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“So long, South Sudan!”——Farewell letter from Chinese Ambassador H.E. HUA Ning

“So long, South Sudan!”——Farewell letter from Chinese Ambassador H.E. HUA Ning

Time keeps rolling on just like the flow of water. I am about to end my three-year tenure as Chinese ambassador to South Sudan and return to China. Over the past three years and more, I have participated in and witnessed the arduous journey of South Sudan towards peace and the historical process of deepening friendship between our two countries. Here, I avail myself of this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks for the active support to my work by South Sudanese friends from all sectors.

The past three years has witnessed the consolidated political mutual trust between China and South Sudan.

Chinese President H.E. XI Jinping and South Sudanese President H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit have maintained close exchanges in various ways, providing political guidance for the development of our bilateral relations. President Salva Kiir Mayardit was invited to attend and address the CPC and World Political Parties Summit, and the 6th China-Africa People’s Forum. H.E. LIU Xincheng, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), and Amb. XUE Bing, Special Envoy for Horn of Africa Affairs of China, have paid working visits to South Sudan successfully. China and South Sudan are committed to safeguarding the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and jointly promoting the common interests of the two countries and the vast developing countries. In the past three years and more, I have maintained close contact and forged profound friendship with friends from all sectors in South Sudan, and deepened my understanding of the history and culture of the country. 

When China was having a difficult time fighting COVID-19 pandemic, the government and people of South Sudan provided strong support to China. After the outbreak of COVID-19 in South Sudan, China immediately lent a helping hand by providing more than a dozen batches of anti-pandemic assistance to South Sudan. Just as the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19 concluded, the first anti-pandemic medical expert team was sent to South Sudan to help the latter fight the virus. All of these have manifested the China-South Sudan friendship featuring overcoming the difficulties in solidarity.

The past three years has witnessed the steadily deepened pragmatic cooperation between China and South Sudan. 

With the joint efforts of both countries, China and South Sudan have jointly advanced the construction of the “Belt and Road”. China has assisted South Sudan in building the Juba Teaching Hospital, SSBC Broadcasting Facilities, Jur River Bridge, Juba International Airport, Air Traffic Management System, and Technical Cooperation Project of Education among other important projects through free grants and concessional loans, injected new impetus into the long-term economic and social development of South Sudan. China has actively responded to the urgent needs of South Sudan and provided emergency humanitarian assistance. The South Sudanese side actively supports the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and Global Security Initiative (GSI) put forth by President XI Jinping, and deeply engages in China-Africa cooperation. At present, the two countries are following through on the outcomes of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Dakar to promote the high-quality development of China-South Sudan cooperation for the benefits the two peoples.

The past three years has witnessed the increasingly closer people-to-people exchanges between China and South Sudan. 

Over the past three years and more, our two countries have conducted frequent exchanges and cooperation in education, health, culture, youth and local affairs. China has continued to provide scholarships and training opportunities to South Sudan despite the adverse impact of COVID-19. The South Sudan-China Friendship Association (SSCFA) and the South Sudan- China Alumni Association (SSCAA) have played an active role in deepening people-to-people exchanges between the two countries. I have visited 8 local states in South Sudan, inspected China-South Sudan cooperation projects many times, and visited the disaster-stricken people. I was touched by the spirit of struggling against hardships of the South Sudanese people. In order to support people’s production and life, the Chinese Embassy donated sewing machines to women in Western Bahr el Ghazal State, provided capacity building on climate-resilient sustainable agriculture for women and youth in Budi County of Eastern Equatoria State, donated materials to many orphanages, and built China-South Sudan Friendship Well, as endeavors to help local women, youth and children as our capacity allows.

The past three years has also witnessed the initiation and progress of the peace process in South Sudan. 

When I first arrived in Juba in 2019, the Revitalized Peace Agreement was just signed, and there were still doubts about the prospects for peace. Over the past three years, with the joint efforts of all parties in South Sudan and the support of the international community, the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity and local governance structure have been established, the Transitional National Legislature has been reconstituted, the transitional security arrangements has achieved major breakthroughs, and the nationwide ceasefire has been maintained. In moving towards peace, the people were able to rest and recuperate, and peace dividends gradually emerged. As an international witness to the Revitalized Peace Agreement, China has supported the peace process with concrete actions including taking the lead in providing in-kind assistance to the unified forces in South Sudan, actively participated in the UN peacekeeping operations in South Sudan, and carried out a number of cooperation projects with the UN agencies as well as international and regional organizations. Recently, with the support of the Ministry of Peace Building of South Sudan, the Chinese Embassy and the Union of Journalists South Sudan (UOJSS) jointly launched the “My Peace” theme report project to encourage the general public to participate in the peace process and economic development. We also hope that the international community will provide more support and assistance for South Sudan to implement the Revitalized Peace Agreement, and lift the embargo and sanction on South Sudan as soon as possible to create a more favorable international environment for the peace and development of South Sudan. 

As a diplomat, I have traveled to many places in the world, but South Sudan, the youngest country, has given me the fondest memories. I have introduced an old Chinese saying to South Sudanese friends many times, “just as polishing refines a piece of jade, adversity makes one stronger.” China and South Sudan have similar historical experiences. We believe that after a century of hardships and tenacious struggles, the people of South Sudan will finally usher in the long-awaited peaceful and happy life. This is our common dream.

As an ancient Chinese poem reads, “if you have a friend afar who knows your heart, distance cannot keep you two apart.” My first post to Africa is coming to an end, but my true feelings towards South Sudan will always be there with you. It is hoped that all the South Sudanese friends will continue to support the work of the Chinese Embassy in Juba and the China-South Sudan relations. I trust that on the way of promoting peace and development and building a China-Africa community with a shared future, China and South Sudan will always stand shoulder-to-shoulder with each other as good partners and true friends who share the same ideal and follow the same path.

Wish South Sudan peace and prosperity!

May China-South Sudan friendship last forever!

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