Good Friends Feel Close Even When They Are Thousands of Miles Apart
Chinese Universities Support Partner Universities and Colleges Overseas in Fighting the COVID-19

[Source]    Confucius Institute Headquarters [Time]    2020-04-28 17:35:40 

China’s fighting against the COVID-19 has achieved great progress thanks to unremitting efforts, while the situation is getting worse worldwide, tugging at the heartstrings of teachers and students of universities in China. To this end, Chinese universities have expressed sympathies to the Confucius Institute's cooperative universities and colleges overseas affected by the pandemic and provided assistance to the best of their ability, in an effort to cope with the public health crisis together with their overseas partners.

Messages of Sympathy from Afar Express Chinese Universities’ Support and Blessing for Their Partners

At the end of March, Shang Gang, Director of the School Affairs Committee of Hubei University and Xie Hongxing, President of Hubei University, sent letters to foreign partners including the University of Memphis in the United States (US), the São Paulo State University in Brazil, the University of São Tomé and Príncipe and the Jagiellonian University in Poland. They thanked all partner universities for their care and support for Hubei University, and said that as the novel coronavirus was rampaging through the world, it imposed great pressure on the anti-epidemic control in countries. Hubei University would express sincere sympathies and firm support for its cooperative universities and try to provide help.

In their replies, the partner universities thanked Hubei University for its care and encouragement, adding that although the outbreak of the epidemic blocked the face-to-face communication channel, but as a Chinese saying goes: “A friend in need is a friend indeed”. The exchange and cooperation between the universities would be further closer and sublimated.

Luis Antonio Paulino, Honorary Council Member of the Confucius Institute Headquarters and Brazilian Director of the Confucius Institutes at the São Paulo State University, extended gratitude to Hubei University for its care for the development of the epidemic in Brazil and for Brazilian students and teachers.He also expressed Brazil’s confidence in winning the battle against the epidemic.

Letter of sympathy by Sichuan International Studies University and reply from Rector of the Linguistics University of Nizhny Novgorod

On April 4, Dong Hongchuan, President of Sichuan International Studies University sent a letter to Nikonova Zhanna, Rector of the Linguistics University of Nizhny Novgorod of Russia, wishing all teachers and students good health and safety, thanking them for their long-term support, as well as hoping that the masks the university mailed would meet the urgent needs.

Rector Nikonova expressed the gratitude in her reply. She also briefed on the current quarantine policy in the university and the health condition of teachers and students, and believed that Russia and other countries would be able to control the epidemic as soon as possible and bring everything back to the normal track.

As the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading globally, Jilin University extended a helping hand in mid-April, and closely communicated with its foreign partners and overseas Confucius Institutes, sharing experience and measures in epidemic control and jointly fighting against the virus.

Zhang Xi, President of Jilin University sent letters to its Confucius Institute partner universities overseas to express care and greetings. In the letters of sympathies, he shared the experiences of Jilin University's 543 medical workers who fought at the frontline in Wuhan and then returned to the university after their mission, expressing Jilin University's willingness to provide the best possible support and help for teachers and students of overseas partner universities.

He said, as long as we unite and work together, we would be able to prevail over the epidemic, usher in a better tomorrow, and develop more extensive and in-depth cooperation.

On March 16, Ma Huaide, President of China University of Political Science and Law, after learning of the epidemic outbreak in Barbados, sent a letter of sympathy to Violet Eudine Barriteau, Principal of the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill, praising her for suspending the face-to-face courses at the first opportunity to protect the safety of teachers and students. He also wished all the teachers and students of the university and people in Barbados all the best. Principal Barriteau thanked President Ma in the letter of reply.

In mid-March, the epidemic situation in Sri Lanka became severe. On behalf of Huanggang Normal University,Vice-President Peng Jin expressed sympathy and support to the teachers and students of Sabaragamuwa University, and held a video conference with the Chinese director of the Confucius Classroom to inquire about all teachers’ life and epidemic prevention situation.

These letters conveyed care and greetings, and brought infinite warmth to the people in the midst of the epidemic.

Provide Material Assistance to Cooperative Universities and Colleges Overseas with Great Care

To help Confucius Institute partner universities overseas fight the epidemic, Chinese universities have also done their best to donate epidemic prevention materials to overseas partner universities to help them defeat the epidemic at an early date.

