To enhance international cooperation on the prevention and control of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and to support some European countries which were severely affected by COVID-19 to fight against the pandemic, the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) and the China Women's Development Foundation (CWDF), in collaboration with Tencent, donated 200,000 disposable masks respectively to the Embassy of France and the Embassy of Iceland in China. Laurent Bili, the Ambassador of France to China, and Gunnar Snorri Gunnarsson, the Ambassador of Iceland to China, hosted donation ceremonies in their respective embassies in Beijing on April 9, 2020.
Ambassador Bili said since the COVID-19 outbreak at the beginning of this year, France and China have maintained close communications. Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron have had several telephone conversations. The foreign ministers of both countries participated in a teleconference on the evening of April 9 to advance cooperation and make efforts to fight the disease, Bili added.
During the donation ceremony, Bili mentioned the unusual time France had endured during the 1918 flu pandemic, and he said the COVID-19 pandemic this year had brought an unprecedented challenge to France, causing an economic impact comparable to that of World War II.
Bili praised the Chinese Government for the efficient measures taken in Wuhan after the COVID-19 outbreak, which had effectively contained the spread of the disease. He expressed gratitude for the donation and support provided by Chinese partners.
In his message to Shen Yueyue, Vice-Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and President of the ACWF, Bili wrote, "In our joint fight against COVID-19, the generous and supportive deed of your federation reflects the united strength and mutual help of people in France and China, deserving high praise from our hearts. And your kindheartedness will surely give our people in France great support."
Ambassador Gunnarsson welcomed the Chinese guests, who visited the embassy during the special moment of fighting against COVID-19. He highly praised the achievements China had made during its fight against the disease, and he congratulated Wuhan on the end of its quarantine on April 8. Gunnnarsson also expressed gratitude for the donation, and he said he hoped to continue enhancing cooperation with China to jointly win the fight against COVID-19.
Attendees to the donation ceremonies included Lu Yamin, Counsel at Level 1 of ACWF's Liaison Department; Dong Kui, CWDF's Deputy Secretary-General; and Zhang Hairuo, Public Affairs Director of Tencent Foundation.
Lu explained that the Chinese people, under the firm leadership of President Xi, have united their strength and been determined to fight and win the battle against the epidemic by mobilizing all resources and blocking the spread of the virus. She also noted the role played by Chinese women and women's federations in this fight as holding up "half of the sky."
(Women of China)
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