News, December 4th

Anthony Fauci apologises for implying UK rushed COVID-19 vaccine approval

Dr Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious diseases expert, has apologised after his remarks created a bit of a stir in London for implying that the UK’s regulator had rushed the process when it became the first country to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech for rollout.

In an interview with the BBC, Fauci stressed that his remarks had been misconstrued as criticism of the UK’s vaccine approval process, in which he has a great deal of confidence.

“I have a great deal of confidence in what the UK does both scientifically and from a regulator standpoint,” he said.

On Wednesday, when the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced its decision, Fauci told Fox News that the UK did not review the vaccine “as carefully” as US health regulators but admitted that the US would quickly also be in a position to approve a vaccine.

He later told CBS News that the UK had “rushed” the approval, but on Thursday seemed to backtrack, and said there was “no judgment on the way the UK did it”.

“Our process is one that takes more time than it takes in the UK. And that’s just the reality. I did not mean to imply any sloppiness even though it came out that way,” he told the BBC.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plans to meet on December 10 to discuss approval for the UK-approved vaccine and will meet again on December 17 to discuss a second vaccine Moderna.

Dr Fauci had described the US FDA’s approval process, slower than the UK, as the “gold standard”. On Thursday he clarified, saying the US does “things a little differently” than the UK.

“That’s all. Not better, not worse, just differently,” he said.

Dr June Raine, the head of the MHRA, had reiterated the rigorous protocols followed and that “no corners had been cut” in vetting the vaccine as they had been conducting a rolling review as the clinical trials were conducted.

“No vaccine would be authorised for supply in the UK unless the expected standards of safety, quality and efficacy are met,” the MHRA said.

The UK’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Prof. Jonathan Van-Tam, responded to Fauci’s comments by stressing that he is “very confident” in the MHRA as there was more than “100 years of medical experience” between the UK regulator and the committee advising which groups of people are vaccinated first.

Meanwhile, UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has come under some criticism for implying that the UK was somehow a better country for approving the vaccine ahead of any other, attributing the success to “brilliant clinicians”.

In an interview with LBC Radio, he said: “I just reckon we’ve got the very best people in this country and we’ve obviously got the best medical regulator, much better than the French have, much better than the Belgians have, much better than the Americans have.

“That doesn’t surprise me at all, because we’re a much better country than every single one of them.”

The European Commission spokesperson, Eric Mamer, responded by saying that the MHRA’s experts are “very good” but “we are definitely not in the game of comparing regulators across countries, nor on commenting on claims as to who is better”.

“This is not a football competition, we are talking about the life and health of people,” he said.

The ruling Conservative Party peer, Lord Michael Forsyth, tweeted that it was “disappointing to see some folk trying to make political capital out of the brilliant vaccine news”.

“Frankly it’s just unseemly and we should just be united in our thanks to those responsible for this breakthrough and the hope it brings to every person on the planet,” the former Scotland Secretary wrote.

The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, with the first batches now delivered to the UK from Belgium for the process of vaccinating those at the highest risk of death from Covid-19 to begin by next week.

The news comes as the UK crossed the grim milestone of 60,000 deaths from the deadly virus this week, with another 414 deaths recorded on Thursday to take the toll to 60,113.

Fishing holds key to Brexit trade deal as talks drag on

BRUSSELS — As Brexit talks enter their decisive final days, there’s still a big catch: the fishing industry. It is holding up the trade deal between the European Union and recently departed Britain, putting at risk hundreds of thousands of jobs and tens of billions of euros in annual production losses.

While fishing is a negligible part of the nations’ economies, it is an important point of national pride for coastal and island nations and has a massive impact on politics.

Arch-Brexiteer Nigel Farage put so much stock in the importance of fishing that at one point during his successful 2016 campaign to get Britain out of the EU he steamed up the Thames on a fishing vessel.

Sir Ivan Rogers, a former career diplomat who long was the UK’s man at EU headquarters in Brussels, knows what the task is of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson during the final weeks before the Jan. 1 deadline.

“He has to emerge with a win on fisheries,” Rogers told a panel at the EPC think tank this week.

If Johnson cannot expel enough EU fishing boats from U.K. waters, a no-deal Brexit would surely ensue, creating chaos and costs for all and ruin for some.

