An outpouring of condolences has been expressed from the people of China who honored the late Nelson Mandela, calling him an ‘old friend of the Chinese people’ who ‘won the respect and love of people all over the world’.
In a statement made by Hong Lei, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he expressed his deepest sympathies on behalf of the nation, adding that Mandela made historic contributions to the development of Sino-South African relations.
“He’s not only regarded ‘the father of the country’ by the South African people, but has also won respect and fondness from people all around the world,” Hong said in the statement.
The anti-apartheid revolutionary and politician Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela passed away peacefully at his home in Johannesburg after a prolonged fight against lung cancer on Thursday. He was 95 years old.
The Nobel Peace Laureate was elected South Africa’s first black president and served 27 years as a political prisoner during his life-long battle to tackle inequality, institutionalized racism and political unjustness.
Mandela established strong ties with China in 1998 after the Chinese Communist Party supported the Pan African Congress, a rival to Mandela’s Moscow-backed ANC, according to the Associated Press.
Users on Weibo are also mourning the death of Mandela with an outpouring of updates expressing condolences and deep respect.
“That’s why his death could cause such tremendous responses in countries with different political systems because he is an icon for the pursuit of freedom and peaceful co-existence,” one user named Ren said.
[Image via ANC Archives]