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Speech by Ambassador Wang Kejian at the UNIFIL "HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR"Concert

Esteemed UNIFIL Deputy Force Commander, Chief of Staff, Commanders of SECTOR EAST and WEST, Representative of SLS Commander, Commanders of Contingent Countries,

Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends,

Good afternoon. As the Chinese Lunar New Year the Year of the Ratis approaching, on behalf of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Lebanon, I would like to welcome every friend present today and to convey greetings and appreciations to all ranks of peace-keeping forces from China as well as all Contingent countries in UNIFIL.

During the Chinese New Yearfestival, the most important traditional holiday in China, families reunite at home and enjoy the happy hours, aspiring the prosperity of the country and peace of its people. Today, the Ministry of Culture and Tourismof China, the Chinese Embassy in Lebanon and the Chinese peace-keeping forces in UNIFIL host this “HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR” performance and celebrate the festival together with our Lebanese and foreign friends.

At the beginning of this year, the developments in the Middle Eastare indeed a cause for concern. Ensuring peace and stability in the region is of vital importance to the whole world. Facts have proven that power politics in the Middle East is always resented, whereas military actions will lead nowhere.Responsible members in the international community should resolve differences properly and peacefully through dialogue and negotiations on the basis of mutual respect, and jointly uphold peace and stability in the region.

Last year has also seen tensions on the southern border of Lebanon. Changes in the regional situation over the recent period have negatively affected the security environment in Lebanon. China has always supported the independence, sovereignty, security and stability of Lebanon. UNIFIL played a crucial role in maintaining the peace of southern Lebanon. Hereby, I would like to pay tribute to all UNIFIL peacekeeping forces. The Chinese peacekeepers will continue practicing the oath of keeping world peace.

In the Sexagenary Cycle of Chinese LunarCalendar, the Year of the Rat in 2020 is the first year in the Cycle. As the new Cycle begins, Chinese artists have brought music as well as the aspirations for peace. I wish every friend a happy Spring Festival and all the best in the new year. M ay year 2020 bring new happiness and good luck to all present here.

Thank you!

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