”, while Hungary, similar to other Central-European countries, announced the policy of easterly opening, the purpose of which is to direct a significant proportion of Chinese investments intended for Europe to Hungary and the region.

He welcomed the fact that Chinese businesses are becoming increasingly more active in the region, and took the view that the drastically developing China may play a key role in a number of areas in the 21st century, from the fight against global terrorism, through stable world trade, to the enhancement of our knowledge capital.

He stressed: the Eastern-Central-European region has always sought to forge good economic relations with the People’s Republic of China in a practical manner, as a mark of respect for ancient Chinese culture, and the centre for traditional Chinese medicine to be established in Budapest will give this cooperation new impetus. As he said, traditional Chinese medicine is prevention-centred, and prevention is also at the centre of Hungary’s health policy strategy.

Minister of Human Capacities Zoltán Balog said: the motto of the conference could be the thought conceived by the author Sándor Márai „Always go westward – but never forget that you come from the East”. He took the view: the future lies in cooperation between East and West, and the future of the world cannot be conceived without China. “We would like to achieve that the future of the world should likewise be inconceivable without Eastern-Central-Europe”, he added.

In his view, those will be successful in the 21st century who find cooperation both traditionally and on new paths. “We are on the borders of great powers here, in Central- and Eastern-Europe, and we have learnt that we can only be free and can only enforce our interests if we build strong nation states, while from time to time we have to combine our forces so that we may face global challenges together”, he said.

The Minister described Central-Europe as one of the world’s spectacularly strengthening regions and, as he said, he sincerely hopes that it can be a good partner for China which “plays in the first league”. Mr Balog also spoke about the joint statement of the conference, an important element of which is that the previous illness-centred approach should be replaced with prevention, while it further makes mention of traditional medicine, the fight against contagious diseases, exchanges regarding health care systems, and the opportunities inherent in medical and health tourism.

Li Pin, China’s Minister of Health Care and Family Planning said that the Chinese Government attributes great significance to all institutional cooperation schemes with Eastern-Central-Europe. Reiterating the results of the previous two meetings held in the Czech Republic and China, he took the view that the health cooperation of recent years had brought about fruitful results in hospital cooperation, vocational training, health care policy exchanges and the development of public health care.

Liu Yandong, Vice Premier of the State Council expressed her thanks to the Hungarian Government for organising the conference, and pointed out: it is important that Chinese medicine is emerging in the region not only as a health care link, but also as a cultural one.

The several-day conference organised for the third time forms part of the 16+1 format cooperation including 16 Eastern-Central-European countries and China. The conference is dealing with four topics: public health care programmes, cooperation between hospitals, health policy research and traditional Chinese medicine.



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