Ambassador Tan’s Remarks at IFH Relay Race
(3 June 2018, Addis Ababa)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very good morning to all of you.
I am so happy to attend this IFH Relay Race event. What a joy to run on this high land, the land of origin, where our common great great grandma Lucy was living 3.2 million years ago.
What a sunny day today. Please allow me, on behalf of all of you, to express our deep thanks to the heaven, for not raining, so that we can do the running.
We know recently it rains a lot, sometimes cats and dogs, as we have entered into the rainy season.
It is quite fitting to hold this kind of race in Ethiopia, as Ethiopians are best at long-distance running, including Marathon. They take most of the medals, men and women. This country has produced famous champions like Haile Gebrselassie, Tirunesh Dibaba. In the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Tirunesh won two gold medals of 5000 meters and 10000 meters. That’s why the hospital built by the Chinese Government in Addis Ababa is named after Tirunesh.
Ethiopia is a great country, and I am quite confident in its bright future. I am saying this, not because as the Ambassador I want to please the host country; but because I have confidence in you. I see the constitution, resilience, stamina and strong will in the Ethiopian people, as demonstrated in the marathon race. And marathon is, unarguably, the most challenging competition among all the sports. It is placed as the last item in the Olympic Games.
He laughs best who laughs last.
This event is organized by China First Highway Engineering Company (IFH) of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) together with the Great Ethiopia Run. I wish to thank IFH of CCCC, who has sponsored the event for 15 years in a running. (Hope I have not confused with “in a running”.) It shows that Chinese companies in Ethiopia do take their corporate responsibility seriously.
This Relay Race is participated by the Ethiopians, Chinese, as well as people from other countries including the diplomats living in Addis Ababa. It has brought Chinese and Ethiopians closer; it has brought peoples of different nationalities closer.
The event has been gaining currency. I hope Chinese companies will donate more currency next year, making the trophies more valuable and attractive.
The theme of this year’s race is Promoting Road Safety. Health and safety are really important. To me safety is even more important, because if accidents happen, they happen all of a sudden. A Chinese saying goes that, a good day is the day we go to work happily when the sun rises; come back home safely when the sun sets. So, please do take care of health and safety of ourselves as well as the others.
Before conclusion, I wish, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy, to thank all the guests and participants, and congratulate those athletes on their achievements.
This is my first year as China Ambassador to Ethiopia. I hope I could join you next year. I am not old, just 53 years young.
Once again, thank you very much.