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China donates medical supplies and $100,000 to FSM

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PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services) — On April 14, 2020, Livingston A. Taulung, secretary of the Federated States of Micronesia’s Department of Health & Social Affairs and chair of the Covid-19 Task Force, received Huang Zheng, ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in a handover ceremony wherein the ambassador presented, on behalf of the people and government of China, medical supplies and a cash donation of $100,000 to assist the FSM in combatting the Covid-19 pandemic. Ambassador Huang noted that he is working hard to acquire a second shipment of medical supplies, to include ventilators, for the FSM.

Livingston A. Taulung, FSM secretary of the Department of Health & Social Affairs, poses with Huang Zheng, ambassador of China to the FSM, as they hold a check for $100,000.

FSM Information Services photo

The handover ceremony began with a statement from Ambassador Huang, followed by a statement from Secretary Taulung.

“Today is a reflection of the joint pursuit of the great idea of building a community with a shared future — because we are all connected,” Ambassador Huang said. “It is our strong belief that the most basic human right is the right to existence. Both the Chinese government and the Chinese people stand in solidarity with the FSM government and people in this global fight against this global challenge.”

“We have a saying that when you drink water, never forget the well-digger,” Ambassador Huang continued. “We always remember those brothers and sisters who have helped China when China is in need of friends. When this disease, Covid-19, first broke out in China, we received precious support from the FSM government and people, including the letters of support from FSM President David W. Panuelo and Wesley W. Simina, speaker of the 21st FSM Congress…. China will always be a true friend indeed of the FSM; you can count on us for support.”

Secretary Taulung, in his remarks, said “Mr. Ambassador, on behalf of President Panuelo and the FSM national government, we want to express our utmost appreciation, not only for the supplies and the monetary contribution to our efforts in preventing and mitigating the Covid-19 threat, but for the continued great friendship between the FSM and China, where the respect of human rights and the respect for each other is paramount.”

“Thank you very much for the offer [of introducing Chinese medical experts over videoconferences with the FSM’s health officials and staff]; I’ll put that as one of my priorities,” Secretary Taulung continued. “We need to learn from your expertise, and I think we’ll consider that a way forward.”

Following the handover ceremony, President Panuelo made the following statement to the people and government of China.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank His Excellency Xi Jinping, President of China, His Excellency Li Keqiang, Premier of China, His Excellency Huang Zheng, Ambassador of China, my good friend the Honorable Yang Chuantang, Special Envoy to the FSM and Vice Chair of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and all the wonderful people of China, for their Great Friendship with the people and Government of the FSM,” President Panuelo said. “In our more than 30 years of diplomatic relations, China has consistently demonstrated its sincere interest to collaborate with the FSM, and with the global community, to improve the standard of living. Whether it’s physical infrastructure such as the Chuuk State Government Complex or the forthcoming FSM National Convention Center, tackling food security such as through the Pohnpei Pilot Farm, or humanitarian aid such as these medical supplies and kind donation of financial support, the fact that China helps our Nation and our citizens so diligently and so earnestly is truly humbling and inspiring.”

“The coronavirus, like climate change,” the FSM President continued, “is a threat that can only be successfully countered and eliminated if we all sincerely work together, with the interests of the people at the forefront of all decision-making. I applaud China for taking both Covid-19 and climate change seriously, and thank China for its assistance to our Nation. Thank you, China, for your great friendship and for your ongoing support to the people and government of the FSM.”

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