The First Lady of China and that of Cameroon had a closed-door meeting at the Great Hall of the People of China, yesterday, March 22, 2018.
They have never met before. Yesterday March 22, 2018 was the first time in history Cameroon’s First Lady, Chantal Biya met with the First Lady of the People’s Republic of China, Peng Liyuan.
But the connection and friendship between both First Ladies was strong and natural. This is obvious because of what each of them do in their various corners to fight HIV/AIDS and suffering in the world.
A fight which has earned both ladies, Goodwill Ambassadors for HIV/AIDS. This is why in their first encounter, which is the first day of a State visit by President Paul Biya to the People’s Republic of China, Peng Liyuan used the opportunity to discuss with an active partner in the fight against HIV and suffering.
After the official welcome ceremony organised in honour of the First Couple of Cameroon, Peng Liyuan and Chantal Biya withdrew into one of the rooms at the Great Hall of the People for discussions on pertinent issues which they both hold dear to their hearts.
Through an interpreter Peng Liyuan told Chantal Biya how she has heard about her activities as a First Lady in the African continent which resulted to the creation of the Pan-African NGO, African Synergy Against HIV and suffering with her as the Founding President.
Through different Chinese Ambassadors to Cameroon, the wife of the President of the People’s Republic of China said she also understands, Mrs Biya is actively involved in raising public awareness on the fight against poverty, HIV/AIDS, disease, misery, human hardship while ensuring the protection, education, social and health needs of mothers and children in Cameroon and beyond.
Knowing that Cameroon’s First Lady is not only UNAIDS Special Ambassador but also UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassador for Education and Social Inclusion, Peng Liyuan said she wants to learn more from Mrs Biya who has been in the fight for over 20 years.
The wife of Chinese President, Xi Jinping is World Health Organisation (WHO) Goodwill Ambassador for Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. Just like Mrs Biya, Liyuan received the certificate as Goodwill Ambassador for her outstanding work in HIV/AIDS prevention from UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe.
China's First Lady as a campaigner in fighting HIV/AIDS once said China has always actively supported African countries in anti-HIV/AIDS work. Within this backdrop, Peng was glad to talk with Mrs Biya on the stakes at hand when it comes to fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa.
The Chantal Biya Foundation is one of the structures which keeps benefitting from the largesse of the Chinese People to alleviate poverty and diseases in Africa. Alongside meeting Peng Liyuan was the wife of the Cameroon’s Ambassador to China, Daka Mpana, the Wife of the Chinese Ambassador to Cameroon and the Secretary General of the Chantal Biya Foundation in Yaounde, Habissou Bidoung.
The Great Hall Visit
After meeting with Peng Liyuan, Chantal Biya, alongside her close aides traced the history and culture of the people of China through a visit to other rooms within the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. It is a State building used for special events, such as honorary ceremonies to welcome foreign dignitaries as well as national meetings of various special and political organizations.
During the visit, the First Lady was able to enter the main auditorium which is the People’s General Assembly Hall with a 10,000 capacity sitting place. Designed to symbolize the national unity and ethnic equality of the nation, the Great Hall embodied the new Chinese character of time in its features, proportion and details.
Through pictures and drawings on the wall, Mrs Biya and her entourage could trace the history of China which dates back into 1949 when Mao declared the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Besides artistic drawings and Chinese arts works made with porecline material, the First Lady also discovered the largest piano in the world.