CHINESE President Xi Jinping has issued a prestigious friendship medal to former Tanzania’s Prime Minister Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, appreciating his efforts to help China reinstate its permanent seat at the UN in 1971.
At the event in the Great Hall of the People here over the weekend, Dr Salim’s medal was received by his daughter, Maryam Salim who works with the World Bank as Country manager in Albania.
The medal was issued at the grand ceremony that was held along the commemorations of the 70th Anniversary of the People Republic of China (PRC) whose climax is tomorrow.
Dr Salim is one of Tanzania’s renowned diplomats and has served as senior government official in various diplomatic missions since the 1960’s.
Tanzania’s Ambassador to China Mbelwa Kairuki said Dr Salim has received the prestigious friendship medal from China, thanks to his contributions that enabled China to secure the permanent seat in the UN and all his efforts to improve the diplomatic relations between Tanzania and China.
“The commemoration of 70th anniversary of PRC goes together with the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Tanzania and China that officially started in 1964,” he said.
Mr Kairuki said the bilateral relationship has been stable owing to the good foundations laid by the founding fathers of the two great nations—the late Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere of Tanzania and his Chinese counterpart, the late Mao Tsetung.
“Our relationship has been narrowed down from government to government to the current people to people exchange, for the greater interest of the citizens from both sides,” noted the envoy.
Because of strong ties and long history between the two countries, Mr Kairuki said Tanzania is among 17 foreign countries that have been invited to attend the climax of 70th anniversary of PRC.
Among other things, the event is also set to be colored by special and parade from members of defence and security forces of China.
“Tanzania and Zambia are the only countries from Africa that have been invited to the much awaited colourful event,” added Mr Kairuki.
Speaking at the event, President Jinping said the country confers the highest national honour on outstanding people who have made great contributions to China’s national construction and development, and international friends who have made outstanding contributions to promoting Sino-foreign exchanges and cooperation.
“The Chinese people are willing to work with people from all over the world to build a community with a shared future for mankind and make the planet a better place,” assured the Chinese leader.
Together with Dr Salim, other foreigners who received the friendship medal from President Jinping were former President of Cuba Raul Modesto Castro Ruz, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand, Vice-President of the Russia-China Friendship Association Galina Kulikova, former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin and a Canadian scholar Prof Isabel Crook.