The weather was hot yesterday but the atmosphere inside the Beijing Exhibition Hall, where people gathered for a reproductive health and products fair, was even hotter.
About 8,000 people braved the scorching sun yesterday to have a glance at the First China Reproductive Health/Family Planning New Technology & Products Exposition, which opened yesterday and will run for four days.
The fair is China's way of recognizing World Population Day. It was jointly organized by the State Family Planning Commission, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the State General Administration for Quality Supervision and Inspection and the Quarantine and State Drug Administration.
When curious spectators filed through the center’s doors yesterday, they found displays on condoms, intrauterine birth-control devices, pregnancy tests and medical instruments used to diagnose and treat illnesses like breast cancer and reproductive tract infections.
The fair attracted 290 research institutes and manufacturers of reproductive health and contraception products from across the country. A few companies from Britain, India and Malaysia also brought their latest products to the fair.
Over the next few days, the fair will host symposiums and workshops on topics that include future development of China's reproductive health industry, use of condoms to prevent HIV/AIDS, research into safe contraceptives and prevention of infections.
"This is the largest celebration marking World Population Day anywhere," claimed Junko Sazaki, deputy representative of the United Nations Population Fund to China.
Sazaki stressed: "reproductive health is integrally linked to sustainable development.
"Whoever we are, wherever we live, each one of us has a responsibility," she argued, adding: "We must renew our commitment to the International Conference on Population and Development goals, accept our responsibilities to ourselves and to each other and find the balance that will renew our world and enable all of its people to meet their aspirations."
Speaking at the opening of the exhibition, Zhang Weiqing, minister of the State Family Planning Commission, said that World Population Day, the theme of which this year is "Population, Development and Environment," has once again sounded alarm bells about the population problem and called for the concern of society as a whole.
Zhang claimed China will work closely with governments and peoples on an international basis to address population and development issues in the new century.
(China Daily 07/12/2001)