French consul general: Wuhan is where I should stay

2020-02-21 Xinhua Editor:Li Yan

Despite the epidemic outbreak, Olivier Guyonvarch, French consul general in Wuhan, returned to the epicenter on Jan. 30 from France where he had stayed for medical reasons.

"I am very attached to Wuhan, and for me there is no doubt: my place is here," Guyonvarch said in an interview with Xinhua.

According to Guyonvarch, he is working with three other French expatriate agents in the consul, together with Chinese employees who work at home. The French Consulate General is working on a lean operation mode.

"Together with my colleagues we have made the choice to stay because it is our duty and our mission. We are proud to be here at the service of France and the Franco-Chinese friendship," Guyonvarch said. "It is in difficult times that one recognizes one's true friends."

"Wuhan is of particular importance to me, I have many Wuhan friends. I love this warm, vibrant and dynamic city," Guyonvarch said. He paid tribute to the front line medical staff fighting coronavirus, and businessmen and workers who keep the city operating.

"I think a lot about the medical staff who are on the front line in the fight against coronavirus... They are the first to be affected by the virus, and many of them have sacrificed their health and even their lives. I would like to show them all my admiration and respect," said the French consul general.

"But I also think of all the small businesses in Wuhan, the employees who clean the streets, and especially the shopkeepers, in the markets, shops and supermarkets that remain open to provide food... They also deserve our full respect."

He added when normal life resumes in Wuhan, the Consulate General will relaunch economic, scientific, cultural, educational and linguistic cooperation.

"We intend to organize exhibitions, shows and concerts even more beautiful than before, because the people of Wuhan deserve to find the joy and happiness of living after this terrible ordeal," Guyonvarch said.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday expressed solidarity with the Chinese government and people in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, as well as appreciation for China's timely and effective measures and its high degree of openness and transparency.

He noted that France has provided a batch of medical supplies to China and stands ready to provide more assistance.

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