Win-win partner and sincere friend
The Republic of Rwanda and the People's Republic of China enjoy cordial and productive cooperation. And their friendly relations have strengthened since they established diplomatic relations in November 1971.
Under the strong leadership and guidance of the two heads of state, President Paul Kagame and President Xi Jinping, and based on shared values and strategic and mutual interests, Rwanda and China have been cooperating closely both at the bilateral and multilateral levels.
China has made great achievements under the leadership of President Xi, and its economic development experiences have been of great significance to the development of Rwanda in particular and Africa in general. Thanks to its political stability and strong economic foundation, China has developed a people centered political system tailored to its own condition and values.
By the same token, Rwanda's political system is built on the will and the needs of its people and has been translated into a common vision of the country. Through this shared value of home-grown solutions, the strong and friendly cooperation between China and Rwanda has further deepened.
Political exchanges between the two countries have taken the lead, with top leaders on the two sides making reciprocal visits. Rwanda appreciates the economic and technical assistance China has provided under the framework of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, a key pillar of bilateral and multilateral relations through which a considerable number of projects have been implemented in various sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure, trade and financial facilitation, healthcare, education, culture, and people-to-people exchanges.
That China is set to realize its goal of eradicating absolute poverty by the end of this year with the remarkable economic achievements it has made indicates a prosperous future for China. Rwanda commends China for this great achievement.
On the part of Rwanda, we are highly motivated by the achievements made under the leadership of President Kagame. These achievements have given Rwanda much hope, and the belief to aspire to even greater achievements. We are not only determined but are also convinced that our country is heading toward a great future. We attach great importance to achieving economic stability, sustaining unity as a people, and securing social stability for all Rwandans.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has reminded us how important it is for countries to work closely with each other. The virus has spread rapidly across countries posing a serious threat to the socioeconomic sectors of all countries. Consequently, it has also affected their development projects at various levels. It has caught all countries off guard.
The cooperation between Rwanda and China in fighting the novel coronavirus demonstrates our strengthened bilateral cooperation. When China was at the height of its battle with the virus, Rwanda expressed solidarity with China and the Chinese people. When Rwanda recorded the first case, in the following days China was among the first respondents in supporting Rwanda in the fight against the virus.
Indeed, Rwanda has benefited from the outcomes of the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against COVID-19, which was organized through joint efforts and addressed by President Kagame.
We take this opportunity to congratulate the Chinese government for making remarkable achievements in the fight against the virus, especially because of the excellent coordination and organization from the grassroots to the top leadership level, something that other countries should emulate.
At this stage of the pandemic, we also appreciate the support given to other countries by China in the fight against COVID-19, particularly providing medical and other supplies for other affected countries. The assistance has consolidated China's friendship with those countries while prompting the latter to continue to borrow from China some of the best practices in dealing with emergencies－which represent China's major contribution to the global fight against COVID-19, and boosting the confidence of other countries that they can win this battle.
We pay our loftiest tribute to all the people, health workers in particular, who devote themselves to saving lives and protecting people's health. We extend our heartfelt sympathies and solicitude to those who are suffering from pain and whose lives are under threat of COVID-19 as well as the bereaved families of the deceased. We also mourn the unfortunate loss of lives in the outbreak.
Rwanda has been able to take measures to strengthen the country's ability to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission by testing, isolating, ensuring social distancing and wearing of face masks in public places, and advising people to frequently wash their hands. This has led to successfully curb the spread of the virus.
As Rwanda is in an important stage of the fight against the pandemic, the supply of personal protection equipment and other products purchased and donated from China is much appreciated. Together, we shall triumph over COVID-19.
In 2021, both Rwanda and China will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Milestones in different areas of cooperation shall mark the celebration. China has proven to be a win-win partner and a sincere friend of Rwanda. And we will continue to build on this strong foundation.
The author is Rwanda's ambassador to China. The author contributed this article to China Watch, a think tank powered by China Daily. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.