Earlier this year, when China was first attacked by COVID-19,many overseas cooperative colleges of Confucius Institutes around the world sent letters to support Chinese partners. But now with the development of the pandemic, many countries are facing severe challenges. To express concern and support, Chinese universities have also sent sympathies and donations to partner universities abroad. Ruthless virus brings out warmth in humanity, and true friendship stands the test of adversity.With joint efforts, we will surely defeat the pandemic.
America: “With firm determination, we fight against the pandemic together”
After the outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States, Washington became the second state to declare a state of emergency. With no delay or hesitation, Chongqing Municipal Education Commission, as one of the Chinese partner universities of the Confucius Institute in state of Washington, sent a letter to the Confucius Institute and the Seattle School District, expressing concern to the safety of teachers and students, also giving high recognition of the positive prevention and control measures taken by the Seattle School District, such as canceling gatherings and cultural events and suspending face-to-face courses.
Seattle School District immediately replied, thanking Chongqing Municipal Education Commission for its friendliness and support as always, saying that in the current predicament, mutual understanding and cooperation across regions and cultures is of vital importance. Besides, further close cooperation between the two sides in the future is eagerly expected.
The Chongqing Municipal Education Committee also sent letters of sympathies to Confucius Institute at Broward County Public Schools, Confucius Institute at East Central Ohio Educational Service Center and Confucius Institute at University of California, Davis.
As the Chinese partner university of the three Confucius Institutes mentioned above, Chongqing Municipal Education Commission said that although the exchange activities in the first half of this year had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, however, the two sides had established friendly relations of mutual trust in the early stage of communication. They believed that they could tide over the hard time together, and were full of expectation for the future cooperation of both sides.
Teachers and students of Chongqing Normal University, the Chinese partner university of Confucius Institute at Troy University in the US, also showed their concern after the outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States. On March 24, Meng Dong, President of Chongqing Normal University, sent a letter to Jack Hawkins, President of Troy University, expressing willingness to confirm further cooperation and communication.
Presidents of the two universities discussing cooperation arrangements in Chongqing Normal University
Meng Dongfang thanked the teachers and students of Troy University for their support and assistance when Chinese people was fighting against the virus. He said that "The worst of time, the best of people. We have felt of boundless love among humanities in our difficulties, so we believe that the virus will not hinder the friendly communications and will not damage the profound friendship between the two peoples. We stand ready to work with Troy University to meet challenges and we are willing to further promote cooperation between the two universities. Let's fight against the pandemic and overcome the current difficulties together. "
At the same time, Chongqing Normal University has allocated a batch of anti-pandemic materials immediately to send to Troy University. “Like the mountain range that stretches before you and me, let’s share the same trials and hardships together.” We are members of a community of shared future for mankind. Only by helping each other can we overcome the difficulties.
On March 25,in the letter to Eudine Barriteau, President of Cave Hill Campus of the West Indies in Barbados, Ma Huaide, President of China University of Political Science and Law, expressed his concern for the outbreak in Barbados.
Through his letter, Ma Huaide also expressed gratitude to its partner university for its active efforts to protect teachers and students, especially the efforts made by overseas Confucius Institute teachers and students, and expressed his firm confidence to work together with partners to fight against the pandemic and hope for victory.
Europe: “Stand together, you will never be alone”
Since March, the number of countries and regions affected by the pandemic has continued to rise, and European countries were facing a severe situation.
In China, when Chinese people were fighting against COVID-19 at the beginning of the year, the teachers and students’ heart from Kharkov State University and Confucius Institute at the university cared about China all the time. They cheered on Wuhan and prayed for China. Their support and concern not only inspired and encouraged the teachers and students of Anhui University, their Chinese partner university, but also the Chinese people in other regions.
Now, facing the severe pandemic situation in Europe, in order to encourage and help teachers and students of Kharkov National University to fight against the pandemic, Anhui University sent a batch of anti-pandemic materials to Kharkov National University immediately, and the first batch of 640 masks were delivered on March 24.
In addition, China University of Political Science and Law also provided overseas Confucius Institute and partner colleges with support and help through sending letters, donating masks, policy advocacy, emotional care and other ways.
On March 25, in the letters to Iwan Davies, Vice-Chancellor of Bangor University in UK, Marian Preda, President of Bucharest University in Romania, Dag Rune Olsen, Rector of Bergen University in Norway and Berit Rokne, Rector of Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Ma Huaide, President of China University of Political Science and Law, expressed his concern for the pandemic in the country and the partner universities of oversea Confucius Institutes.
At the same time, China University of Political Science and Law raised 2000 masks at the earliest time possible and sent them to the Confucius Institutes and foreign cooperative institutions from March 21.
Earlier, Hubei Normal University, a Chinese partner university of Confucius Institute at Ulster University in the UK, was informed of the shortage of pandemic prevention materials in Northern Ireland. Through the cooperation and coordination among various parties, 10,000 ordinary medical masks were mailed to the Ulster University and Confucius Institute to meet the pandemic prevention needs of local teachers and students.
In such a difficult time, Hubei Normal University offered concern and help, warming hearts of the teachers and students of partner universities and Confucius Institutes.
