CECC Chairman Senator Chuck Hagel's Statement on China’s Response to Avian Flu Roundtable

Congressional-Executive Commission on China | www.cecc.gov

CECC Chairman Senator Chuck Hagel's Statement on China’s Response to Avian Flu Roundtable

February 24, 2006

(Washington, DC)—The Congressional-Executive Commission on China held another in its series of staff-led Issues Roundtables, entitled "China’s Response to Avian Flu: Steps Taken, Challenges Remaining" on Friday, February 24. The panelists Dr. Bates Gill, Freeman Chair in China Studies, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Erika Elvander, Office of Asia and the Pacific, Office of Global Health Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Dr. John R. Clifford, Deputy Administrator for the Animal Health and Plant Inspection Services’ (APHIS) Veterinary Services Program, U.S. Department of Agriculture, spoke about the response of the Chinese government to domestic outbreaks of the H5N1 virus in both poultry and humans, cooperative efforts taken between Chinese and American health and agricultural officials, and the challenges which remain in preventing and controlling further spread of the virus.

Following the roundtable U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Chairman of the Commission, said:

"As today’s panelists indicated, the Chinese government has taken a number of positive steps to prevent and control outbreaks of avian influenza in poultry and humans. Public health officials have shown significant improvement in the speed and effectiveness of their response compared with their handling of SARS. It is important though that both the central government and local governments in China continue to respond with the utmost transparency, as the spread of avian flu is a public health problem with global implications.”

Additional information regarding this roundtable, including written statements of the panelists, is available on the CECC's web site at: /roundtable/chinas-response-to-avian-flu-steps-taken-challenges-remaining