Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Ni Jian at the Online Reception Marking the 71st Anniversary of the Founding of he People's Republic of China
Your Excellency Minister Shamma al Mazrui,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to today's reception! Under the special circumstances of COVID-19, we are pleased to meet friends old and new via videoconference, and jointly celebrate the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
71 years ago when the People's Republic was founded, Chinese people accounting for a quarter of human population stood up in the east of the world, opening a new chapter in the Chinese history. Over the 71 years, China has grown in wealth and strength by leaps and bounds, marching in a majestic journey toward the Chinese Dream of great national rejuvenation.
The year 2020 is unarguably an extraordinary year in human history. The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 has caused the most severe pandemic in a century. Under the strong leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, the Chinese people fought against the virus without delay in an unprecedented nationwide life-saving mission. We managed to contain the rapid spread of the virus in just one month. In about two months, the daily increase in domestic cases fell to single digits. Meanwhile, a decisive victory was secured in once the hardest-hit Wuhan City and Hubei Province in just about three months. After that, we have effectively contained several sporadic outbreak, and has won a great victory in fighting the virus and created a remarkable feat in humankind's struggle against diseases.
The year 2020 is also a crucial year for China to eradicate poverty and build a moderately prosperous society in all respects. We took a holistic approach to epidemic control and social economic development. Normal work and life have been resumed in an orderly manner. China's GDP in the second quarter increased by 3.2%, making it the first major economy to return to growth since the COVID-19 pandemic. With strong resilience, vitality and potential, China's economy is expected to pick up more speed in the 3rd and 4th quarter. The Chinese Government stays committed to eradicating absolute poverty by the end of this year, and achieving the poverty reduction goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Ruthless natural disasters reveal true friendship. We will not forget when the pandemic situation was the severest in China, the United Arab Emirates Government and people stood firmly with China by providing political support and material supplies, attesting to the iron-clad China-UAE friendship. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi spoke over the phone with President Xi Jinping and posted tweets, expressing willingness to provide all-out support for China. The UAE sent medical supplies to China quickly and generously and kept the air routes open. Its landmark buildings such as the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, and ADNOC headquarters lit up Chinese Red three times to show support, delivering positive signals to the international community that China and the UAE are in the same boat.
After successfully containing the virus, China has also sincerely and unselfishly provided assistance for the UAE, and the two sides have carried out efficient cooperation on joint pandemic prevention and control as well as information sharing. Chinese medical experts have held videoconferences with their counterparts in the UAE many times making in-depth exchanges on diagnosis, treatment as well as prevention and control. China has also spared no efforts to meet the urgent demands of the UAE for pharmaceutical drugs, testing kits, protective supplies, equipment and raw materials.
A friend in need is a friend indeed. As champions of a community of shared future for humankind, China and the UAE are partners fighting side by side on the international anti-pandemic frontlines. President Xi and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed both attended the G20 Extraordinary Virtual Leaders' Summit on COVID-19. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his UAE counterpart, Sheikh Abdullah also talked twice during the High-level Video Conference on Belt and Road International Cooperation and the 9th Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum via video links. In addition, China has donated twice to the World Health Organization totaling 50 million dollars, sent 34 medical expert teams to 32 countries, provided 283 batches of material assistance to 150 countries and 4 international organizations, and exported medical supplies to over 200 countries and regions. The UAE has also provided humanitarian support of more than 1,400 tons of medical supplies to nearly 100 countries, benefiting more than 1.4 million medical professionals. What's more exciting, our two countries have launched the world's first phase III clinical trials of an inactivated COVID-19 vaccine. 31 thousand volunteers from 125 countries have participated in the trials, and the UAE has approved the vaccine for emergency use for frontline health workers, which is setting an example for international cooperation on providing global public goods in health and bringing hope to the global battle against the virus.
This year, there are also many highlights in China-UAE relations. The Belt and Road cooperation is taking solid steps. The world's largest single-site solar power project located at Sweihan has been successfully commissioned. Chinese companies have won the bids of all four packages of Etihad Rail Stage Two. Chinese School Dubai, the first Chinese curriculum school outside of China, has been founded and begun the new term. As the Chinese language courses are being taught in 118 schools across the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed's initiative is gradually becoming a reality. The two countries also held activities including the first China-UAE Economic and Trade Digital Expo and the China-UAE Culture Week via video link recently. The UAE and China successfully launched its own Mars probes, "Hope" and "Tianwen-1". The two probes will be staring at each other in deep universe and keeping each other company in the long journey to Mars.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Despite our geographical distance, China and the UAE were closely linked by the Silk Road 2000 years ago. Now with the personal care and cultivation of our leaderships, China-UAE relationship is at its best in history. The year 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE, who meanwhile will host the 2020 Dubai Expo. During the event, the Chinese Pavilion will open to public as a symbol of hope and a bright future. The prospects for China-UAE cooperation are promising and worth greater efforts.
Facing the ever-changing global landscape and the complicated and severe pandemic situations, China and the UAE need to strengthen cooperation and push ahead jointly more than ever. We need broader visions and more readiness to enhance communication and promote international collaborations against COVID-19 as well as all-dimensional strategic cooperation. I believe with our concerted efforts, China-UAE traditional friendship will be further consolidated and our comprehensive strategic partnership will be elevated to a higher level.
In conclusion, I wish my great country a happy birthday! May the friendship between China and the UAE last forever! May our two great countries prosper and peoples live in happiness! May all the guests enjoy good health and success!