Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Zhang Yue
at the Ceremony of Handover of China ETU cum
Groundbreaking of the Renovation of SKD Stadium
12 May 2015
H. E. Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia,
Members of Diplomatic Corps and International Organizations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, on behalf of the Government of the People’s Republic of China, I wish to extend again the warmest congratulations to Madam President, the Liberian Government and people on the victory over Ebola virus disease. It is the joy and success of Liberia, as well as the success of international cooperation.
Today, it happens to be the International Nurses Day. At this special moment, let’s hail all the Liberian and international public health workers and all those who have participated in this anti-Ebola campaign. Their devotion, contribution and achievements will be always remembered by the world. My salute goes firstly to the men and women of the medical team of the People’s Liberation Army of China. You guys have got the mission accomplished with honor. During the past 6 months, they rendered medical care to hundreds of patients and saved 6 lives out of 10 confirmed Ebola patients. The Chinese medical teams and experts trained altogether nearly 6,000 local people including professional health workers. They reached out to the universities, schools and communities, to help sanitize the campus and streets with the spraying trucks parking beside us. My special thanks go to the Government of Liberia and the Liberian co-workers in China ETU. Their cooperation and support to us made the job done very smoothly. They are the actual heroes who helped themselves and the final winner of the fight. And my appreciation goes to the international partners for their timely support and help to us. We cannot forget that UNMIL transport contingent helped us in personnel and materials transportation and its engineering contingent helped build China ETU. The US Air Force team gave us a hand in offloading the cargos at the airport. General Oketta, I still remember that you sent an African Union medical team staff to help our ETU people when receiving the first suspected patient. It is our African brother who was with our people to get through that first-ever breath-taking and even hand-shivering moments. Our PLA medical team has also had very good interactions and exchanges with colleagues from Cuba, Pakistan, Germany as well as UNMEER, WHO, WFP, UNICEF, MSF and many others in information sharing and technical support. The spirit of international cooperation has been well displayed in this process.
The construction of China ETU was once described as a miracle. That is a good showcase of China speed and quality. Today we are here to hand over China ETU as a whole to the Government of Liberia. This ETU is of 20 rooms with 100 beds and well equipped with more than 1,500 kinds of medical instruments and materials. The whole package consists of more than 920,000 units with the total value of around 7 million U.S dollars, which is a good asset for the recovery of the country’s public health system.
We made our due contribution in the fight against Ebola in West Africa just because our African friends, brothers, partners are badly in need. From its very beginning, the China-Africa friendship has long been expressed by deeds instead of just by words. This relationship is clearly highlighted by President Xi Jinping as "sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith".
Today, we are here not only to call it an end to Ebola, but to start a journey to future. Rebuilding the country in the post-Ebola era is a top priority on the agenda of Government of Liberia. As a reliable partner and friend, China will continue to stand closely with Liberia in this process as usual.
In the field of public health, China will assign more medical experts to Tapita hospital, provide more technical training, experience exchange and collaborative research so as to help Liberia restore and improve its public health and disease prevention system and prevent similar massive epidemic outbreaks in the future.
Our experience in the past three decades taught us that development is fundamental to all for a nation. Nothing can be firmly established without strong backup of economic growth, let alone a sound public health system. As friend and development partner, our people stayed firm here in Liberia during those very difficult days and will join in the cooperation in areas like agriculture, education, infrastructure construction, manufacturing industry and so on in the post-Ebola era. I believe that with the continued concerted efforts, all economic and social life will soon return to normal. With the launch of the renovation of the SKD stadium, other China-aid projects such as Ministerial Complex, Annexes to the Capital Building and the Monrovia Vocational Training Center will get a boost. We will also promote more exchange of culture and people and upgrade the friendship and cooperative relations between our two countries to a new level.
The SKD stadium, which was built by China in 1980s, is a symbol of China-Liberia friendship. Today, it witnesses the enhanced China-Liberia partnership in the fight against Ebola and post-Ebola economic and social recovery. Madam President, Ebola has gone and football must come back to life. That is the soul and spirit of the Nation. We will work hard side by side with Liberian people for the day of new kickoff.