It was an evening to celebrate the works of a great man at Jordan’s embassy in China.
Coupled with Niccolò Paganini’s Grand Sonata in A major performed by virtuoso violinist Lyu Siqing, it served as a reminder that as the international community unites against a common scourge, one day, the coronavirus itself will have to face the music.
The esteemed group were at the embassy, to recognize a special occasion.
The King of Jordan awarded Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Group, with the highest honor — the King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein Order for Distinction of the First Degree, for his contribution and donation to the country during the Covid-19 pandemic, CGTN online reported.
In April, the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation donated 300,000 medical face masks, 100,000 coronavirus detection kits, 10,000 sets of protective gear for medical personnel and more to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
The award makes Ma the first non-Jordanian to obtain the honor. Ma was not able to personally travel to Jordan due to the global pandemic, receiving the decoration instead in Beijing at Jordan’s embassy in China, the report said.
From the very early days of the spread of the disease, Ma came forward with his initiative to support Jordan with substantial donations and contributions of medical supplies, said Hussam Al Husseini, ambassador of Jordan to China.
The co-founder of Alibaba stepped down at his 55th birthday on September 10, 2019, the report said.
Alibaba has grown to become Asia’s most valuable listed company under Ma’s leadership. Its current market capitalization is around US$695 billion.
Known for his humility and generosity, Jack Ma says his contribution is small. Instead, he credited those working in logistics, airports, customs and everyone manning the front lines of the pandemic as true heroes, the report said.
His global and China donations are reflections of the solidarity needed between nations and between the public and private sectors to fight the pandemic in a concerted effort.
In his acceptance remarks, Ma noted that Alibaba and his foundation donated over 200 million items of pandemic prevention materials to more than 150 countries and regions, the report said.
As chairman also of the China Entrepreneur Club, he said members of the organization donated over six billion yuan, or nearly US$870 million worth of medical goods in China and abroad.
Meanwhile, cooperation against Covid-19 is also taking center stage in China-Jordan relations. Beijing and Amman have been coordinating their efforts to jointly tackle the virus.
“Definitely it was a very successful coordination, from the very early days actually. My country Jordan was very much watching the procedures taken by the government of China,” Ambassador Al Husseini told CGTN.
The ambassador also said China’s engagement with the Middle East has led to tremendous trade and investment opportunities for the region, the report sais.
He added that China’s highly successful Belt and Road Initiative can help to spur a Middle East recovery after the pandemic, noting the BRI will play an important role in bringing people closer and delivering to businesses a more prosperous future.