Zhao Lijian: Today marks the first anniversary of the lifting of lockdown in Wuhan, Hubei Province. The heroic people in Wuhan and Hubei, bearing in mind the greater good, made enormous sacrifice for a national victory over COVID-19 and contributed significantly to the global COVID-19 response. With their concrete efforts day in and day out, the people in Wuhan have demonstrated China's strength and spirit as well as the Chinese people's sense of responsibility to the country as they strove to tide over difficulties in solidarity.
Over the past year, Wuhan has emerged stronger from the most trying of times. As its economy bounces back, fresh vigor and vitality is felt in every corner of the city. I read from reports that by the end of last year, Wuhan's annual economic aggregate had enable the city to resume its previous ranking as one of the top ten cities in China. Some media use keywords such as end of lockdown, going back to work, revitalizing, facial masks, health code, "cloud life" and vaccines to record the days when this city, known for its hot-dry noodles with sesame paste, made strenuous efforts to get its life back to normal in the past year. What Wuhan and Hubei have experienced is the epitome of China's extraordinary journey of fighting the epidemic. The recovery of Wuhan also adds strength and confidence to the global fight against the epidemic.
After COVID-19 broke out, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, leveraging its unique strength, sent out a working group to Wuhan to coordinate efforts involving foreign countries like sourcing anti-epidemic supplies for Hubei, receiving international assistance and arranging charter flights. Fighting shoulder to shoulder with the heroic people of Hubei, the ministry made its contribution to winning the battle of defense in Wuhan and Hubei. Now, economic and social activities have been basically restored to normal in Hubei. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will once again draw on its advantages and help boost Hubei's post-COVID development. Yesterday, we announced that a special promotion event for Hubei will be held on April 12 to present to the world a province reborn for new glories and help build new bridges of cooperation linking Hubei to the world. It will mark the resumption of our promotion events in post-COVID time, and will also be the first time for the ministry to promote the same province twice.
As we mark the first anniversary of the lifting of lockdown in Wuhan, let's give our best wishes for an even better tomorrow for Wuhan and Hubei. Welcome to visit Wuhan to try its famous hot-dry noodles with sesame paste and enjoy the view up from the Yellow Crane Tower.