Africa: “Help each other to bridge over the difficulties”
In Burundi, on March 24th, the University of Burundi received 500 surgical masks sent by the Chinese partner of the Confucius Institute, Bohai University. The care from the Chinese people across the mountains and sea touched Burundi teachers and students.
With the spread of COVID-19 to the African continent, Zhao Hui, President of Bohai University has contacted Burundi University without delay to express his concern. Knowing that local medical conditions are severe and protective materials are limited, the College of International Education immediately raised and purchased protective masks and sent them to Burundi university to build a line of defense for the health of teachers and students.
Local teachers of the Confucius Institute at Burundi University said that the concern of the Chinese people from Bohai University is heart-warming. All teachers of the Confucius Institute expressed that while performing their duties, they will actively cooperate with local government; not only do a good job in personal protection but also work together to fight against the pandemic.
In Cameroon, teachers and students of Confucius Institute at the University of YaoundeⅡalso received concern from Chinese partner university. Previously, at the critical moment of fighting against the pandemic, Adolphe Minkoa She, President of the University of YaoundeⅡ, sent a letter to the Confucius Institute on February 13 local time, to express concern to all teachers and students of Zhejiang Normal University and Chinese compatriots.
On March 19, Zheng Mengzhuang, President of Zhejiang Normal University, wrote to Adolphe Minkoa She to express appreciation and encouragement to the staff of Confucius Institute. In the letter, he briefed on the latest information of pandemic prevention and control in China and Zhejiang Normal University. At the same time, he expressed concern about the anti-pandemic situation in Cameroon. He voiced his eagerness to work with the University of YaoundeⅡto overcome the difficulties and fight the pandemic together. In addition, a number of anti-pandemic masks were collected and sent to Confucius Institute at the University of YaoundeⅡ.
Asia: “Go together and we will be your strong backing”
With the continuous development of pandemic situation, Azerbaijan is facing a more serious situation. The whole country suspended classes on March 3(local time).
When China fought the pandemic, all the teachers and students in the Confucius Institute at Baku State University raised and donated masks to China. When the pandemic hit Azerbaijan, the protective supplies ran out. Not only did the Chinese Embassy in Azerbaijan give "anti-pandemic gift package"–hand sanitizers, disinfecting wipes, masks and other badly-needed supplies–to the Confucius Institute, but also Anhui University, one of the Chinese partner of the Confucius Institute, immediately purchased a batch of protective supplies and sent them over to the Confucius Institute to show their concerns.
On March 24, Kuang Guangli, President of Anhui University, wrote to Elichin Babayev, President of Baku State University. He said that pandemic is merciless but humans are not. Anhui University is very willing to share anti-pandemic experience and work together with Baku State University to overcome the difficulties. It is believed that we would surely overcome novel coronavirus with the joint efforts from all over the world.
Previously, Xiamen University also paid close attention to the development of overseas pandemic situation and supported partner institutions and Confucius Institutes to fight against the pandemic. During the fight against the pandemic, Xiamen University respectively expressed sincere concern to Confucius Institutes such as Confucius Institute at Mae Fah Luang University, Confucius Institute at the University of the Philippines and Confucius Institute at Middle East Technical University in Turkey. Xiamen University will share experience with all Confucius Institutes, allocate resources, fight the pandemic side by side, and win the final victory against the COVID-19 outbreak.
Oceania: “Of the same breath and branches, we are willing to provide support and help”
As cooperative universities of Confucius Institute at the University of the South Pacific, the University of the South Pacific in Fiji and Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications cared for each other, supported each other, and tided over the difficulty in the face of the common threat of the novel coronavirus. “Adversity reveals true friendship, letter transmits true heart”. It is the reflection of their deep-rooted friendship in this special period.
When China was at a critical moment to fight against pandemic, Pal Ahluwalia, President of the University of the South Pacific, expressed his concerns for the staff of Confucius Institute at the University of the South Pacific and wrote to Confucius Institute Headquarters and Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications at once.
As the pandemic escalates worldwide, Xu Kun, Vice President of Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, learned that medical resources in South Pacific region are limited. Although China was suffering supply shortage, he sent a representative to raise medical masks for the University of the South Pacific. In his letter, he expressed that "spring brings hope to the planet, the whole world represents her glory and flourish" for expectation and encouragement. He also expressed the willingness to provide help and support for the University of the South Pacific.
Similarly, Xiamen University also concerns teachers and students of Confucius Institute and Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. As a Chinese partner institution of Confucius Institute, Xiamen University not only made the pandemic prevention and control manual; shared the pandemic prevention experience with Confucius Institute, but also actively contacted others for purchase of supplies and sent them to overseas partner institutions and Confucius Institute in various ways to help the local fight against the pandemic.
Like the mountain range that stretches before you and me, let’s share the same trials and hardships together. The virus is a common challenge for humanity. But as long as we work with each other, we can tide over difficulties together.
Source: Confucius Institute of the State of Washington in US; Confucius Institute at Troy University in US; Confucius Institute at Kharkov National University in Ukraine; Confucius Institute at the University of Burundi; Confucius Institute at the University of YaoundeⅡin Cameroon; Confucius Institute at Baku State University in Azerbaijan; Confucius Institute at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji; China University of Political Science and Law; the Southern Base of Confucius Institute Headquarters and Office of Confucius Institute Affairs at Xiamen University; and Confucius Institute at Ulster University in UK.