Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, has stressed efforts to improve the country's risk control and management system on biosecurity, and to enhance its governance capacity in this regard.
Xi made the remarks on Wednesday when addressing a study session of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.
Biosecurity is vital to people's health, long-term stability of the country and future development of the nation, Xi said, adding that biosecurity is an essential part of overall national security and an important force that may affect and even reshape the global landscape.
He stressed the significance and urgency of enhancing biosecurity in China and urged efforts to build a strong shield against biosecurity threats.
The CPC Central Committee has stepped up work in improving biosecurity and included it in the national security strategy, Xi said, calling for attention to the intertwining of traditional problems and new risks concerning biosecurity as well as the coexistence of overseas biological threats and domestic risks.
Xi highlighted the need to strengthen strategic and forward-looking studies and planning for the national biosecurity strategy, calling for improvements to the biosecurity governance mechanism with the Party's leadership, the government responsibility, social synergies, public involvement and the rule of law.
Efforts should be made to improve related laws and regulations, raise public awareness, and better fight the people's war against biosecurity risks, Xi said.
He stressed systematic treatment and whole-process prevention and control of biosecurity risks, noting that efforts should be made to build a strong network for biosecurity risk monitoring and early warning, with a focus on the building of relevant facilities at the community level.
He said the ability to identify relevant risks at the primary level should be further improved. Potential threats of outbreaks of new infectious diseases, major animal or plant epidemics, drug-resistance of microorganisms and risks regarding the impact of biotechnology on the environment should be detected and identified at an early stage, thus enabling a timely response.
Efforts should be made to cut the transmission of zoonotic diseases at the source, Xi said.
He also stressed that relevant work should be carried out in a targeted and effective manner.
Xi called on workers in key biosecurity-related fields to think about worst-case scenarios and always remain alert, noting that border control and quarantine should be strengthened, while violations should be punished.
He called for work to accurately identify and eliminate existing biosecurity hazards.
The management of pathogen-laboratory biosecurity should be intensified, Xi said, adding that relevant standards should be strictly practiced, and samples, animals and waste associated with relevant experiments should be placed under strict management.
Xi stressed strengthening innovations and industrial applications in biotechnology and accelerating the development of biosecurity-related science and technology toward greater self-reliance.
He underlined the need to carry out strict ethical reviews of biotechnological research projects and conduct moral education among scientists. Efforts should be made to ensure the healthy development of biotechnology and move forward with industrial applications of bio-breeding and bio-medicine in an orderly manner and on the basis of respecting science, strict supervision, law-based regulation and improved security, he said.
Xi also said that China should actively participate in global governance on biosecurity, and enhance bilateral and multilateral cooperation and exchanges in such biosecurity-related fields as policy formulating, risk assessment, emergency response, information sharing and capacity building.
Xi highlighted the need to successfully host the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) and to push forward the formulation of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
Enhancing governance capacity in relation to China's biosecurity will be a long and arduous task requiring constant effort, Xi said, adding that China must put the country's biosecurity under firm control.