U.K. vessels landed close to 1 billion pounds of fish last year; the gross domestic product of the United Kingdom last year stood at 2.17 trillion pounds,

“It’s not about economics, it’s about politics and the symbolism,” said Barrie Deas, chief executive of Britain’s National Federation of Fishermen’s Organizations.

The French, Britain’s fiercest political rival for access to U.K. waters, know about symbolism — and timing — too.

On a windswept, cold Thursday, French Prime Minister Jean Castex went to the fishing port of Boulogne-sur-Mer, from where on a bright day, across the Strait of Dover, Britain is visible.

It was a show to all negotiators how tough France will be in defending its 13,500 fishermen during the last days of negotiations.

“We’re 17 (nautical) miles from Dover, so we’re really close. So it’s really imperative for us to have access to the waters,” local fishing official Olivier Lepretre told Castex. If there is no deal assuring this, he said, “that would mean certain death” for France’s northern fishing fleet.

As well as France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland and Denmark are among those directly implicated by the potential closing off of U.K. waters.

For centuries, foreign fishermen shared the plentiful waters off Britain, and it has been no different since the UK joined the EU in 1973. But as catches dwindled, sometimes to a fraction of their previous numbers because of ruthless overexploitation, the number of British fishermen dwindled from 22,000 in 1975 to 12,000 in 2018. Resentment in U.K. fishing communities increased.

Rightly or wrongly, EU trawlers venturing freely in U.K. waters came to be seen as a symbol of plunder and exploitation. When Britain voted to leave, saving U.K. waters for U.K. fishermen became a rallying cry that was endorsed right up to the prime minister’s office.

“It’s about sovereignty. it’s about what Brexit is for,” Deas said.

In an ideal scenario, British fishermen would have all the waters to themselves, able to expand what so long has been a diminishing industry.

No one could deny Britain’s rights to its waters in theory, but it’s not that simple. The EU came into the trade negotiations demanding that its boats continue being allowed to fish. Even though Brexit left the bloc in a much weaker position, UK exports gave it leverage.

“If they don’t allow our boats in, they can eat all the fish they catch themselves,” said a high-level diplomat from a seafaring EU nation. Some 80% of fish landed in the U.K. is exported, and three-quarters of that goes to the EU. If the Continent closes off its markets, fish would be rotting on British quays.

The debate during the final days centers on how the issues of fishing rights for EU trawlers could be reconciled with low or no tariffs for U.K. exports through fish-processing centers like Boulogne-sur-Mer. With fishing interests from all sides looking on, progress has been perhaps the slowest of all sectors under discussion.

Deas said he expected there to be protests from disgruntled EU fishermen — especially French ones — if there is a deal that sees quotas reduced.

“They’ve blockaded the Channel ports for less. We fully expect some kind of demonstrations or show of frustration,” he said.

Most agree Boulogne would be a prime target because so much U.K. fish is exported through there, and a blockade is relatively easy to achieve.

French Premier Castex was told in veiled terms what could be coming.

“How do we explain to fishermen that they can’t go into British waters, but then they will import fish to Boulogne? “ Lepretre told Castex. “That’s very complicated, believe me,”

France targets mosques in crackdown on radical Islam

PARIS: French authorities began inspecting dozens of mosques and prayer halls suspected of radical teachings on Thursday as part of a crackdown on Islamist extremists following a spate of attacks, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said.

Darmanin told RTL radio that if any of the 76 prayer halls inspected was found to promote extremism they would be closed down.

The inspections are part of the government’s response to two brutal recent attacks that shocked France – the Oct 16 beheading of a teacher who showed his pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed and the stabbing to death of three people in a church in Nice on Oct 29.

Darmanin did not reveal which places of worship were inspected. In a note he sent to regional security chiefs, seen by AFP, he cites 16 addresses in the Paris region and 60 others around the country.

On Twitter on Wednesday he said the mosques were suspected of “separatism” – a term President Emmanuel Macron has used to describe ultraconservative Muslims closing themselves off from French society by, for example, enrolling their children in underground Islamic schools or forcing young girls to wear the Muslim headscarf.

