President Xi Jinping and President of the Republic of Congo Denis Sassou-Nguesso Attend Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony of the China-Republic of Congo Friendship Hospital in Brazzaville
On March 30, 2013, President Xi Jinping attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the China-Republic of Congo Friendship Hospital as well as the opening ceremony of the Marien Ngouabi University library and its Chinese section in Brazzaville, Capital of the Republic of Congo.
Around 10:00 A.M., President Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan, accompanied by Congolese President Sassou-Nguesso and his wife, arrived at the China-Republic of Congo Friendship Hospital, which was constructed with Chinese support.
In a festive and jubilant mood, throngs of local people as well as officials gathered in front of the hospital to witness the inauguration of this project, an embodiment of friendship between China and the Republic of Congo. The national flags of the two countries hung over the façade of the new hospital. Participants in the ceremony included Congolese Senate President André Obami Itou, President of the National Assembly Justin Koumba, all Congolese government ministers, governor of Brazzaville Province, senior officers of the military, representatives from various sectors, as well as over 30 foreign diplomats. After reviewing the guard of honor, Xi and Sassou-Nguesso seated themselves at the rostrum.
Mayor of Brazzaville Hugues Ngouelondélé, Congo’s Minister of Health and Population François Ibovi and China’s Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng each delivered a speech, lauding the completion of China-Republic of Congo Friendship Hospital as a new symbol of friendship between the two countries.
Against joyful background music, the two presidents cut the ribbon marking the completion of the hospital, and in accordance with local customs, placed the piece of ribbon they cut off around each other’s neck.
Together Xi and Sassou-Nguesso walked into the lobby of the hospital, where they were met by a 21-member Chinese medical team from Tianjin who were working in the hospital as volunteers. Shaking hands with each of them, Xi inquired about their living and working conditions in the hospital.
In an important speech delivered at the hospital, Xi extended his thanks to the medical volunteers for having come all the way from China to the Republic of Congo to provide outstanding services for local residents. Xi said the medical team, with their expertise and devotion, have been recognized and praised by the government and people of the Republic of Congo, and they have earned high honors for their motherland.
Xi said that China's medical aid for Africa, with a history of 50 years, is a demanding but honorable undertaking. Many places in Africa have harsh natural conditions, and local people are plagued by endemics and have inadequate access to medical services. He noted that Chinese medical teams, braving the difficulties to make up for local medical inadequacies, have made important contributions to China-Africa friendship. By all means, they deserve the title of “Angels in White and Friendly Messengers.” Xi said that people back home have never forgotten what they have done in foreign lands. In recent years, relevant departments have made efforts to improve the working and living conditions for Chinese medical volunteers in Africa.
Xi stressed that over the past 50 years, Chinese medical teams have not only done a good job in providing outstanding services for African people, but also brought back for the motherland and the Chinese people great honors. More importantly, they have developed the ethos of Chinese medical workers—that is, selfless sacrifice, care for the sick and borderless love. This ethos is not only a powerful spiritual force inspiring generations of medical workers to faithfully carry out their missions, it is also an embodiment of the Chinese national ethos. Xi encouraged the medical volunteers to strengthen their sense of responsibility and mission, continue to uphold the spirit of internationalism and humanitarianism, assist Africa in improving its medical services, and help further consolidate China's friendly ties with the Republic of the Congo and Africa as a whole. He also wished them good health and a happy life in Africa.
For their part, the medical workers pledged that they will live up to the motherland’s expectations, work hard and overcome difficulties, so as to bring more honors for the country and make greater contributions to China-Africa friendship.
In his speech, President Sassou-Nguesso extolled the selflessness and excellence of the Chinese medical volunteers and thanked China for the benefits they have brought to the Congolese people.
Xi Jinping and Sassou-Nguesso attend the opening ceremony of the Marien Ngouabi University library and its Chinese section in Brazzaville
The photo shows Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan, accompanied by Sassou-Nguesso and his wife, talk with Congolese teachers and students in the Chinese section of the Marien Ngouabi University library
After leaving the hospital, Xi and Sassou-Nguesso came to the Marien Ngouabi University to attend the opening ceremony of the China-aided university library and its Chinese section.
The new library, the sole modern building at the only Congolese public university, features a Chinese section where the faculty and students can get to know China via books, disks and TV programs, which is part of the event “Experience China” sponsored by the Chinese government in the Republic of Congo recently.
Xi and Sassou-Nguesso jointly cut the ribbon for the completion of the library. Then, they walked into the library lobby, where the opening ceremony of the library and its Chinese section was held. Congo’s Minister of Higher Education George Moyen, on behalf of the teachers and students, made a speech, thanking China for the help it has offered Congo in improving local teaching conditions.
In their tour in the library, Xi and Sassou-Nguesso first went to the spacious reading room on the first floor, with its modern equipments and a great variety of books. The students in the reading room greeted Xi with warm applause. In return, Xi waved hands to the students.
Xi then went to the Chinese section on the second floor, which, with its books and discs on China and TV programs on Chinese culture, serves as a window for Congolese teachers and students to know, to experience and to fall in love with China.
Xi had talks with Congolese teachers and students, who told him in Chinese that they love Chinese culture and, as they are learning the Chinese language, they hope to further their studies in China and work for China-Congolese cooperation in the future. Xi encouraged them to master the Chinese language and carry on the friendship between China and the Republic of the Congo.
Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu and Yang Jiechi participated in the above activities.
On the afternoon of March 29, Xi’s wife Peng Liyuan, who is a World Health Organization goodwill ambassador for tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, traveled to an orphanage in Brazzaville with the Congolese First Lady Antoinette Sassou-Nguesso and visited the children there, especially those infected with HIV.
When Peng arrived at the orphanage, the kids there presented her flowers and sang local children’s songs. Peng talked with two founding Sisters of the orphanage, thanking them, on behalf of the World Health Organization, for the contributions they have made to AIDS prevention and treatment as well as their care and love for the AIDS orphans. She hoped that others’ care and love could help the kids overcome their disease and live a healthy life. Peng donated computers, toys and schoolbags to the orphanage.
The orphanage, founded in 1989, currently houses over 50 kids, including AIDS orphans and disabled children, with the youngest only one year old and the oldest sixteen.
After the trip to the orphanage, Peng, accompanied by Antoinette, visited an exhibition of Congolese women handicrafts.