Remarks on the Occasion of the 71st Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China by H.E. Zheng Zhuqiang, Chinese Ambassador to Uganda
2020/09/29
 

Dear friends!

October 1, 2020 marks the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Today, I would like to take this opportunity to review the past one year and look forward to the future with all friends who care for and support China-Ugandan relations.

2020 is an extraordinary year. The COVID-19 pandemic came all of a sudden, which has resulted in the world's most serious pandemic in a century.

Facing the virus, under the strong leadership of President Xi Jinping, China puts people's life first, races against the time and immediately wages a comprehensive people's war against COVID-19. Determined to win ultimate victory, Chinese Government has mobilized all resources and achieved outstanding performances. 

It took us over one month to initially contain the spread of the epidemic, two months to keep the daily number of new locally-transmitted cases within single digit, and three months to achieve decisive outcomes in Wuhan City and Hubei Province, after which we continued to succeed in controlling cluster epidemic resurgence in some parts of the country, making a major strategic achievement in fighting COVID-19 nationwide. 

On top of that, China coordinates epidemic prevention and control with economic and social development, becoming the first major economy to recover since the onslaught of COVID-19. It fully exhibits China's unique advantage of pooling resources for major undertakings. 

We are full of confidence that, by the end of this year, China will fulfill the tasks on schedule of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and lifting the entire rural population out of poverty, which is unprecedented in the history of China over thousands of years.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a severe test for Uganda. I have noted that Uganda, has taken measures at her best to effectively curb and slow down the spreading of the virus and maintained social and economic stability in general. I salute to Uganda and her people for the hard-won achievement!

Facing the virus, China and Uganda have been standing together in solidarity and fighting against COVID-19 side by side. Our friendship and mutual trust become more consolidated, and the Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership between our two countries has been further deepened.

At the time when the situation in China was at its most difficult, President Museveni not only wrote a letter of sympathy to President Xi Jinping, but also held a placard which says "Come on, Wuhan!" in front of camera to demonstrate Uganda's strong solidarity with China. Ms. Anna, a returned Ugandan student who once studied in China's university, sent her prayers to Chinese people, she said "China is my second home. Be strong, China! All things will be better and we stand with you". Makerere University donated 6,000 face masks to Xiangtan University, her partner university in China. Mr. Odong, a Ugandan student studying at Southern Medical University in China, offered selfless service by working together with Chinese doctors a hospital in Guangzhou.

China appreciates the understanding and support from Uganda, which we will always cherish. The Chinese nation never forgets the helps and generosities she receives, and always reciprocates with the same goodwill. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Uganda, China immediately took the lead in providing assistance and has done all we can to support Uganda in the fight against COVID-19.

So far, Chinese Government has provided three batches of anti-pandemic materials to Ugandan Government, and has also provided emergency humanitarian assistance to Ugandan Government in response to the massive flooding and locust invasion in Uganda. 

At the same time, Chinese local governments, non-governmental organizations, as well as Chinese enterprises and communities in Uganda have provided assistance including cash and medical supplies to Uganda worth more than Sh12billion.

"When people are determined, they can overcome anything." "There is strength in unity, but weakness in division." "Solidarity at heart, together through thick and thin." These resounding words written on the cardboard cases of the medical supply assistance from China to Uganda have demonstrated the friendly tradition of supporting each other between our two peoples.

The Chinese side has invited Ugandan health workers to participate in a series of video conferences on the prevention and control of COVID-19, during which Chinese medical experts shared the knowledge and experiences with their Ugandan peers.

The Chinese volunteer medical team is now working in China-Uganda Friendship Hospital in Naguru to help save the lives of those infected by COVID-19.

Furthermore, the China-aided Mandela National Stadium has been turned into a makeshift hospital for COVID-19 patients, becoming the "Ark of Life" to protect the health and lives of Ugandans.

While fighting the pandemic hand in hand, China-Uganda economic and trade cooperation does not pause. Many cooperation projects continue to operate, and a large number of Chinese technical personnel remain on their posts in Uganda. They have made great contributions to Uganda's economic and social recovery. 

Since the onslaught of COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese enterprises in Uganda have proactively answered the call of Ugandan Government and set up plants to manufacture face masks, in a bid to promote local production of anti-pandemic supplies in Uganda. 

Despite the pandemic, SIMI Technologies, a mobile phone company invested by Chinese businessmen, exported the first batch of Ugandan made mobile phones to Morocco, making a milestone in the history of Uganda. All of those demonstrate the great resilience and vitality of economic and trade cooperation between China and Uganda.

At present, the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging all over the world. We are becoming more and more aware that the whole mankind is living in a community with a shared future. Solidarity and cooperation are the only right way to success. China will continue to stand firmly with our African brothers and sisters and cooperate more closely to fight the disease. 

Last June, the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19, co-chaired by Chinese President Xi Jinping and African leaders, achieved many important consensuses and injected new energies into China-Africa friendship and anti-pandemic cooperation.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. China will work with Africa to uphold the UN-centered global governance system and support World Health Organization in making greater contribution to the global COVID-19 response. We oppose politicization and stigmatization of COVID-19, and we oppose racial discrimination and ideological bias.

We should accelerate the pairing-up of hospitals between China and Africa, including China-Uganda Friendship Hospital in Uganda and relevant hospitals in China to share experiences and academic knowledge. 

We should accelerate cooperation in the research and development of COVID-19 vaccine. Once the development and approvement of the COVID-19 vaccine are completed in China, African countries will be among the first to benefit from it, and we will strive to make it affordable and accessible to all people in Africa. 

We should accelerate resumption of business and encourage more Chinese enterprises to invest in Africa in a bid to assist Africa to realize further development.

As an African saying goes, no matter how long the night may be, the day is sure to come. I believe that as long as we are united as one and take concerted measures, our two countries will eventually overcome the pandemic.

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