The rightwing minister told RTL the fact that only a fraction of the around 2,600 Muslim places of worship in France were suspected of peddling radical theories showed “we are far from a situation of widespread radicalisation.”

“Nearly all Muslims in France respect the laws of the Republic and are hurt by that (radicalisation),” he said.

The killing of teacher Samuel Paty, who had shown his pupils cartoons of Mohammed in a class on free speech, at a school outside Paris sent shockwaves through France, where it was seen as an attack on the republic itself.

In the aftermath of his murder the authorities raided dozens of Islamic associations, sports groups and charities suspected of promoting extremism.

They also ordered the temporary closure of a large mosque in the Paris suburb of Pantin that had shared a vitriolic video lambasting Paty.

The government has also announced plans to step up the deportations of illegal migrants on radicalisation watchlists.

Darmanin said that 66 of 231 foreigners on a watchlist had been expelled, around 50 others had been put in migrant detention centres and a further 30 had been placed under house arrest.

The minister announced the latest clampdown after receiving fierce criticism for pushing a bill that would make it harder to document police brutality.

Images of officers beating up black music producer Michel Zecler in his studio brought tens of thousands of people onto the streets last weekend against Darmanin’s push to restrict the filming of the police in the new bill.

MPs from Macron’s ruling Republic on the Move party have since announced plans to rewrite the legislation. – AFP

Lamar stands firm in his last days in the Senate

Just after bringing Mitch McConnell to tears and receiving bipartisan plaudits for his storied career, retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander received a pointed, if polite, missive from The Wall Street Journal.

“We’re sorry to say he has it backward,” the usually friendly conservative editorial board wrote on his opposition to one of President Donald Trump’s Federal Reserve nominees.

The Tennessee senator is now the biggest impediment to confirming Judy Shelton to the Fed, and Shelton’s supporters have relentlessly tried to sway him. But though Alexander is a longtime deal-maker, he’s quite firm when it comes to the controversial Fed pick.

“Ever since I’ve been here, I’ve been very strong in my belief that we need an independent central bank,” Alexander said in a 20-minute interview Thursday about Shelton, his own legacy and the state of the GOP. “And I’m not convinced that she believes in the independence of the [Fed] as strongly as I believe members of the Board of Governors should.”

When Alexander announced his opposition to Shelton in November, it appeared she would still be confirmed. But then Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) caught coronavirus, Shelton’s nomination failed on the floor and Mark Kelly was sworn in as a Democratic senator from Arizona. With just a 52-seat majority and two other Republicans opposed, Alexander’s “no” vote is now decisive.

“He just felt like it was a question of conviction and principle for him,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the Republican whip. “As recently as yesterday there were some folks that were talking to him. But he’s not moving. And I respect that.”

Alexander likes to say that politicians and those in public life are remembered by the last thing they do — language he used to prod Trump to accept the results of the election and allow a transition to President-elect Joe Biden. Though one of his last acts will be blocking Shelton, Alexander’s legacy is far-reaching and complex.

As one of McConnell’s closest friends in the Senate, he’s long been a reliable Republican vote. Just this year, he joined with his party to block more witnesses from testifying at Trump’s impeachment trial and helped pave the way for Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation right before the election.

Yet Alexander is also a defender of the institution and the art of compromise after three terms in the Senate. He had a stint as Education secretary and two terms as governor of his state, not to mention a pair of presidential campaigns. He’s cut deals on immigration, higher education reform and student loan rates in recent years, and helped deliver a massive, bipartisan outdoors bill to the president’s desk over the summer.

“It leaves a hole in the Senate, absolutely. It’s hard to get things done here without partners on both sides. And he has always been someone who is willing to stop and listen. And that’s a critical part of getting things done,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), a frequent collaborator on the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which Alexander chairs.

Unlike some other retiring Republicans, Alexander has been careful not to get crosswise with the volatile president who leads his party, a distinction that sets him apart from former Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who was similarly inclined to negotiate with Democrats. The bespectacled and genial 80-year-old Republican chooses his words carefully, often organizing his thoughts in bullet points on note cards as he walks through the Capitol.

Trump has a plainly different style than Alexander. But he will go only so far in chastising the president. After all, he still has bills he wants Trump to sign, even in December.

