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Changsha sends face masks to sister cities in US

Updated: Sep 03,2020 05:29 PM

The municipal government of Changsha, Hunan province, recently received a letter of gratitude from the city of Annapolis, Maryland, in the United States for its donation of 40,000 medical-grade facemasks in the effort against COVID-19, according to the city's foreign affairs office.

"I am writing on behalf of the residents of the city of Annapolis to thank you for the shipment of KN-95 masks gifted to Annapolis from our sister city of Changsha," Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley wrote in the letter. "We greatly appreciate the masks, but perhaps more so we appreciate the ongoing gesture of international friendship between our two cities that this exchange represents."

"These items of personal protective equipment will be used by our police, firefighters and frontline staff to keep our employees safe when dealing with public issues during the COVID-19 pandemic," he wrote. "It is paramount for the city of Annapolis to maintain workers' safety."

In response to the donation, the mayor sent Changsha officials a book of photographs of Annapolis.

As early as April, Changsha had donated a shipment of personal protective equipment to Annapolis.

Xiao Yali, an official of the Changsha foreign affairs office, explained the reason in a letter.

"Changsha made this donation because we have a strong relationship with Annapolis. As sister cities, we should stand firmly together and support each other."

"We sincerely wish you and everyone in Annapolis continued good health, and the fortitude to persevere during this challenging period."

More than 200,000 pieces of personal protective equipment have been sent to the US city of New Haven, Connecticut, another of Changsha's sister cities, since the coronavirus outbreak.

"Amid worsening tensions between the US and Chinese governments, the city-to-city international friendship remains strong," the New Haven Independent reported after the city received 10,000 medical-grade face masks recently.

Some of the masks will be sent to the New Haven Fire Training Academy, where they will be used regionally by emergency medical personnel. Others will be sent to the School of Nursing at Yale University.

"Hospitals in New Haven have been facing a shortage of personal protective equipment," said Marcia Thomas, deputy dean of the school. "Donations from China have helped relieve the pressure of our healthcare system."

The Capital Gazette reported that one of the boxes featuring American and Chinese flags has a message that reads: "Go, city of Annapolis! Best wishes from Changsha! True unity inspires people to work as one to overcome adversity."

"International friendships like this bridge divides," said Buckley, the mayor of Annapolis. "I'm grateful for the gift of the masks, but I'm even more grateful for what it says about the hopefulness of the human condition."