Speech by H.E. Ambassador Huang Zheng at the Handover Ceremony for 2 School Buses Donated by Zhongshan City to Madolenihmw Municipality
Madolenihmw, Pohnpei, 4 September 2020
Your Majesty Herbert Hebel, Wasalapalap Isipahu Nahnmwarki of Madolenihmw,
T.H. John Adolph, Iso Nahnken of Mdolenihmw,
T.H. Dion G. Neth, Senator of the FSM Congress
Mr. Brendy Carl, Assistant Secretary of Foreign Affairs,
Ms. Mary P. Mudong, Representative of Honorable Reed Oliver, Governor of Pohnpei State,
T.H. Shelten G. Neth, Chairman of Health & Social Services of 10th Pohnpei State Legislature and Chairman of Madolenihmw Delegation
T.H. Hudson Abraham, Ricky Carl and Nelbert Perez, Pohnpei State Senators,
T.H. John Rensle, Acting Meninkeder Lapalap (Mayor) of Madolenihmw and Mr. Petrick Ringlen, Former Mayor,
T.H. Kiomy Albert, Chief Justice of Madolenihmw and other state and local officials,
Hon. Rev. Midion G. Neth, General Secretary and MCUCC President, and other religious leaders,
Distinguished guests, ladies, gentlemen and school principals,
Kaselehlie and Good Afternoon! It is my great pleasure to be in Madolenihmw, where the world-renowned Nan Madol ruins are situated, to attend the handover ceremony for 2 school buses donated by China’s Zhongshan City to Madolenihmw Municipality. Madolenihmw is also the location of the pilot farm, which is the longest operating China-aided project, and the Pohnpei secondary road repair and reconstruction, which ranks among the largest China-aided project in the FSM. So you can easily tell that China’s cooperation and exchanges with Madolenihmw trace back to decades ago and are in depth and width. First of all, let me extend heartfelt appreciation to the warm hospitality of Madolenihmw Municipal Government and Senator Neth and their meticulous preparation for the ceremony. I would also like to thank Brendy for coming from afar to join us in the exciting event.
Actually, these 2 school buses were shipped to Pohnpei last year, so the handover ceremony should have been held much earlier. While the Chinese Embassy in the FSM was busy coordinating preparation of the ceremony in a larger scale with Madolenihmw Municipality, the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in various countries and quickly spread around the globe. In face of the quite grave situations then, the governments of the FSM and Pohnpei State both issued proclamations for state of public health emergency, which required us to observe social distancing and strictly restrict the number of persons in any gathering. Up to now, the FSM remains one of the only dozen countries in the world to be free of COVID-19 confirmed cases, so we have the opportunity today to resume with the handover. This remarkable achievement is accredited to all levels of governments in the FSM under the leadership of H.E. President Panuelo, Honorable Governor Oliver among other leaders, who holds fast to giving top priority to people’s safety and health, immediately took serious and effective measures to prevent the virus from embarking and to step up local epidemic control capacity building, and actively participated in international collaboration on joint prevention and control. What they have been doing is identical to that of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government, who have a people-oriented governance philosophy and adopted the most decisive and stringent measures to secure strategic achievements in the battle against the pandemic within a short period of time. My sincere compliments and congratulations to the FSM national, state and community leaders.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, China and the FSM have been standing in solidarity, offering mutual assistance and working together to fend off the virus. Up to now, China has donated to the FSM for this cause 170,000 USD in cash, among which 20,000 USD directly to Pohnpei State Government, and 150,000 USD in medical supplies and PPEs. China has also shared first-hand knowledge, provided technical support to and coordinated policies with the FSM for combating the virus. Some Chinese sub-national governments, enterprises and friendship organizations have also lent their helping hands to their FSM counterparts. China will continue to provide more assistance to empower the FSM in response to COVID-19 to the best of our abilities, including the donation of 30 folding container isolation units worth about 1.14 million USD, which are scheduled to be shipped to Pohnpei hopefully soon.
China’s foreign aid is conducted on the principles of equality, mutual benefit, openness and sustainability, without any political precondition attached on, thus it’s the sincerest and most selfless one. By providing foreign aid, China is taking concrete actions to implement the Xi Jinping Thoughts on Diplomacy, whose content is centered on working to build a Community with a Shared Future for Humanity. Our donation to the FSM, be it medical supplies or school buses, is for the purpose of supporting and helping the FSM in pursuit of sustainable development in all economic and social sectors, including health and education, to the end of making concerted efforts towards building an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity.
At this moment, I’d like to extend my special gratitude to Honorable Senator Neth, who created this good opportunity of cooperation. It was he who took the initiative to approach the Chinese Embassy in the FSM a few years ago to inform and explain to us Modolenihmw’s need of school buses. It was also he who coordinated among several parties to keep pushing forward in the course of the project’s fulfillment. Thanks to his consistent efforts, these 2 brand new school buses finally arrived Madolenihmw and make home here. The 2 school buses are funded by Zhongshan Municipal Government of China’s Guangdong Province, in the total amount of 144,000 USD and were manufactured by China’s world-famous Zhengzhou Yutong Bus Co.,Ltd.. According to Yutong company, they were particularly customized for Madolenihmw, for their outer framework, inner apparatus and AC system have been technically upgraded and configured with high standard to prevent the buses from damages caused by high temperature, excessive damp and erosion, adapting to Pohnpei’s climate and geological conditions. For the past few years, Zhongshan City has enjoyed dynamic friendly exchanges and cooperation with a number of municipalities in the FSM, including Madolenihmw, which consist of an important part of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between China and the FSM. For instance, last year, Zhongshan sent a medical expert team to diagnose and treat the patients in Yap and Chuuk, as well as a large culture and art group to stage 4 culture performances in Pohnpei and Yap.
I expect and believe Madolenihmw Municipality will make good use and be conscientious in the management and protection of the 2 school buses so that they can provide high-quality service for many years to Madolenihmw’s residents, especially the elementary and high school students and teachers, allowing the project to serve the public interest indeed. I hope the 2 school buses serve as a window for the people of Madolenihmw to learn more about China and get encouraged to visit China for the purposes of training, doing business and tour. I also welcome more high school graduates of Madolenihmw to apply for the Chinese Government Scholarship to pursue higher education in China. Upon completion of study, they will be quite an asset to the nation-building and hometown-building. At the same time, they can serve as ambassadors of China-FSM friendship, making contributions to implementing the important consensus reached by Chinese President Xi Jinping and FSM President David Panuelo during their summit in Beijing last December, which is to join hands in building a Community with a Shared Future for Humanity, to further develop the China-FSM Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in depth and width and to consolidate our Great Friendship on the fundamental bedrock of the One-China Principle.
Kalahngan! Thank you!