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South Korean and French consulates stick to Wuhan amid epidemic, touch hearts of Chinese people

(People's Daily Online)    11:24, February 21, 2020

As pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus casts a shadow over China, both the consulates of South Korea and France in Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, remain in the city conducting operations and are making efforts to overcome the difficult time together with it.

Kang Seung-seok, the new consul general of South Korea in Wuhan, arrives in the city. (Photo/People's Daily Online)

On Feb. 20, Kang Seung-seok, the new consul general of South Korea in Wuhan, arrived in the city by means of a temporary cargo plane, bringing to Wuhan a large number of relief supplies donated by local governments, enterprises and various sectors of South Korea.

It was meaningful that the South Korean government sent him to Wuhan at this time of hardship, Kang told reporters during an interview.

South Korea enjoys close ties with China, especially Wuhan in China’s Hubei province, said Kang, adding that this year marks the 28th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and South Korea furthermore stating that South Korea has always attached great importance to their bilateral ties.

South Korea and China are close neighbors, and helping one’s neighbor is helping itself, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said recently, stressing that South Korea is ready to continue actively supporting China in its efforts to fight against the epidemic.

Olivier Guyonvarch, consul general for France in Wuhan (Photo/China Daily)

Besides South Korea, the French Consulate General in Wuhan has also touched the hearts of the Chinese people. It has kept operating throughout the ongoing crisis despite the epidemic. The consulate is the only consulate in Wuhan that is still operating.

"I'm a citizen of Wuhan. I’m always with you, Wuhan," Olivier Guyonvarch, consul general for France in Wuhan, said on WeChat Moments.

France was the first country to set up a consulate general in Wuhan since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Guyonvarch told media, saying that France and Wuhan, as well as the people of the city, have very close relations.

The reason why the consulate is still operating is that it wants to tide over the difficulties together with Wuhan, as they are like family, said Guyonvarch.

The French consulate in Wuhan is still operating, with which France would like to testify to the true friendship between the two countries, and France would like to stay in solidarity with China during these rough times, said French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who noted that France will not adopt or tolerate any discriminatory measures and will continue dealing with the matter calmly and rationally.

China and France have enjoyed a profound friendship. France has always stood by the Chinese people at times when the latter have been in their most difficult times.

In 2003 when the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) hit China, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, then Prime Minister of France, resolutely led a delegation to China as scheduled.

On Feb.11, 2020, Raffarin posted a video on WeChat, expressing strong support for Wuhan and China.   

China is not alone in its battle against the novel coronavirus. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, China has gained wide support and understanding from various countries around the world. So far, more than 160 leaders of countries and over 30 chiefs of international organizations have made calls or sent letters to voice firm support for China.

Such strong support for China in its efforts to fight the epidemic has vividly embodied and demonstrated the concept of a community with a shared future for humanity.   

As spokesperson of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Geng Shuang said, "after the epidemic, history will remember not only the Chinese people’s courage, arduous struggle and concerted efforts, but also the spirit of countries tiding over the difficulties hand in hand.”     

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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