The Spring Festival Greeting Message by Chinese Ambassador to Iceland Jin Zhijian

The Chinese Lunar New Year of the Ox is coming as the spring of 2021 approaches.

The past 2020 was truly unforgettable. At the beginning of the past year, COVID-19 broke out all of a sudden and spread rapidly, imposing a tremendous disaster and an unprecedented challenge around the world.

Confronted with the grave and complex situation brought about by COVID-19, the Chinese people stood in solidarity and forged ahead bravely, bringing the pandemic under control within a short period of time. China achieved positive growth in economy as the work resumption took place rapidly amid successful pandemic control. Besides, the past 2020 also witnessed a decisive success in eradicating China's extreme poverty, and the 13th Five-Year Plan was accomplished in full. China continues to deepen reform and expand opening-up, and has seen major breakthroughs in scientific explorations like the Tianwen-1 (Mars mission) and Chang'e-5 (lunar probe). Also in 2020, China made historic achievement of establishing a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

Confronted with the grave and complex situation brought about by COVID-19, the bilateral relations between China and Iceland have withstood the test. The leaders of the two countries exchanged letters and telegrams to show their common will for a better future. Our two peoples also joined hands and supported each other during the difficult times, writing a new chapter of friendship in our history. The warm blessings from our Icelandic friends echoed above the vast land of China, and the plane fully loaded with the Chinese medical supplies formed a symbol of love above the beautiful city of Reykjavík. In 2020, China and Iceland had frequent online exchanges in the fields such as politics, economy and trade, as well as public health. As a result, our bilateral pragmatic cooperation has been moving forward steadily.

The year 2021 marks the very beginning of the 14th Five-Year Plan and will usher in the centenary of the Communist Party of China. This year will also witness the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Iceland. This will be a year full of hope and expectations. Only by ceaseless hard work can we win the future.

In traditional Chinese culture, the ox represents diligence, simplicity and prosperity. At this beautiful moment to bid farewell to the old and usher in the new, I sincerely wish the people of China and Iceland a happy new year of the ox, wish happiness and good health for everyone, wish stable and harmonious relationship for our two countries, and wish an everlasting friendship for all of us.