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‘China is always a force to uphold world peace’

-Ambassador Hu  

August 21, 2020

By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

Chinese envoy to Sierra Leone, Ambassador HU Zhangliang, has stated that China has always been a force to uphold world peace, promote human development and progress.   

“The Chinese culture values peace, cooperation, amity and good neighborliness. The Chinese cultural genes determine that China is always a force to uphold world peace and promote human development and progress,” he said.

He was yesterday, Thursday August 20th, during a symposium on ‘China’s Development and Foreign Policy’ organised by the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone, at the Bintumani Hotel in Freetown. 

He said China is widely recognized as a staunch force in safeguarding world peace, contributing to global development, and upholding international order, stating that China is of the firm belief that countries with different historical backgrounds and cultures, different ideologies and different social systems can co-exist in harmony and cooperate for win-win result.

He took a swipe on the United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who he said delivered a staggering and even ridiculous speech at the Nixon Presidential Library in California, claiming that the kind of engagement the U.S. has been pursuing has not brought the kind of change inside of China that President Nixon had hoped to induce”, and calling for “a new alliance of democracies” to change “Communist China”.

He said Pompeo’s speech reflects the deep-rooted Cold War mentality and arrogant ideological prejudices of some U.S. politicians.

“Fortunately, not many people buy Pompeo’s argument, not even in the United States. This is because his accusations on China are groundless, distorting the facts and anachronistic, either from historical or practical perspective, he said.

He said China is a country boasting of a long history of nearly 5,000 years with splendid civilization and the ancient Chinese created miracles such as the Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors.

He said China is a country with strong perseverance, unyielding spirit and profound tenacity, and that following the advent of modern times about 180 years ago, due to the aggression of the Western powers and the corruptness of China’s feudal rulers, China was gradually reduced to a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society.

He said as the land of China was laid to occupation and its people plagued into misery, the Chinese nation experienced unprecedented sufferings and was on the verge of collapse and elimination.

“The Opium War, the Japanese Aggression War of 1894-1895, the Eight-Power Allied Army’s invasion of China, and the Japanese War of Aggression from 1931 to 1945 on China are all humiliating memories that the Chinese people will never forget.”

Ambassador Hu said in pursuit of national independence and people’s freedom and happiness, countless heroes of China fought and sacrificed one after another until achieving the final victory.

 He said China is a country that created miracles of human development and over the past 70 years since the founding of New China, especially over the past 40 years of reform and opening up, China has undergone earth-shaking changes, noting that Chinese nation has stood up, grown rich, and is becoming strong.

He said 70 years ago, China was one of the poorest and most backward countries in the world but today, the Asian giant has grown into the world’s second largest economy, the largest industrial country, the largest trader in goods and the biggest holder of foreign exchange reserves.

He further stated that China’s contribution rate to global economic growth has exceeded 30% for several years and that 40 years ago, China’s per capita GDP was less than US$200, today, it is over US$10,000.

He said more than 800 million people have been lifted out of poverty and people’s average life expectancy has been increased from 35 to 77 years, noting that in 2019, China’s total GDP reached 14.4 trillion United States Dollars, accounting for more than 16% of the world’s share.

“China is the largest developing country in the world, and is moving forward towards realizing the “two centenary” goals and the Chinese Dream of great national rejuvenation. Notwithstanding the spectacular achievements made in the past 70 years, China remains a developing country. China’s development is still unbalanced and inadequate, faced with challenges and risks,” he said

“The original aspiration and the mission of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation,” he said.

He said China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace, and is always ready to enhance friendship and cooperation with all other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and in the past seven decades China never provoked a war, or occupied an inch of land of others.

He said China has enshrined in the National Constitution its commitment to peaceful development and China is the first country in the world to make such a solemn pledge.

He disclosed that China is the largest contributor to the United Nations peacekeepers among the five permanent members of the Security Council and the second largest contributor to the UN peacekeeping fund.

He said China pursues a foreign policy of upholding international fairness and justice and China does not affiliate itself with any country, nor seeks to control any country or form confrontational alliances against other countries.

He said as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China always stands on the side of peace and justice, speaks out for developing countries and works with others to foster a more fair and equitable international order and system.

He said facing the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese people and people of other countries went to each other’s aid and President Xi Jinping has engaged in intensive discussions with other world leaders to promote international cooperation on combating the virus, so as to build a global community of health for all.

He said China pursues a foreign policy that values relations with developing countries especially African countries, noting that solidarity and cooperation with African countries is an important basis of China’s foreign policy and a long-term and firm strategic choice of China.

He said since the outbreak of COVID-19, China and African countries have been supporting each other firmly and that China has provided a large amount of anti-epidemic medical supplies assistance to African countries.

He said the Chinese side has provided 7 batches of medical supply donation to Sierra Leone, including more than 17,000 PPEs, 300,000 face masks, 32,000 testing kits, and a considerable amount of medical goggles, gloves, shoe covers, thermometer guns and ventilators, noting that 3rd Chinese medical expert teams have been working day and night on the frontline with their Sierra Leonean colleagues.

Also speaking as guest of honor, Minister of Information and Communications Mohamed Swaray, said China and Sierra Leone have enjoyed and continue to enjoy a deep traditional friendship and that over the past 49 years, the bilateral relations have been developing smoothly with close high-level exchanges, deep political mutual trust and fruitful cooperation in economic, social and cultural fields.

He said the Chinese Government always attaches great importance to Africa and it has always been an important component of China’s independent foreign policy of peace to develop and strengthen the friendly relations and cooperation with the developing countries, including Sierra Leone.

“China and Africa will remain each other’s best friends, reliable partners and good brothers”. President Xi Jinping made the remark on September 3, 2018 at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) where he gave an in-depth summary of the history and current status of China-Africa friendship and pledged China’s firm determination and solemn commitments to enhancing its amicable relations with Africa,” he said.

He said the Ministry of Information and Communications on Thursday, 22nd August 2019, signed a concessional loan agreement of 30 million US Dollars with the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of the Peoples Republic of China and also a lending agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Sierra Leone Cable Limited (SALCAB) in the Ministry of Finance conference room, Freetown.

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