“Policy-wise, I think our party is headed in a good direction. President Trump’s style and behavior sometimes gets in the way of his considerable policy accomplishments,” Alexander said, praising Trump’s deregulatory agenda, tax cuts and conservative judges.

“The president’s style and bad break of having to run during the Covid pandemic are probably the two things that caused the president to …,” he said, catching himself for a moment. It “almost certainly looks like that when the electors meet next week, they’re going to vote for Biden.”

Perhaps the most pivotal moment of Alexander’s final two years came in January, as he considered the question of whether to call more witnesses in Trump’s impeachment trial and upend McConnell’s plan for a speedy acquittal. In the end, he came up with a surprising solution: He thought Democrats had already proved their case, so why did he need to hear more?

“He made an inappropriate phone call to the president of Ukraine, I thought that was clear,” Alexander said. “I also thought it was clear that that’s not grounds to remove him from office and take him off the ballot … why do you need 10 witnesses when six have already made the case?”

That moment disappointed Democrats, who had hoped Alexander would mimic the late GOP Tennessee Sen. Howard Baker’s actions during former President Richard Nixon’s downfall. But Alexander’s vote did little to harm his reputation among Democratic colleagues.

“Every Republican of this era will be defined, at least partly, in relation to how they interact with Donald Trump. But for Lamar, he’s got a body of work that’s long enough, and deep enough and bipartisan enough, that that’s not the only thing that will be written about him,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), who has worked on energy issues with Alexander.

As he prepares to be succeeded by Bill Hagerty, Trump’s former ambassador to Japan, Alexander is flashing warning signs about the state of the Senate. He worries Biden is in for a difficult time getting his 1,200 nominees who will need Senate confirmation through. And that senators are wasting their strengths in not considering big bills and amendments on the floor.

“That senators can’t offer amendments on the Senate floor, you know, I say it was like joining the Grand Ole Opry and not being allowed to sing,” Alexander said, criticizing individual senators for refusing to compromise. “We got too much talent here for us just to be sitting around with our finger in our ear.”

Alexander had hoped to pass legislation curbing surprise medical billing as the cornerstone to his last year in office, but it’s unlikely to win approval amid the lame duck sprint. He still harbors hopes for simplifying student loan forms in the coming days, the kind of low-key new law that befits a senator who once wore the same red-and-black plaid shirt while campaigning across Tennessee (he and his staff now don masks of the same pattern).

But the flashiest thing the pragmatic Alexander did in the closing days of his Senate career is keeping Shelton off the Federal Reserve. And on that, there’s no room for negotiation, he said: “I’ve already made my decision.”

“He’s a man of backbone and principle. He doesn’t care much about which way the wind is blowing, he cares only about which direction he’s headed,” said Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who also opposes Shelton. “He’s a person of principle, of conscience. And we all need to be reminded of that from time to time.”

PM lauds ethnic minority groups for national development

NDO/VNA – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc lauded ethnic minority groups nationwide for their contributions to the national construction and defence over the past years, while addressing the opening of the second National Congress of Vietnamese Ethnic Minorities in Hanoi on December 4.

He described the Congress as an event of socio-political significance and a special symbol of national great unity.

The leader said Vietnam has reaped important achievements in almost all areas, yet northern mountainous, central, Mekong Delta and Central Highlands provinces where ethnic minority groups are living still meet various difficulties.

According to him, the Party and State have given priority to allocating resources to support education, health care, infrastructure and socio-economic development for ethnic and mountainous regions, accounting for 71.4% of the expenditure for the work. The Vietnam Bank for Social Policies’ loans for the region account for 52.5% of the country’s total.

As a result, 99% of communal centres and 80% of villages have accessed to electricity, 65% of communes have small irrigation systems, 80% of villages build roads for vehicles, more than half of the communes own standard medical stations while all ethnic minority people and the poor have free health insurance.

Political security and social safety and order in the region have been maintained, Party building work pushed up, political system consolidated, and ethnic minorities’ trust in the Party and State strengthened, he said, adding that their material and spiritual lives have never been better than now.

Affirming that ethnic minority group are an inseparable part and blood and flesh of the Vietnamese nation, the PM said comprehensive development of ethnic minority regions helps lay a foundation to ensure great national unity.

