Chinese Embassy Donates 150 "Friendship Trees" to Albanian Capital

The Chinese Embassy in Albania has donated on Friday 150 "friendship trees" to Tirana, marking the 100th anniversary of the city becoming Albania's capital.
Chinese Ambassador to Albania Zhou Ding and Deputy Mayor of Tirana Municipality for Foreign Relations Anuela Ristani planted some of the trees in the park of the Artificial Lake in Tirana, said Xinhua news agency.
Speaking at the ceremony, Zhou said that the trees, donated ahead of the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, which falls on Oct. 1., symbolize the everlasting friendship between the two countries on the occasion of the two anniversaries.
Zhou said Tirana is a strong and lively city. "Despite the shocks of several earthquakes and COVID-19 pandemic, residents here always face challenges and difficulties with courage and solidarity."
The ambassador recalled that on the onset of COVID-19 outbreaks in China, the Tirana municipality initiated a campaign to support China's fight against the pandemic by rejecting stigmatization and discrimination.
"We are very proud of having a real friend like Albania and very proud of China's contribution with medical equipment in Albania's battle against the pandemic," Zhou added.
Zhou said that Tirana is moving forward on the path of green and sustainable development, stressing that China is ready to work together with Albania and Tirana on promoting green economic recovery.
In her remarks, Ristani praised the donation of the Chinese embassy.
"This is absolutely a very special gift for Tirana, more special than in any other year, especially in this difficult time, when it is not easy for our friends to wish or be present during our celebrations," Ristani said.
Among those present at the ceremony was Head of the Friendship Parliamentary group between Albania and China, Member of Parliament (MP) Bashkim Fino.
Fino thanked the Chinese embassy and the ambassador on behalf of the Albanian Parliament and the Albanian people for the continuous assistance given to the country.
Fino called the donation as a "great help and extraordinary care shown by the Chinese Embassy."

Tirana was declared the capital of Albania on Feb. 11, 1920.