The World Health Organization (WHO) has certified China to be free of Malaria after 70-years of the nation's struggle against the deadly disease.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus extended his congratulations to China in a news release.
Their success was hard-earned and came only after decades of targeted and sustained action. With this announcement, China joins the growing number of countries that are showing the world that a malaria-free future is a viable goal," said Tedros.
China reported 30 million cases of infectious disease annually in the 1940s but has now gone four consecutive years without an indigenous case. It is the 40th country or territory certified malaria-free by the World Health Organization.
China is the first country in the WHO's Western Pacific region to be awarded a malaria-free certification in more than three decades. The only others with certified status are Australia (1981), Singapore (1982), and Brunei (1987).
In the 1950s, Beijing started working out where malaria was spreading and began to combat it with preventative anti-malarial medicines, said the WHO.
The country reduced mosquito breeding grounds and stepped up spraying insecticide in homes.
In 1967, China launched a scientific program to find new malaria treatments, which led to the discovery in the 1970s of artemisinin – the core compound of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), which are the most effective antimalarial drugs available.