Diplomat Sun Bigan dies, was sent to Iraq to rescue hostages
2022-01-14: [Article Link] The paperer (www.thepaper.cn) was informed by several friends of Ambassador Sun Bikhan that a prominent diplomat and former Special Envoy of China for the Middle East, Ambassador Sun Bikhang, died on 12 January 2022, and was 80 years old.
According to public sources, Sun Bikken, a Hubei Wuhan, was born in June 1941 and joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after graduating from Beijing Foreign Language University in 1965, and since 1990 he has served successively as Ambassador of China to Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran. From April 2006 to April 2009, Sun Bingchen served as China's Special Envoy for the Middle East. From his first day of contact with the Arabic language to his third retirement in March 2009, Sun Bikhang has had almost half a century of uncertainty with the Middle East. For decades, he has travelled dozens of times to the countries of the Middle East, all over the Arab world, building deep friendships with the local people.
During his mission to Iraq, Sun Bixan was recognized as the 2004 figure who “sensitized China.” The award saying that he was in danger in his year, leaving his homeland to write the legend of a mission. For the sake of peace, he sprung between wars, and for the sake of saving lives, he used his good offices on the brink of death. “It is not for the good or for the life of the tyrannical nation to escape. In May, the United States military announced the end of a large-scale military attack on Iraq for more than 40 days. In June, the Chinese Government began work on the return of the Embassy in Iraq, after six months of retirement, with a dangerous mandate. In response, Sun Bian said, "There are not many opportunities for a retired person, I went and I did."
On 18 July 2003, four of them crossed the Yoi highway, known as the road to death, entering post-war Iraq for the first time to investigate in situ the destruction of the post-war Iraqi and our embassies in Iraq. However, owing to the exceptionally chaotic security situation in Iraq, the team was forced to withdraw from Baghdad and to stand by in Jordan, and in February 2004 the team decided to return to Baghdad again and, in view of the critical security situation in Iraq, the Government sent six police officers to accompany it, in particular, for the security of the team. After returning to Baghdad, the Chinese Embassy in Iraq had been looted and Sun Bikhang had to move into the Mansoor Hotel, just a kilometre away from the United States Command in Iraq, so the sound of explosions and gunfire was often heard. This is how Sun’s life is described: “Sleep in the sound of a gun, wake in the sound of a gun.” That is what happens in this turbulent situation, but something that Sun does not expect. “We knew for the first time that seven Chinese workers had been abducted by unidentified Iraqi militants at 9 p.m. on 11 April”.
After hearing the news of the kidnapping of the seven Chinese, Sun Bing was like a clear-fire earthquake. Because of the kidnapping of three Japanese, one Canadian, four Italians and two Americans, some of the hostages have even been torn to pieces. What will Sun Bing do at this critical juncture?
“We shall proceed immediately, first we shall report back to the country as soon as possible, and in parallel we shall carry out the rescue.” The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a press conference held at the first hour, made clear the attitude of our country on this matter.
At the same time, Sun’s civil diplomacy has taken advantage of personal relations to reach out to Iraq’s influential local religious organization, the Presbyterian Council. Al-Jazeera is a particularly influential medium in the Middle East region, and in order to find more avenues to free Chinese hostages, Sun’s speech was delivered in Arabic. After a full-scale, multi-channel rescue, it took only 25 hours for the Chinese hostage incident to be resolved successfully. Twenty-five hours for the rescue of the hostage, and one time for the international diplomatic community, it is good news.