August 6, 2015 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
Ahead of the maiden visit to Sierra Leone by Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China, Wang Yi, the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone has in a press conference said that China was willing to join hands with the government of Sierra Leone to rebuild the public health system, overcome the current crisis and strengthen its long term capability.
Ambassador Zhao Yanbo told newsmen at the Chinese embassy in Freetown yesterday that his compatriot will arrive in Sierra Leone on Saturday, 8 August, on the invitation of his Sierra Leonean counterpart Dr. Samura Kamara.
He said the visit would be an important high-level exchange between the two countries.
He said China was the first country to offer help to the country and the other affected counties when the Ebola virus broke out in the sub-region last year, and that Beijing has played a positive leading and efficient role in the fight to eradicate the virus.
“China’s support has played an important role in the fight against Ebola in the country, and it demonstrated the tested friendship between the two countries,” said the Chinese envoy.
He noted it was good that the country has made decisive progress in the fight against Ebola with help from international partners.
Ambassador Yanbo observed the Ebola virus disease has crippled the country’s Socio-economic development.
He said the visit of the Chinese Foreign Minister was of great significance in pushing forward the friendly and cooperative ties between the two countries, especially as President Ernest Bai Koroma last week launched the short-term post-Ebola socio-economic recovery plan.
He disclosed that the visit would accord the Chinese Foreign Minister to exchange in-depth views with the leaders of Sierra Leone to further strengthen the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries, to discuss practical cooperation in public health, education, energy, infrastructure, trade, and investments in a bid to match the country’s post-Ebola socio-economic development needs, and to take concrete actions to encourage more international development partners to participate in Sierra Leone’s post-Ebola recovery. He added that the two side would also exchange views on international and regional issues of common concern.
He said that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Sierra Leone in 1971, their bilateral relations have developed rapidly, while practical cooperation in all fields have been continuously promoted as both countries have become brothers and good friends.
He China did not only provide timely support when Ebola struck, but urgently gave generous aid to Sierra Leone, acting on the policy of sincerity, real result, affinity and good faith, in accordance with the principal of a balanced approach to principles and interest put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping for developing China’s relations with Africa.