On the occasion, ministries and agencies from the central and grassroots levels must continue disseminating and effectively realise the Party Central Committee’s Resolution No. 24-NQ/TW on ethnic work in the new situation, do their best to basically deal with urgent issues, and create livelihoods to improve local lives and follow the motto that no one is left behind.

They were also asked to realise Resolution No.88/2019/QH14 and Resolution No. 120/2020/QH14 of the 14th National Assembly and Decision No. 1409/QD-TTg of the Prime Minister issuing the plan to realise the legislature’s Resolution No. 120 approving the National Target Programme on socio-economic development for ethnic minority and mountainous regions for the 2021-2030 period.

The leader expressed his wish that ethnic groups will offer all possible support to help their children to go to schools because education is the only way to push them to prosperity.

He hoped that nearly 1,600 outstanding delegates representing the 54 ethnic groups will lift the spirit of great national unity to a greater height.

On the occasion, the Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs was awarded with the Labour Order, first class, by the State President in recognition of its contributions to socialism building and national defence.

President Donald J. Trump to Award the Medal of Freedom to Dan Gable

On Monday, President Donald J. Trump will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Danny Mack Gable. This prestigious award is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, which may be awarded by the President to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

Mr. Gable is undoubtedly one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. Born and raised in Iowa, Gable represented his home state on the mat at Iowa State University, where he compiled an astonishing 117-1 record. During the course of his collegiate career, Gable was a two-time NCAA Wrestling Champion, three-time All-American, and three-time Big Eight Champion. After college, Gable represented the United States of America on the world stage. He won titles in the 1971 Pan American Games, the World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, the 1972 Tbilisi Tournament, and in six Midlands Opens. He also won a Gold Medal at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany.

Gable’s wrestling career was just the beginning of his success. He went on to become the winningest coach in the history of the University of Iowa, as Gable’s teams won 15 NCAA National Team Titles and compiled an overall career record of 355-21 from 1976 to 1997. Gable coached 152 All-Americans, 45 National Champions, 106 Big Ten Champions, and 12 Olympians. Gable also coached at 5 Olympic Games, 6 United States World Teams, and at 10 World Cups, among several other international tournaments.

Gable has earned many well-deserved accolades for his unmatched accomplishments, including being named the ‘Nation’s Outstanding Wrestler’ by the Amateur Athletic Union and the United States Wrestling Federation and one of the top coaches in the twentieth century and Iowa’s top sports figure in the past 100 years by ESPN. He is also in the United States of America Wrestling Hall of Fame, the United States Olympic Hall of Fame, and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Gable has inspired thousands of athletes in Iowa, the United States, and the world. Today, Gable still resides in the Hawkeye State with his wife, Kathy. He is an author, motivational speaker, father, and grandfather.

US and Israel Stepping Up Coordination for Possible Iranian Retaliation

According to a report from Haaretz, the US and Israel are increasing military coordination over fears that Iran could retaliate for the killing of prominent scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

Sources told Haaretz that officials from Iran’s military and US Central Command reportedly met to discuss the chances of an Iranian attack. The two militaries reviewed procedures for the joint detection of missile and rocket fire on US and Israeli targets in the Middle East.

Fakhrizadeh’s killing came after a report from The New York Times said President Trump reviewed options to strike an Iranian nuclear site at an Oval Office meeting last month. Since then, Iran has urged caution, warning its allies in the region against provoking the US into a military confrontation.

Israel, the likely perpetrator of Fakhrizadeh’s assassination, took the news that Trump considered attacking Iran as a signal to escalate tensions. Besides apparently killing Fakhrizadeh, Israel ramped up airstrikes in Syria against what it calls Iranian-linked targets and continues to leak stories to the press about how they are preparing for war with Iran.

The US started pulling diplomats from its embassy in Baghdad this week due to security concerns. While Iran has warned its allies in Iraq not to attack the US, there are other Iraqi factions that have their own reasons to fire on US forces. Regardless, any US casualty in Iraq between now and Trump’s last day in office will likely be blamed on Iran. The same goes for Israeli casualties.

