|Wang Yi: COVID-19 Affected Face-to-Face Contacts, But Couldn't Stop Love from Being Passed on|
|-From the Remarks by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Opening Ceremony of the 12th "Love Knows No Borders" International Charity Sale|
On 12 December, the opening ceremony of the 12th "Love Knows No Borders" International Charity Sale was held in Beijing. Over 130 representatives of foreign diplomatic missions and offices of international organizations in China attended the ceremony in person or via the internet. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered remarks at the ceremony.
Wang Yi thanked the diplomatic envoys for taking time out of their weekend for the "Love Knows No Borders" International Charity Sale. He noted that COVID-19 may have affected face-to-face exchanges, but it will not stop efforts to pass on love. The number of embassies and companies taking part in this year's charity sale exceeded that of last year. He expressed his sincere thanks to all the Chinese and foreign friends participating in this year's event.
Wang said he hoped to take this opportunity to thank the entire foreign diplomatic corps in Beijing on behalf of the Chinese foreign ministry. He said that since the beginning of this year, the diplomatic corps have stayed behind in Beijing despite the various difficulties caused by COVID-19 and fought this challenge together with the Chinese people, while making sure that the countries they represent stayed in regular contact with China. Wang commended the diplomatic corps for their hard work in a year of extraordinary circumstances. "COVID-19 will be over. Our friendship will be even stronger." said Wang.
Wang said that the International Charity Sale has gone from strength to strength since its launch. He hailed it as an important platform in joining the efforts of China and the rest of the world to pass on love and care, a window for the Chinese public, especially people in Beijing, to learn more about the culture and history of other countries, and a bridge and bond for mutual understanding and friendship between the people of China and the world. He attributed such achievement to the support from people of all sectors.
Wang said that the work being done under the charity sale program may not seem so grand, but it has made a real difference. As shown in the video clips, because of the love and care channeled through this program, a lot of children with congenital heart diseases have regained health; children with hearing disabilities are able to hear the sound of the world for the very first time; cataract patients have restored their eyesight; clean water cellars have been built for villagers; in the mountainous villages, teachers now have better conditions to work in, and the children there are delighted to sit and play in new classrooms and sports fields. Our efforts have changed the future of these children and brought laughter back to their families. Wang once again thanked all the Chinese and foreign friends, especially the diplomatic envoys in China on behalf of the foreign ministry for their long-standing interest in and support for the "Love Knows No Borders" charity sale.
Wang noted that the "Love Knows No Borders" charity sale is part of China's national endeavor of ending poverty. Most recently, with the remaining impoverished counties in China having graduated from the poverty list, all 832 registered poverty-stricken counties have shaken off absolute poverty. Poverty reduction is a major undertaking pursued by the Chinese people under the CPC leadership. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, China has been able to lift over 10 million people out of poverty every year. Over the past eight years, a total of close to 100 million people have been lifted out of poverty. This has put an end to absolute poverty in China, an issue which had beset the nation for millennia. It has created a miracle in the humanity's development history.
Wang underscored that China will complete its historic mission of eradicating extreme poverty as scheduled and advance the new endeavor of rural vitalization. The modernization of agriculture and rural areas in China remains a long and uphill task. What has been achieved is not the end of the journey, but a new beginning. The foreign ministry will continue to hold this charity sale event and make sure that the event will keep progressing with the times. He expressed his hope and belief that the event will continue to receive the support and contribution from all foreign diplomatic missions in China and people from all walks of life. He concluded his remarks by wishing the upcoming online international charity sale a great success.