On 14 April, Chinese Ambassador to Sweden Gui Congyou held a reception at the Embassy to celebrate Professor Chen Zhu’s winning of the 2018 Sjöberg Prize. Prof. Chen Zhu and his wife Prof. Chen Saijuan, President of the Karolinska Institutet Mr. Ole Petter Ottersen, International Director at the Swedish Red Cross Mr. Melker Mabeck, Chairman of the Sjöberg Foundation Mr. Ingemar Sjöberg and other scientists and eminent persons from the Swedish medical and health care communities, and all the diplomats at the Embassy attended.
In his speech, Ambassador Gui, on behalf of all the embassy staff, extended warm congratulations to Prof. Chen on his winning of the 2018 Sjöberg Prize. Ambassador Gui said Prof. Chen Zhu and his research team, through tireless long efforts and in collaboration with French scientists, developed a new targeted treatment for leukemia. They have saved thousands of lives in China and across the world and made great contributions to the development of the world’s medicine and human health. The 2018 Sjöberg Prize is a recognition of their long-term, in-depth research and joint efforts to overcome the world’s medical problems, and also an endorsement of their successful international cooperation in science and technology. Prof. Chen’s visit to Sweden to receive the award is of great significance in promoting the friendly cooperation between China and Sweden and enhancing international cooperation in related fields. Ambassador Gui said that strengthening the prevention and control of major diseases is an important component of the Healthy China initiative proposed at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. China is willing to further strengthen international cooperation on medical research with Sweden and other countries and contribute more to the health of all human beings.
Prof. Chen said in his speech that the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ conferring the 2018 Sjöberg Prize on him once again made the “China Solution” for treating acute promyelocytic leukemia the focus of attention in the world medical community. This research result is a successful example of international cooperation. It is a beautiful story of the East meeting the West and the combination of traditional Confucianism and modern Western medicine. Scientific research transcends national borders. In scientific and health research, scientists from across the world share the same belief and are committed to serving human health, which in turn promotes mutual trust and people-to-people links among countries. It is an essential component of the Belt and Road Initiative, and also an important content in the construction of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind. Prof. Chen said he and his team would continue working with partners both at home and abroad to understand the mechanisms behind other types of hematological malignancies and to develop innovative and effective therapeutic strategies through collaboration, for the well-being of human society.
Prof. Chen said over the years China and Sweden have maintained a good momentum of development in scientific and technological cooperation and have conducted broad and effective cooperation in various fields such as health, water resources, energy, mining, space, etc. The friendship between the two peoples has a long history, and the merchant ship from the 18th Century, the Göteborg, has become a unique symbol of China-Sweden friendly exchanges. Sweden is also the first Western country to establish diplomatic relations with China, and the bilateral relations have continued to grow to new levels, with China becoming Sweden’s most important trading partner in Asia. He expressed the hope that China-Sweden friendly cooperation will continue to deepen and make more positive contributions to world peace and development.
President of the Karolinska Institutet Mr. Ottersen said the winning of the 2018 Sjöberg Prize by Prof. Chen vividly explained how medical research could bring hope to thousands of patients and promote friendship and mutual trust among countries. We all agree that medical research can become an important component of the Belt and Road Initiative and that extensive cooperation should be carried out in the health field to bring health and hope to the people along the routes. Karolinska Institutet is willing to strengthen cooperation with scientists from China and other countries to tackle medical problems and jointly promote health and medical equality, to the greater benefit of the people of all countries.
In 2016, the Swedish entrepreneur Mr. Bengt Sjöberg donated 2 billion Swedish kronors (about 250 million US dollars) to establish the Sjöberg Foundation for the promotion of scientific research in the fields of cancer, health and environment. The Sjöberg Prize funded by the Sjöberg Foundation is conferred by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.