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China says it backs strengthening existing WHO pact and new agreement

·1-min read

GENEVA (Reuters) - China said on Monday that it agreed in principle with proposals to strengthen compliance and sharing of information under amendments to the World Health Organization's International Health Regulations of 2005.

"China agrees in principle with the ideas of further strengthening compliance, financing, sharing and information management in the IHR amendment process," Shen Hongbing, vice commissioner of China's National Administration of Disease Prevention and Control, told a WHO ministerial assembly.

"China reiterates that the IHR remains and will remain the most critical legal document in global health governance for the present and near future."

But China was also open to strengthening global cooperation to prevent pandemics, he told the Geneva forum which is expected to launch negotiations this week on a new agreement.

"We stand ready to maintain communication and coordination with all parties on developing a WHO convention, agreement or other international instrument and hope that the relevant process will be steadily advanced ... to ensure the universal participation of all member states, while avoiding politicisation, stigmatisation and instrumentalisation."

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Alison Williams)

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