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The Director General of the OIE meets high officials of People's Republic of China

Beijing, 2 March 2004 - At the invitation of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, the Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), Dr. Bernard Vallat, attended the China-ASEAN Special Meeting on the Control of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in Beijing.

Dr. Vallat took part in the meeting immediately after having participated at the FAO/OIE Emergency Regional Meeting on Avian Influenza Control in animals in Asia that took place in Bangkok, Thailand, from 26-28 February 2004.

The Beijing-meeting aimed mainly to analyze the current situation on HPAI in the region. It was also a very useful opportunity to discuss and identify the concrete measures in the reporting, prevention and control of HPAI between China and the ASEAN member countries, such as technical cooperation.

At the end of the meeting, Dr. Vallat and the head of the Delegations met with Wen Jiabao, the Prime Minister of the People's Republic of China. "We had a very open and constructive conversation" Dr. Vallat said. "We had the opportunity to exchange our views on the control measures of animal diseases and zoonoses to be adopted at present and for the future. I particularly insisted on the need to strengthen the surveillance systems by providing the national veterinary services with the relevant tools in compliance with the international OIE guidelines", he added.

Dr. Vallat also renewed his invitation to the Chinese Authorities to be more involved in the activities of the OIE. "Strengthening the collaboration between the People's Republic of China and the OIE is a crucial point for the improvement of the OIE world wide sanitary information system. The transparency and the good collaboration that I have encountered during my visit represent a big step forward in our relations", Dr. Vallat concluded.