POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - WORLD

Chinese National Day

Beijing remembers its bond with Luxembourg



The year 2022 will mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between Beijing and Luxembourg. Photo: Maison Moderne/Matic Zorman

The year 2022 will mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between Beijing and Luxembourg. Photo: Maison Moderne/Matic Zorman

China's National Day on 1 October is an opportunity for Beijing to highlight the quality of its diplomatic relations with Luxembourg, especially in the months leading up to the 50th anniversary of their establishing. 

This year, the celebration of the 72nd anniversary of the People's Republic of China was held by video conference, organised by the Chinese embassy in Luxembourg.

Between a video on the important dates that marked the relations between the two countries and another  one dedicated to the involvement of members of the Chinese Communist Party for their country, H.E. Yang Xiaorong delivered a speech in front of about 80 people attending the video conference on Tuesday.

"I am delighted to see that the Chinese-Luxembourgish relations have withstood the challenge of the epidemic and have showcased strong resilience and bright prospects for development," said the ambassador, who has been in office for a year. She cited the nearly 60% increase in the volume of imports and exports between the two countries, which reached $210m last year.

Other numbers given by the embassy include the 800,000 tonnes of goods transported last August on the Cargolux air route between China and Luxembourg. In addition, Beijing claims to have sent 2.5 million yuan worth of medical equipment to the Grand Duchy, the equivalent of 330,000 euros.

Anniversary in sight

Since 2022 will mark the half-century anniversary of the establishment of Chinese-Luxembourgish diplomatic relations,  Yang Xiaorong announced that "China is willing to work with Luxembourg to establish a new development plan and take our relations to a new level in the post-Covid era.”

Another key date on the agenda is the opening of the 24th Winter Olympic Games in Beijing on the 4th of February 2022. Its representative guaranteed "a sober, safe and remarkable event" and wished the Luxembourg athletes good luck.

The digital reception was attended by some 80 people. (Photo: Paperjam)

The digital reception was attended by some 80 people. (Photo: Paperjam)

The Chinese recipe for vaccination

It is impossible not to mention the Covid-19 pandemic, the first reports of which come from China. "China is actively participating in global cooperation in the search for the origins of Covid-19 and has twice invited WHO experts to come to China to conduct studies," said the WHO representative.

A WHO team was indeed able to travel to China last February, a month after the mission in question was cancelled, officially due to visa problems. During the month-long stay, the researchers spent two weeks in quarantine before being able to visit the Wuhan market and the city's virology institute, accompanied by Chinese scientists. Their report, published in March 2021, provided few answers, even prompting the WHO to backtrack on a statement that "a laboratory leak is highly unlikely".

In mid-September, Beijing announced that 70% of its population was vaccinated against covid-19, but the efficacy of the shots has been questioned in the absence of international studies on the subject. China has chosen to develop its messenger RNA vaccines while banning foreign formulations from its territory.

Three Luxembourgish representatives

The President of the chamber of deputies Fernand Etgen (DP), the deputy prime minister François Bausch (déi Gréng) and the minister of finance Pierre Gramegna (DP) also took part in the virtual reception through a video message.

Luxembourg has 4,000 Chinese nationals part of its population--a contingent that has more than doubled in ten years. The country has seven Chinese banks and many Chinese and Chinese-owned companies. In 2020, China was the 11th largest importer of goods into Luxembourg (with a share of 1.3%) and the 11th largest exporter (with a share of around 1.7%).

This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.