Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan on Wednesday visited a leading U.S. cancer research institution in Seattle and called for closer bilateral cooperation in health care.
Upon arrival at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Peng was greeted by Dr. Gary Gilliland, president and director of the organization; Bill and Melinda Gates, co-chairs and trustees of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and Melodee Hanes Baucus, wife of U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus, among others.
Noting that since its official inauguration in 1975, Fred Hutch, as the center is popularly known, has committed itself to cutting-edge research on cancer and deadly infections like AIDS, Peng said its contributions have helped many people get a chance "to live longer and better lives."
Citing her work experience as a World Health Organization goodwill ambassador for tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, Peng underlined the importance of strengthening global health care cooperation.
The first lady spoke highly of the booming medical cooperation between China and the United States, particularly their joint efforts in helping West Africa combat the deadly Ebola epidemic last year. Also, she expressed appreciation of the long-standing commitment of Fred Hutch and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a main donator for the center, to promoting China-U.S. health care collaboration.
Peng encouraged them to continue cooperation with Chinese medical workers, such as in combining traditional and modern medicine and sharing advanced medical technologies and ideas, so as to bring more benefits to the two nations and contribute shared wisdom on global health challenges.
During her tour, Peng also met with Nobel Prize laureate Linda Buck, and visited a lab of the Fred Hutch HIV Vaccine Trials Network, where she was briefed by Dr. Julie McElrath on the latest development of the HIV vaccine research.
Peng is in Seattle accompanying Chinese President Xi Jinping for his first state visit to the United States. They arrived on Tuesday morning and will leave for Washington D.C. on Thursday.
(Xinhua News Agency September 23, 2015)