August 6, 2015
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will on 8 August, 2015 commence a three day official visit to the three West African nations of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, on the invitations of Foreign Ministers of the said countries.
Briefing top diplomats from the three countries in Beijing, China, Vice Director African Department in the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Wang Shiting said his country was the first to respond in the form of medical help to the tune of US$120 million and dispatch 1,200 medical personnel to the three countries at the onset of the Ebola outbreak.
The Foreign Minister is set to visit Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea and 8, 9 and 10 August, respectively, Wang said, adding that the envoy will hold discussions with the countries’ leaders on ensuring a complete eradication of the virus and what help China could render to the post-ebola economic recoveries of the affected countries.
The visit, he said, is also aimed at lifting the bars of cooperation ties between the three countries and China, as well serving as an example in the International Community that China is supportive of the post-Ebola recovery drives of the affected nations so as to give zeal to the International Community to do same. “This is an important visit as it shows our commitment to Africa and a demonstration of our friendship with the continent,” Wang said.
Responding on behalf of Sierra Leone, Charge de Affairés Madam Kumba Alice Momoh thanked, on behalf of the Government and people of Sierra Leone, the Government of China for their continued support to Sierra Leone, paying special attention to the support rendered during the ebola outbreak.
China has for decades remained a strong partner of Africa, especially in the continent’s development drive. This partnership was in 2000 defined within the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). Established as a mechanism for fostering ties between the continent and China, FOCAC now serves as a platform in addressing the challenges brought by economic globalization and in promoting common development initiatives.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations and forging of the people-to- people ties in the early 1970s, China and Sierra Leone have enjoyed long lasting friendship. Not only did Sierra Leone play a lead role in China’s entrance into the UN Security Council, over the years, China on the other hand has been of great help to Sierra Leone’s development efforts.
The country has remained a key development partner, robustly helping Sierra Leone in the fight against the Ebola virus with support aggregating millions of dollars.
President Ernest Bai Koroma has always commended the Chinese government for their continued support and commitment to the ongoing fight against the Ebola virus disease (EVD) that has killed thousands of people in the small West African state.
Meanwhile, the visit of the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to Sierra Leone is expected to further build on the ties and friendship between the two nations.