Gates Foundation forms alliance against smoking in China

10:55, June 13, 2011      

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Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and chairman of Microsoft, and Robin Li, chairman and chief executive officer of Baidu Inc., formed a strategic alliance on June 11 in Beijing to promote healthy lifestyles and create a smoke-free environment both in China and around the world.


Bill Gates (R), co-chair of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and chairman of Microsoft, and Robin Li, chairman and chief executive officer of Baidu Inc., sign the document for the establishment of the Alliance for Health China in Beijing, June 11, 2011. (Lou Linwei/ Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)

"This will be a long-term, open-ended alliance, and Robin and I would like to welcome more partners and we expect to see more Chinese enterprises and all facets of society and focus on public issues," Gates said. Li remarked that living healthy and green has become a common pursuit of mankind, and he said he hoped the alliance could draw more public efforts together so more and more people can benefit from it.

The alliance will carry out educational campaign through all channels of media to promote self-awareness of leading a healthy life. Meanwhile it also aims to help the smokers to quit smoking as soon as possible through persuasion and education.

Gates and Li both wore a green T-shirt with the words "Say No to Second-hand Smoking" and interacted with the guests and journalists. They also took questions from Internet users.


Bill Gates (R), co-chair of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and chairman of Microsoft, and Robin Li, chairman and chief executive officer of Baidu, Inc., shake hands to celebrate the establishment of the Alliance for Health China in Beijing, June 11, 2011. (Lou Linwei/ Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)

Considering China has 740 million second-hand smokers, the Chinese government has imposed a full-scale ban on smoking in all public places, and tobacco control is included as part of China's five-year plan for national economic and social development. The smoking ban, effective since May 1 this year, provides a legal basis for non-smokers to protect their rights and say no to second-hand smoking.

Apart from that, the alliance also covers other issues, such as AIDS prevention and control to promote health for human beings.

Founded in 2000, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation carries out charity projects in more than 100 countries. Since the establishment of its Beijing office in 2007, it has supported a range of health and development programs in China, including the advocacy of a smoke-free environment, AIDS and TB prevention and control.

By Zhang Xinyi, People's Daily Online
 
 
     
 
 
 
     
 
 
 
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