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Jointly Advance the China-Sri Lanka Friendship and Build the Great Wall Against COVID-19--Remarks by Ambassador Qi Zhenhong at the Handover Ceremony of the COVID-19 vaccines donation

Your Excellency,

Honorable Ministers, State Ministers and Colleagues,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Ayubowan, Vanakkam!

Today is indeed a remarkable day. We jointly welcome the arrival of the 600,000 doses vaccines, a gift by Chinese people to Sri Lankan people, and hold the handover ceremony. This Monday, His Excellency President Xi Jinping and His Excellency President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had a wonderful phone conversation, and reached broad and important consensus, which will be the strategic and fundamental guidance for the future development of our bilateral relationship. The arrival of the vaccines once again demonstrated the deep brotherhood between our two countries and peoples, once again implemented the commitment of President Xi Jinping of making the Chinese COVID-19 vaccines a global public good, and once again declared that solidarity is the only right way for the international community to defeat the pandemic at an early date and build a global community of health for mankind. So, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to all departments and friends from the two sides participated in the transportation and handing over of the vaccines.

China and Sri Lanka are good neighbors looking out for each other, good friends treating each other with equality and trust, and good partners in mutually-beneficial cooperation. So, in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, our two countries and peoples have always been standing firmly together, and extending a helping hand to each other. At the early stage of pandemic in China, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and people from all walks of life in Sri Lanka all expressed strongest support to China. After the virus outbreak in Sri Lanka, it was China who firstly provided medical supplies and financial support. Sri Lanka was also among the first countries to which China donated vaccines. It is particularly worth mentioning that, the Sri Lanka government has decided to include Chinese nationals in its vaccination plan. To this regard, on behalf of China, I would like to extend our highest appreciation for this most friendly gesture.

Withstanding the test of the pandemic, I firmly believe the China-Sri Lanka strategic cooperative partnership based on sincere, mutual assistance and ever-lasting friendship will elevate to a new level.

Now in just two weeks, the Sinhala and Tamil New Year is approaching. I sincerely wish all Sri Lankan people happiness and health, and have a peaceful, and prosperous new year. We do believe, under the strong leadership of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka will certainly overcome the pandemic at an early date, embrace socio-economic recovery and development, and make greater achievements in a post-COVID era.

Thank you!

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