On Thursday, Israel’s National Security Council warned that Israelis visiting countries that neighbor Iran could be the target of Iranian attacks. “In light of the threats heard recently from Iranian factors, and in light of past involvement of Iranians in terrorist attacks on various countries, there is a concern Iran will try to act in this way against Israeli destinations,” the council said in a statement.

Others are not convinced that Iran will retaliate anytime soon, including Elliot Abrams, President Trump’s hawkish point man on Iran. Abrams said that Iran is desperate for sanctions relief and would not do anything to jeopardize future negotiations with the incoming Biden administration.

Abrams and other Iran hawks in the Trump administration are looking to sabotage Joe Biden’s plans for rejoining the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA. The administration plans to slap new sanctions on Iran every week until Biden is inaugurated. But despite the sanctions and escalations by Israel, both Biden and Iran’s leadership seem keen to return to the JCPOA.

Vanuatu graduates from list of least developed countries

The Pacific island nation of Vanuatu has graduated from the official list of Least Developed Countries (LDC), becoming the sixth country to achieve the milestone since the development categorization was created in 1971.

The graduation is “testimony to years of effort resulting in hard-won sustainable development gains,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a message.

Vanuatu graduated despite severe setbacks due to accelerating climate change, natural disasters, and the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit remittances flowing back home hard, and the trade and tourism sector.

The country has prepared a transition strategy, which will help navigate the next steps in its development path.

Vanuatu was recommended for graduation from the LDC category by the UN Committee for Development Policy in 2012, having met the graduation thresholds for the Human Assets Index and income in 2006, 2009 and 2012.

The recommendation was approved by the Economic and Social Council in 2012 and by the General Assembly in 2013. The country was granted an extension in 2015, following the severe devastation caused by Cyclone Pam, and the graduation was postponed to 4 December 2020.

While the move reflects the “significant improvements” in development indicators, Vanuatu remains highly vulnerable to external shocks as well as the fact that it is a small island State, according to the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

“As we focus on building back better, ESCAP stands ready and committed to continue to support Vanuatu in its development aspirations and in implementing the smooth transition strategy,” said Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, ESCAP Executive Secretary.

Least developed countries (LDCs) are low-income countries confronting severe structural impediments to sustainable development. They are highly vulnerable to economic and environmental shocks and have low levels of human assets.

Given their special circumstances, LDCs have exclusive access to certain international support measures such as in the areas of development assistance and trade.

Webinar marking 130th Anniversary of Dr. Norman Bethune’s Birth held in Beijing

A webinar commemorating the 130th Anniversary of Dr. Norman Bethune’s birth was held on Friday, aiming to promote Bethune’s spirit of internationalism and humanitarianism.

More than 300 Chinese and Canadian representatives attended the webinar, which was organized by Beijing People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, China Society for People’s Friendship Studies, Bethune Spirit Research Association, the Museum of the War of Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, and Confucius Institute in Waterloo.

Norman Bethune, a Canadian physician, is a household name in China. Leading his medical team to China in 1938 to help Chinese people fight against Japanese invaders during World War II, Bethune sacrificed his life in November 1939.

Bethune treated a lot of wounded villagers and soldiers on the frontlines. Late Chinese leader Chairman Mao Zedong commended him as “a noble-minded and pure man of moral integrity and above vulgar interests, a man who is of value to the people.”

“Bethune’s great sense of responsibility and selfless contributions is still the spirit of the times,” said the President of Bethune Spirit Research Association, Yuan Yonglin.

The President of Bethune Canadian Alliance, Dr. John Ducas, said that Bethune’s deed of devotion to others, without letting the thoughts of others interfere, had a profound impact on his life. “This is what medical workers should strive for,” he said, noting that he will carry forward Bethune’s spirit and continue his non-profit clinic programs in China.

“Bethune’s spirit of internationalism and humanitarianism will never be out-of-date,” said Lou Cunkang, curator of the Museum of the War of Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, adding “building a community with a shared future needs more people like Bethune.”

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between China and Canada.

“Commemorating Bethune and learning his spirit is meaningful at this time,” said Zhang Qian, Executive Vice President of Beijing People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign countries, adding “Dr. Bethune served as a bridge between China and Canada. We should carry on his legacy and strengthen the friendship and cultural exchanges between the two countries, passing this on to our next generation.”

Published by jim

Curator of things...

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