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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Hu Zhangliang at the Chinese Government Donated Medical Materials Hand-Over Ceremony

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Hu Zhangliang at the Chinese Government Donated Medical Materials Hand-Over Ceremony

April 21, 2020 – Good afternoon!

I’m glad to attend the hand-over ceremony of the medical materials donated by the Chinese Government to Sierra Leone. This is the third time the Chinese Embassy joins the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of the Republic of Sierra Leone in holding such a ceremony within one month and two days. And this is the third batch of donation from the Chinese side to help Sierra Leone combating COVID-19. The Chinese Government donated items include 10,000 medical masks, 2,000 N95 masks, 2,000 PPEs, 500 forehead thermometers, 2,000 medical goggles, 10,000 pairs of medical gloves, 10,000 pairs of medical shoe covers, and 5 ventilators.

Again, I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to the WFP Country Office in Sierra Leone for helping transport these items from Ghana to Sierra Leone. And I should also thank WHO and UNFPA for your kind support.

Now, the fight against COVID-19 in Sierra Leone has been intensified after the increase of confirmed cases. The Chinese side highly appreciates the resilience and solidarity shown by the Sierra Leone Government and people during this difficult time. A fire brigade needs fire engines, and a fireman needs fire extinguishers. The Chinese Government donated items are like fire engines and fire extinguishers for Sierra Leonean pandemic fighters. I believe it will greatly strengthen the Sierra Leonean side’s capacity in defeating the pandemic. It is a genuine reflection of the sincere friendship between China and Sierra Leone as well as China and Africa.

I am happy to share with you that another batch of donation by Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation will arrive in Sierra Leone very soon, while they are actively preparing for the third round of donation to Africa Union and African CDC, part of which Sierra Leone can apply for.

I am glad to see that the majority of the people in Sierra Leone have expressed deep appreciation and profound gratitude to China’s assistance, although on social media there are voices speculating the motive of China’s assistance, downplaying China’s efforts and contribution to the containment of the pandemic, relaying the irresponsible rhetorics of certain western politicians and media to defame China, stirring up grievances of certain individuals or exaggerating and hyping up isolated cases caused by misunderstanding.

Here, I would like to emphasize that:

1. China’s success is a result of arduous work of the Chinese Government and people. China’s huge sacrifice has bought time for the world to get prepared. Those who wasted the time and failed to take robust prevention and control measures at the initial stage should not blame or scapegoat others for their own failings.

2. COVID-19 is the common enemy of humankind. The world is facing a tremendously difficult time at the moment. Global solidarity and leadership are needed. WHO and its Director General Dr. Tedros has been playing their crucial, professional and fair role in leading or coordinating the fight against the pandemic. Their work should be firmly supported rather than undermined.

3. China’s support and assistance to Sierra Leone and other countries in combating the pandemic is but another solid step in building a community with a shared future for mankind. It is by no means seeking to expand the so-called political influence, nor grabbing so-called economic interests as falsely claimed by certain people.

4. History has proven that China and Africa are genuine friends through thick and thin. China has always treated the African countries as her brothers and sisters. As many African statesmen have acknowledged, China doesn’t have any discriminatory policy or practice against Africa and the African people. Some occurrences in a local place caused by misunderstanding should not be blown out of proportion. Nor should it be allowed to detract China-Africa friendship, particularly when enhanced cooperation is needed between our two sides at such a special time.

Honorable Ministers, Ladies and gentlemen,

China always attaches great importance to the time-honored friendship with Sierra Leone. China’s sincerity and availability had been demonstrated again and again when Sierra Leone was fighting against Ebola, mudslides and many other difficulties. Let’s join hands in opposing the politicization of the COVID-19 and focusing on resolutely and scientifically getting rid of the virus.

I wish all the best for all of you and this beautiful country. I wish all the best for the global fight against the pandemic.

Thank you.

H.E. Ambassador Hu Zhangliang at the Chinese Government

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