Maltese People Commended at China's 62nd National Day Celebration in Malta
（From Chinese Embassy in Malta）
" 'A friend in need is a friend in deed.' I wish to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Chinese government and people, to extend once again our most sincere thanks and appreciation to the Maltese people, as well as each and every government agency for your warm helping-hand and generous big heart at such a crucial moment." said H.E. Zhang Keyuan, ambassador of China, when he recalled how Maltese government and people helped evacuate 5,000 Chinese nationals via Malta in early 2011, in his annual speech at China's National Day reception on 22nd September.
In February, chaos started in Libya and more than 36,000 Chinese nationals stuck in the country. At the request of the Chinese government, Maltese government kindly waived all formalities for Chinese citizens who made transit stop in Malta, gave treatment for those injured in Libya and delivered foods and water for hundreds of Chinese workers at the airport. As a result, 5000 Chinese were evacuated smoothly via Malta and went home safe and sound. The Chinese ambassador hailed the event as another example of how countries with different sizes or political systems can get along well.
In his reciprocal speech, H.E. Dr. George Abela, President of Malta, congratulated Chinese people for their remarkable achievement in the last 62 years.
"For a country with an ancient civilization that boasts 5000 years of continuous history, sixty-two years may not seem a very long time but the enormous progress which China has made during these sixty-two years and its rapid development into a major world economy, particularly during the last two decades, is truly a very remarkable achievement," commended President Abela.
Noting Malta and China will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations next year, Dr. Abela also observed with satisfaction that relations between the two countries have always been excellent and China has shown that she is a genuine friend of Malta in spite of huge difference in size, geographical distance and different traditions.
Hosting the Reception with Mme Zhang Shufeng, Ambassador Zhang Keyuan also reviewed the great achievements China has obtained during the 90-years' leadership of the Communist Party of China, elaborated the important role China has been playing in world economic and global affairs, and introduced a greener and more sustainable economy with the launching of the 12th Five-year Plan.
Enchanted with lively traditional show by the visiting Inner Mongolian Artists, the grand Reception was also attended by distinguished guests as Acting Prime Minister Mme. Giovanna Debono, Ministers, representatives of Missions and over 400 guests from all walks of life including representing Chinese nationals in Malta.