Beijing. China yesterday conferred on former Prime Minister Salim Ahmed Salim one of the country’s highest state honours.
Dr Salim’s daughter, Ms Maryam Salim, received the Friendship Medal on his behalf from Chinese President Xi Jinping during an elaborate ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Dr Salim was Tanzania’s ambassador to China from 1969 to 1970 after which he was appointed the country’s permanent representative to the United Nations, a position he held for ten years to 1980 when he was appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Other senior positions he held in the first and second phase governments were Prime Minister (1984-85) and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence and National Service (1986-89).
Dr Salim was among six foreign nationals honoured with the Friendship Medal yesterday. Eight Chinese nations received the Medal of the Republic, with various national honorary titles being bestowed on 28 of their compatriots.
Speaking at the event, President Xi congratulated the recipients, saying they were “outstanding representatives of the people who contributed to the cause of the Party and the people”, adding that their deeds and contributions would always be remembered and cherished by China.
“Today, we honour these heroes and role models with the highest standards to promote their qualities of loyalty, perseverance and humbleness.
“Heroes and role models once again demonstrate with their actions that greatness comes out of the ordinary,” President Xi said, adding that by adhering to firm ideals and convictions and working tirelessly, any ordinary person can have an extraordinary life and any ordinary job can produce extraordinary achievements.
He encouraged the recipients to influence more people with their strong faith, beliefs and confidence.
“We have sincere gratitude to the recipients of the Friendship Medal for their contribution to China’s development,” said Mr Xi, adding that Chinese people are willing to work with people of all countries to build a community with a shared future for humanity and make the planet a better place.
Other recipients of the Friendship Medal were Cuba’s Raul Castro Ruz, Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Russia’s Galina Kulikova, France’s Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Canada’s Isabel Crook.