Speech by Consul General Zhao Jian at the “Shanghai: Safe Haven During the Holocaust” Reception
13 June 2022
Dear Mr and Mrs Grossmann,
Dear Chairman of Katten Mr Roger Furey,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is an honor for me to attend tonight’s reception for the exhibition “Shanghai: Safe Haven During the Holocaust”. Thanks go to Katten for the kind invitation. I also would like to thank Katten and other organizers for presenting us with the exhibition of this touching story and important part of history between Chinese and Jewish people.
More than 80 years ago, when many parts of the world closed doors to Jewish refugees who were persecuted and massacred by the Nazis, the kind-hearted Chinese people and the inclusive city of Shanghai opened their arms to tens of thousands of Jewish refugees, provided them with this “Noah’s Ark”. The story of the Safe Haven in Shanghai is deeply moving. The perseverance and diligence of the Jewish people deserve our respect, so are the kindness and integrity of the Chinese people.
The story of the Safe Haven in Shanghai has vividly demonstrated the national spirit of integrity, kindness, fraternity and inclusiveness of the Chinese people. Integrity, diligence, kindness, peace, and harmony are what Chinese people have always pursued for 5,000 years, passing on from one generation to the next. Despite all the sufferings and hardships, the Chinese people have always tried their best to uphold peace and justice, willing to work together with all peace-loving nations and to exchange and learn from each other and prosper together. No matter what challenges we may face, we are always committed to solidarity and cooperation, supporting and helping each other so as to overcome difficulties and creating a better life together.
The story of the Safe Haven in Shanghai demonstrated the profound friendship between the Chinese people and the Jewish people. The Chinese and the Jewish people have begun to engage and communicate with each other since more than a thousand years ago, many Jewish people have long since come to China along the Silk Road to do business, and some of them settling down in China, establishing Jewish communities and living in harmony with the local Chinese people. China is also one of the few countries in the world that has never oppressed or excluded the Jewish people. During World War II, the Chinese and Jewish people experienced similar sufferings and hardships and they forged a deep friendship. The Chinese people created an oasis of life for tens of thousands of Jews, and many Jewish people also fought side by side with the Chinese people against the Japanese fascist aggression, writing a touching chapter of the history featuring mutual support of our two peoples.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We believe that with the joint efforts, our friendship will grow stronger with time. We should also bear in mind that peace has not come easily and the past inspires the future. With various traditional and non-traditional security threats emerging one after another, the world today is not tranquil and peaceful. In the face of unprecedented challenges, no country can deal with them on its own. Only with mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation can the peoples of all countries preserve common security and long-term peace, promote the well-being of the whole mankind and prosper together. China will always uphold the universal values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom, adhere to the path of peaceful development, mutual benefit and win-win results, and work with other countries to build a community with a shared future for mankind.
As the two largest economies in the world and permanent members of the UN Security Council, when China and the U.S. work together, they can make great things happen for the good of the people in both countries and the world at large; when they have serious problems or run into confrontation, it will definitely spell disaster for both sides and beyond. China and the U.S. should make joint efforts to promote the healthy and stable development of their bilateral relations. The Chinese people are willing to join hands with all friends and partners in the world and work together for a shared and beautiful future!