Sino-Mongolian true friendship endures amid outbreak
Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga paid a special one-day visit to China on Feb 27, 2020, as the first foreign head of state to visit China since the outbreak of COVID-19, representing the profound friendship between the two countries at the current stage of the fight against epidemic. During his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, he quoted some old Mongolian words of wisdom -- "a needle in need is of greater use than a camel in prosperity" as an implication of "adversity reveals true friendship".
President Xi Jinping expressed his warm welcome as President Battulga paid this special visit only one day after Mongolia's traditional White Month holiday and appreciated the Mongolian government and people for their valuable support and assistance to China in fighting the epidemic. Moreover, he noted that President Battulga's one-day visit to express consolation and support to the Chinese people over the outbreak of the virus vividly showed that the two countries stand closely together in difficult times.
After both sides exchanged views on joint efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, President Battulga announced to President Xi Jinping a donation of 30,000 sheep to China, implying that the assistance will be measured by the significance of its size. This sincere and down-to-earth assistance has received wide attention and warm appreciation from the netizens of both counties.
Firm support reveals true friendship
President Battulga's one-day visit during this special period of time fully illustrated the Mongolian government's firm support for China's efforts to fight against the epidemic. The Mongolian government provided China at the earliest possible time $200,000, which was Mongolia's largest amount of cash assistance for a foreign country in recent years. Meanwhile, the Mongolian government's senior officials and some other party leaders sent letters to China, expressing their condolences and highly praising the effective measures taken by the Chinese government to battle against the epidemic.
During his meeting with President Xi Jinping, President Battulga addressed his appreciation of China's nationwide joint efforts to fight against the epidemic.
No wonder this meeting at this special time between the heads of the two countries will be an important step toward maintaining the regular bilateral high-level visits, strengthening mutual trust, and consolidating the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.
'A friend in need, a friend indeed'
Since the unprecedented outbreak of the virus, the Mongolian people have launched humanitarian fundraising activities to support China's fight against the epidemic, and received active responses from all walks of life, indicating the profound friendship between the two peoples. The Mongolian people have paid great attention to China's anti-epidemic situation and expressed their kindness to stand with the Chinese people and try their best to provide support and help in many ways.
According to the Chinese embassy in Mongolia, the charitable funds raised by all sectors of Mongolian society have reached nearly 5 million yuan, and donations also include medical supplies such as masks and medical protective clothing that are in short supply in China, reflecting the profound friendship between the two peoples.
There is no isolated island in front of an epidemic. During the meeting, President Xi Jinping emphasized that China will continue to work with countries including Mongolia to fight the epidemic and safeguard regional and global public health security. Since the Mongolian people have been equally concerned about the outbreak, as Mongolia shares the longest land border with China, it is very necessary that the two countries stand closely together to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
President Battulga's special visit during the ongoing nationwide fight against the epidemic presented cooperation between neighboring countries to the world, and the vision of a community with a shared future for humanity will be deeply rooted in the hearts of the two peoples.
As the old Mongolian words of wisdom say, "It is not necessarily the rich who gives you meat to eat during a disaster, but it must be the true friend."
The author is an assistant researcher at the Inner Mongolia Academy of Social Sciences. The views don't necessarily represent those of China Daily.