On April 16, local time, the University of Gdańsk and the Confucius Institute at the university in Poland received a batch of anti-epidemic masks from its partner university, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The teachers and students of the University of Gdańsk expressed their gratitude for the materials from the Chinese university. They believed these medical supplies reflected the friendly cooperation and mutual help between the two universities and played a great role in helping the University of Gdańsk and its Confucius Institute overcome the difficulties.

After learning the severe situation in Thailand, Guangxi University for Nationalities, the Chinese partner of the Confucius Institute at Mahasarakham University, extended its helping hand to donate 10,000 disposable medical masks to Mahasarakham University and the Confucius Institute.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Prayook Srivilai, President of Mahasarakham University expressed his gratitude to Guangxi University for Nationalities for its care for Mahalashakan University. At present, the COVID-19 is raging all over the world, and Thailand is also in a serious situation, with shortage of medical materials. At this critical moment, our partneroffered timely assistance and sent the medical materials to the university

These materials will be transferred to the Hospital affiliated to Maharashakan University and delivered to the frontline medical staff. At the same time, President Prayook Srivilai expressed his sincere gratitude to the Confucius Institute at Maharashakan University for their efforts and dedication in the donation process. He said: “I believe that with the strong support and care of Guangxi University for Nationalities, we will work together to overcome the difficulties and defeat the epidemic!”

As a Chinese saying goes, good friends feel close even when they are thousands of miles apart. For a long period, Guangxi University for Nationalities and Mahathalakan University have regarded each other as the most important strategic partner, and established a long-term, stable and close cooperative relationship. During this difficult period, the anti-epidemic materials from Guangxi University for Nationalities fully reflected the profound friendship between the two universities.

On April 6, local time, teachers and students of Presbyterian College in the US and its Confucius Institute received the care and material assistance from its Chinese partner, Guizhou University, which showed the deep friendship between the partners.

President of Guizhou University sent a letter to the teachers and students of the Presbyterian College and the Confucius Institute, expressing the universities’ determination to win the war against the epidemic, and also saying that Guizhou University would provide help if necessary.

“The partnership between Guizhou University and the Presbyterian College has lasted for more than ten years. During this special period, as an old friend and long-term partner of the Presbyterian College, we, on behalf of Guizhou University, extend our best regards to you, and sincerely hope that epidemic in the US will get better at an early date,” read the letter.

In order to support the epidemic control of the Presbyterian College and the Confucius Institute, and to protect teachers and students, Guizhou University collected anti-epidemic materials at the first opportunity and mailed them to the college as quickly as possible, helping the teachers and students there overcome difficulties.

Liu Zihua, US Director of the Confucius Institute at Presbyterian College, on behalf the college, expressed his gratitude to Guizhou University and noted that Bob Staton, President of the Presbyterian College, would write back to Guizhou University to express his sincere gratitude.

On April 7, local time, Japanese Prime Minister declared the state of emergency. On April 15, Okayama Shoka University and its Confucius Institute received surgical masks and other epidemic prevention materials donated by the Chinese partner university-Dalian University of Foreign Languages. In his letter, Liu Hong, President of Dalian University of Foreign Languages, quoted a Chinese poem to express his determination to join hands with Okayama Shoka University to fight the coronavirus epidemic, and hoped that they could overcome the epidemic as soon as possible.

Akio Ijiri, President of Okayama Shoka University, thanked President Liu Hong in his letter to the president. He extended gratitude to Dalian University of Foreign Languages for offering selfless support in times of difficulty and for solving the urgent need for epidemic prevention materials in Okayama Shoka University. The university would remember the assistance from Dalian University of Foreign Languages and hope to continue friendly exchanges and cooperation in the future.

Chinese and Foreign Universities Join Hands to Tide over the Difficulties

As the epidemic spreads globally, deepening international cooperation to defeat the epidemic is gradually becoming the consensus of all countries. The Confucius Institutes overseas cooperated with Chinese and foreign partner universities and colleges to fight against the disease together.

