Turning crisis into opportunity
China-Mozambique friendship is growing stronger as they jointly fight against the pandemic
The sudden outbreak of the novel coronavirus at the beginning of 2020 has engaged the whole world in a war against the virus. The Chinese and Mozambican people have offered each other support in this tough battle.
The two peoples are good friends, good partners and good brothers. During the height of China's battle against the virus, Mozambican President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi sent a letter to President Xi Jinping for the first time, speaking highly of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government's decisive anti-pandemic measures and appreciating the Chinese people's unity and tenacity. He stressed that his country will always stand by China and that China would tackle the challenges before it in a scientific way.
Mozambique's ministers of foreign affairs and health also expressed their support for China's fight against the virus. Nongovernmental organizations and people from all walks of life in Mozambique prayed for the Chinese people. The Mozambique-China Friendship Association and the Mozambican Association of Graduates and Students of China wrote to the Chinese embassy expressing their support. Teachers and students of the Confucius Institute at Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique's capital Maputo shot and shared videos to encourage China while Mozambican students staying in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province in China, joined local residents in the fight against the virus.
These gestures generated warmth in the hearts of the Chinese people during the most difficult period of their fight against the virus.
When the pandemic surfaced in Mozambique, China in turn offered Mozambique a helping hand, assisting it with supplies even though China itself had just emerged from the haze of the pandemic. The Chinese government sent batches of anti-virus materials to Mozambique. Shanghai and the provinces of Sichuan and Jiangsu donated pandemic-prevention supplies to their sister cities and provinces in Mozambique. Non-governmental public welfare funds, Chinese enterprises in Mozambique and overseas Chinese business people also lent a helping hand, donating money and materials to help the country control the pandemic.
China has held more than 10 videoconferences, inviting around 100 health experts from Mozambique to share its anti-pandemic information and exchange prevention and control experience. To aid Mozambique's long-term fight against the pandemic, China tried every means possible to supply goods, provide convenience for urgent affairs, help purchase pandemic-prevention materials in China, and support Chinese enterprises overcome difficulties in launching mask production lines in Mozambique. China has always fought alongside Mozambique against the pandemic. The joint fight epitomizes the half-century-long China-Mozambique brotherhood. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations 45 years ago, the two sides have progressed hand-in-hand on the development path and forged a profound friendship like "comrades plus brothers".
In recent years, President Xi and his Mozambican counterpart President Nyusi have met three times to develop the blueprint for China-Mozambique relations. Under the strong guidance of the two heads of state, China and Mozambique have established a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. Recent years have seen the frequency of visits between leaders of the two countries increase. Friendly exchanges and cooperation in various fields are deepening, and bilateral relations have entered the fast lane of development.
China has become one of the largest sources of investment in Mozambique, a major trading partner and an important financing party and builder of infrastructure with the joint efforts of the two sides. A number of cooperative projects in infrastructure, agriculture, communication, manufacturing and other fields have been completed and put into operation, helping Mozambique to turn its advantages in location and resources into development achievements, bringing tangible benefits to the Mozambican people.
China is gradually forming a new economic development pattern of dual circulation that relies on domestic circulation to drive its international circulation and promotes deeper and wider opening-up, while Mozambique is at the starting point of its new five-year plan, focusing on consolidating the foundation, developing production and improving people's livelihood, to promote coordinated economic and social development. Facing the common theme of development in the post-pandemic era, the two countries are communicating closely and planning new measures for bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields. The two countries will maintain a good momentum of high-level exchanges, consolidate bilateral political mutual trust, and firmly support each other on issues involving each other's core interests and major concerns.
They will dock their development strategies, seize the opportunity of strong complementarity in economy between the two countries, and give full play to China's market, capital and technological advantages and Mozambique's location and resource endowment, and upgrade their bilateral pragmatic cooperation within the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the Belt and Road Initiative. Relying on people-to-people exchange platforms, the two countries will further strengthen exchanges in culture, education, media and other fields, enhance mutual understanding among their peoples and draw their hearts closer.
At the same time, China and Mozambique will further boost communication and cooperation on multilateral issues, always hold high the banner of multilateralism, maintain the global governance system with the United Nations at the core, and safeguard international equity and justice.
During his state visit to China in 2016, President Nyusi once said that there are three things in the world that can never be retrieved, that is, the arrow shot out, the words spoken and the opportunity lost. The pandemic situation further underlines the need for building a community with a shared future for humankind. The China-Mozambique friendship has withstood the test without changing its original intention, thus laying a solid foundation for opening up a new and more brilliant chapter in bilateral relations. Looking forward to the future, the two countries will make joint efforts to turn the "crisis" of the pandemic into an "opportunity" for cooperation, and work together to build a community of shared future for humankind, so as to better benefit the two peoples.
The author is the Chinese ambassador to Mozambique. 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.