Ambassador of Sri Lanka to China Dr. Palitha Kohona attended the opening of the China-South Asia Emergency Supplies Reserve in Chengdu on 9 July.
The emergency reserve was the result of a Zoom meeting convened by Foreign Minister Wang Yi in April and attended by the Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Given the regularity with which natural disasters seem to afflict the South Asian region, the creation of the emergency reserve would enable the reserve to dispatch emergency supplies with the least delay. Today the mobilisation of emergency supplies takes too long.
Vice Foreign Minister Wu Jianghao, a former Ambassador to Colombo, presided over the ceremony. The Vice Governor of Sichuan and the Mayor of Chengdu attended the event.
Ambassador Dr. Kohona in his remarks said that South Asia suffered regularly from natural calamities and the emergency reserve would be a great response mechanism and an asset. With climate change increasingly causing climate related emergencies with unpredictable and unusual weather, the creation of the emergency reserve was timely.
President Xi Jinping has committed China to be carbon neutral by 2060 and was leading the world›s response to climate change by example. China was an example to the world. The leadership provided by the Communist Party of China was exemplary.
Ambassador Dr. Kohona thanked China for coming to Sri Lanka›s assistance generously with vaccines when the COVID-19 situation was threatening to slip out of control. He also said that Sri Lanka had a well-mobilised public health care sector which bore the brunt of the national COVID-19 response. It was a resource that Sri Lanka would be able to share with the world when the pandemic comes under adequate control in Sri Lanka.