Jordan and China have stood “Shoulder to Shoulder and helped each other through thick and thin” in the fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic, Beijing’s Envoy to Amman Pan Weifang said on Wednesday.

In his address on the occasion of the 71st Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the Ambassador said: “Under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah, the Jordanian government and people have shown great sympathy and support to the Chinese people in their great fight against COVID-19.”

Relevant Chinese government departments, local governments and enterprises have provided a large number of epidemic prevention materials to Jordan in batches, the envoy said in his address, a copy of which was made available to The Jordan Times.

Companies with Chinese investment such as Arab Potash Corp. and Atalat Oil Shale Power Station Project have generously donated to the Ministry of Health and Jordan’s National Aid Fund.

Meanwhile, Jack Ma, founder of China’s Alibaba Group, promptly provided Jordan with a large number of testing kits, ventilators, infrared thermometers, medical masks, protective suits and other epidemic prevention materials, for which His Majesty King Abdullah awarded Ma with the King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein Order for Distinction of the First Degree.

Touching on bilateral trade, the envoy said that China has become Jordan’s third largest trading partner and second largest source of imports.

“The sudden outbreak of the epidemic has affected China-Jordan cooperation to some extent, but it is bound to be only temporary,” Weifang said.

In 2019, the bilateral trade totalled $4.112 billion, up 29.17 per cent year-on-year, he said.

“To these, our two countries should be full of confidence, work closely together, give full play to our traditional strengths of friendship and economic complementarities, and jointly meet challenges and seek common development,” he noted.

On July 6, the 9th Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum was co-chaired by China and Jordan, and State Councillor & Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi put forward five suggestions at the meeting, namely, strengthening solidarity and cooperation, hand in hand to overcome COVID-19, firmly supporting each other, safeguarding fairness and justice, adhering to multilateralism, improving global governance, building One Belt One Road initiative joining hands for rejuvenation, promoting political dialogue, and bettering the Middle East security, which have won positive response from Arab countries, including Jordan, the envoy recalled.

“The Amman Declaration, the Forum’s Action Plan for 2020-2022 and the Joint Statement on Solidarity between China and Arab Countries in the Fight against COVID-19” have “opened up new prospects” for China and Jordan to accelerate the joint development of the One Belt One Road initiative and realise common sustainable development within the overall cooperation framework.

“It is believed that with the joint efforts of both sides, China-Jordan relations will continue to brave the wind and waves, sail far, and bring more benefits to our peoples,” the Ambassador said.

Elaborating on the fight against the pandemic, Weifang said China will continue to advance international cooperation on epidemic prevention and control and promote the building of a human health community.

“Now China is one of the countries in the world which has best stemmed the pandemic,” he said.

Confronting the special year of “Big Test”, Chinese government promptly made a major decision to coordinate epidemic prevention and control with economic and social development, the Ambassador said.

“The whole country rallied as one and overcame the difficulties, and the economy successfully resumed after a short period of dormancy. China’s economy grew by 3.2% year on year in the second quarter,” he added.

The envoy also extended the embassy’s festive greetings to Overseas Chinese in Jordan and expressed “our heartfelt thanks to Jordanian friends from all walks of life who have long cared about the development of China-Jordan friendly relations.”

“I arrived in Jordan in December 2015 and have been working in Jordan for nearly five years. I am deeply impressed by the warmth and friendship of the Jordanian people and the rapid development of bilateral relations in various fields,” he said.