Heads of international organizations and world leaders and officials sent their Chinese New Year greetings as China welcomes the Year of the Ox. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sent his Chinese New Year greetings in a recorded video message. “I send my best wishes to all, for prosperity, health and happiness in the Year of the Ox,” he said.
He called for the world to unite in 2021 to tackle crises. “Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic brought great uncertainty and disruption. In 2021, we must stand together to fight the virus, take climate action, and build a strong recovery from the pandemic.” In his message, he also thanked China for its continuous support for “multilateral-ism and the United Nations across all pillars of our work.”
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva congratulated people of China and other Asian countries celebrating the Lunar New Year. She said the ox symbolizes diligence, hard work, and integrity, and these qualities are what is needed to rebuild the post-pandemic world. UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Audrey Azoulay extended Spring Festival greetings to the Chinese people.
“Last year, the world experienced unprecedented difficulties, which have reminded us to act promptly to mend the rift between nature and human beings to promote harmonious coexistence,” she stressed.In his New Year message, Pakistani President Arif Alvi lauded the cooperation with China in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the area of COVID-19 vaccines.
China has carried out cooperation based on the principle of peaceful development with Pakistan as well as other countries, he said. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has extended his greetings in a video to all the Chinese people for the Spring Festival.”Last year was a tumultuous year for everybody in the world, particularly for the people of Iran and China. I remember on the eve of the Spring Festival of last year, I expressed the hope that the government and people of China would overcome the pandemic that has affected the world,” Zarif said.
“Now, as we enter a new Chinese year, I want to congratulate the government and people of China for their impressive success in dealing with the virus and for their impressive achievements in producing vaccines now certified by health authorities,” he said. U.S. President Joe Biden extended his New Year greetings to all Chinese people on Thursday during a phone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The two presidents wished each other good fortune in the Year of the Ox, and had an in-depth exchange of views on China-U.S. relations and major international and regional issues. Biden wished the Chinese people a happy and prosperous New Year. Xi congratulated Biden on taking office as U.S. president, and wished the people of China and the U.S. a happy and auspicious Year of the Ox.
Following Biden’s congratulatory message, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday also sent his greetings. “I wish our friends around the world good health, peace, and fortune on the occasion of the Lunar New Year on February 12,” he said in a statement.Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha sent his wishes to the Chinese government and people in a video message, noting that Thailand has made the Spring Festival a legal holiday for the first time this year.
He called on China and Thailand to make joint efforts for the happiness of the two countries’ people and regional development and prosperity. Prime Minister of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea Francisco Pascual Obama Asue, Colombia’s Minister of Culture Felipe Buitrago, Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Milorad Dodik, Russia’s Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Tolstoy Petr Olegoviсh, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Comoros President Azali Assoumani also sent Chinese New Year greetings on behalf of their countries.
The president of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), Volkan Bozkir, on Thursday wished a happy Lunar New Year to the Chinese people. In a message, the UNGA president noted that “in Chinese culture, the ox represents positivity, courage, honesty and hard work – all of which are central to the work we do at the UN.”
“May the Year of the Ox bring us joy and health,” Bozkir said. Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades sent his greetings on Thursday. “On the auspicious occasion of the Chinese Lunar New Year, the year of the Ox, I would like to extend on behalf of the government and the people of the Republic of Cyprus our most heartfelt wishes for good health and happiness to all of you and to the friendly people of the People’s Republic of China,” he said in a video message.
Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin congratulated the people of China, as well as Chinese living in Ireland, and wished them a happy Year of the Ox. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent his “best wishes to everyone celebrating the Chinese New Year this weekend” and said during the Year of the Ox, both countries will “win our struggle against the (COVID-19) pandemic.” French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday extended his Lunar New Year greetings on Twitter in French, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean languages. Macron wished “health, success and happiness” to all those who celebrate the festival.