February 25, 2019
By Yusufu S. Bangura
Ambassador Wu Peng has on Friday (22nd February, 2019) bade farewell to Sierra Leone, after serving as the top Chinese diplomat in the country for over two years.
The farewell reception, which took place at the Chinese Embassy, was graced by various dignitaries including government functionaries and diplomats.
Addressing guests at the occasion, Ambassador Wu Pen described his farewell as a ‘bitter sweet’ moment.
“Time stops for no one. Two years and four months have gone by a blink of an eye, but compared with the 48 –year-long ties between China and Sierra ,it is a small period of time.Nonetheless,it is the most important ,meaningful and rewarding period in my career,” he said.
He stated that it was a great honour for him to be posted as Chinese Ambassador to “this beautiful, peaceful and hospitable country.
He said his ambassadorship was marked by perfect coordination and cooperation with his Sierra Leonean friends.
Ambassador Wu Peng continued that during his tenure in the country, he experienced great sense of achievement and he had worked for and took part in two state visits to China by President Julius Maada Bio in 2018 and former President Ernest Bai Koroma in 2016.
He said the two countries have drawn blueprint for bilateral relations, which he and his colleagues were working very hard to implement.
“The process was not without difficulties, but everything pays off as we see the establishment and advancement of comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between China and Sierra Leone. It also pays off as we see Sierra Leone’s steady march towards New Direction and the launching of Free Quality Education Project,” he said.
He cited the completion and handing over of the Bankasoka Mini-Hydro power Dam project, the reinforcement of National Stadium, among several other projects.
He mentioned that during his tenure, he experienced strong sense of happiness, as he enjoyed his stay in the country each and every day.
“Every night I got to sleep with the sound of the ocean waves, while sometimes mixed with the rock music. I tied some typical African food and I will miss the Sierra Leone lobsters.”
The top Chines diplomat said he was glad to have found the introduction of fishing off season, which will effectively protect fishery resources and promote sustainable development of fishery resources.
He added that he was gladdened by the socio-economic development and achievements the country has achieved, especially with regards to balanced development of different regions.
“During my tenure in Sierra Leone, I have experienced great sense of achievement. I am deeply proud of the fraternity between China and Sierra Leone based on equality, sincerity and mutual benefit and I am constantly working to strengthen it,” he said.
He noted that ending his tenure in Sierra Leone, he had experienced unlimited sense of hope and that Sierra Leone was moving forward under the New Direction, which China fully supports.
“I am leaving, but my love and passion for this country will stay. Please be assured that I will continue to follow closely the development of Sierra Leone and offer committed support whenever needed. People will come and go but China and Sierra Leone relations will remain strong,” he said.
On his part, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Alie Kabba, thanked Ambassador Wu Peng for his service in the country.
He said Ambassador Peng achieved a great deal during his tenure in the country, having oversaw the strengthening of relations between China and Sierra Leone.
He stated that Ambassador Wu Peng facilitated China’s signing of different assistance projects with Sierra Leone, including the Regent-Limkokwing road, the West African Medical Research Institute, providing 30 garbage trucks and $29.8 million gratuitous assistance to implement the fish harbor project.
He said they were looking forward to continue the engagement with the Chinese Government, stating that there will always be one better friend of Sierra Leone in the person of Ambassador Wu Peng in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China.
“I must say to you that your initiatives have laid the groundwork for long-term gains in our partnership, and you will be remembered through the projects as they yield results over the years,” he said.