The epidemic prevention in European countries has become increasingly severe since March. As a Chinese partner university of the Republican Confucius Institute of Sinology at Belarusian Statе University, Dalian University of Technology is concerned about the development of the epidemic in Belarus. It has not only expressed its care and sent greetings at the first time, but has also urgently collected 18,000 masks and sent them to Belarus at the fastest speed.

The epidemic prevention materials were attached with “indestructible friendship” and the poem “good friends feel close even when they are thousands of miles apart” in both Chinese and Russian. They expressed that although China and Belarus are thousands of miles apart, they share the sincere friendship through thick and thin.

In his reply to President Guo Dongming of Dalian University of Technology, Anatoli Tozik, Belarusian Director of the Republican Confucius Institute of Sinology at Belarusian State University said, this was another testimony of the great friendship between the people of Belarus and China. It showed that the friendship between Belarus and China is beyond emotional feelings, and both sides were also willing to help each other in difficult times. Teachers and students at the university as well as all staff of the Confucius Institute were deeply grateful for this and would always remember it.

On April 10, local time, the materials donated by Inner Mongolia University arrived at Kalmyk State University and its Confucius Institute in Russia. President of Inner Mongolia University also sent a letter of sympathy to Russia's Kalmyk State University. Words of warm encouragement and caring materials expressed their determination to overcome difficulties and defeat the epidemic.

Lolita, Russian Director of the Confucius Institute, applauded Inner Mongolia University for offering timely assistance, and believed that with joint cooperation of people around the world, the pandemic would be defeated soon.

As the fight against the coronavirus disease is at a critical moment in the United Kingdom, South China University of Technology has learned about the epidemic situation of Lancaster University, an overseas cooperative university of the Confucius Institute, and urgently mailed three batches of anti-epidemic materials to express sincere concerns. Such actions across mountains and seas made the teachers and students feel extremely warm.

Simon Guy, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University, sent a letter to Li Weiqing, Vice President of South China University of Technology to thank for the care over Lancaster University and the Confucius Institute in the midst of the epidemic. He said that the South China University of Technology’s kind and timely gesture moved us and he hoped that the friendship between the two universities would last forever and greater cooperation can be achieved.

The government of the Czech Republic declared a state of emergency in March. As a Chinese partner university of the Confucius Institute at Prague University of Finance and Administration, teachers and students of China Jiliang University have been following closely the anti-epidemic situation of its partner.

China Jiliang University sent a message to Prague University of Finance and Administration to inquire about the preparation of the epidemic prevention materials and the emergency management arrangements for the epidemic control of the partner and expressed its willingness to do its best to provide assistance within its ability.

Having learned that the Prague University of Finance and Administration are in urgent need of epidemic prevention materials, China Jiliang University collected plenty of epidemic prevention materials, and sent them to its partner university at the fastest speed through multiple channels to help the university. At the same time, President Song Mingshun also sent a letter to Bohuslava Šenkýřová, President of Prague University of Finance and Administration, to extend his sympathy.

President Bohuslava Šenkýřová noted, with the efforts and cooperation of all parties, the epidemic would surely be defeated. The cornerstone of friendship built by the Confucius Institute between the two universities would become more rock-solid, and the future cooperation would certainly be more fruitful!

The virus is ruthless, however, humanity shines through the dark cloud of the epidemic. In this battle against the COVID-19, we are not fighting alone. The warmth that flows through the mountains and rivers carries the belief that we will win the battle against the pandemic. Despite the current dilemma, we will eventually be able to defeat the pandemic, as long as we remain united and support each other.

Source: Hubei University; Confucius Institute at Linguistics University of Nizhny Novgorod in Russia; Jilin University; Confucius Classroom of Sabaragamuwa University in Sri Lanka; Confucius Institute at University of the West Indies at Cave Hill in Barbados; Confucius Institute at University of Gdańsk in Poland; Confucius Institute at Mahasarakham University in Thailand; Confucius Institute at Presbyterian College in the US; Confucius Institute at Okayama Shoka University in Japan; the Republican Confucius Institute of Sinology at Belarusian Statе University; Confucius Institute at Kalmyk State University in Russia; Confucius Institute at Lancaster University in the UK; and Confucius Institute at Prague University of Finance and Administration in the Czech Republic