May 25, 2021
Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Hu Zhangliang, has passionately appealed that the media be fair and neutral in their reportage on the fish harbour project at Black Johnson in the Peninsular.
Ambassador Hu lamented that since the report broke out about the fish harbour, the Chinese have been at the centre of the report, branding them and accusing them of wanting to destroy the country.
“I want to appeal to all, please put aside geopolitics and Western sentiments and the bias that some of you in the media have against China and look at the whole saga critically before blaming China. China has never asked the government for a piece of land to build a fish meal or a fish harbour anytime. We have enough fish harbour in China and we cannot come to Sierra Leone to build such for ourselves,” he said.
Ambassador Hu said the fish harbour is just like all the other projects that they have funded in Sierra Leone without complaint from the public.
He said the Sierra Leone government wanted a fish harbour and that all what China did was to put the funds together and then asked the government to provide them the land where it should be built.
“Since 1971 when China started supporting Sierra Leone, at no time that the Chinese government has told the Sierra Leone government what they want or where the project will be implemented. We first built the stadium and the then government showed where they wanted it and we built it there. Presently, we are building a military accommodation and the Diplomatic Academy. Both grants are just the same for the fish harbour,” he continued.
The Ambassador said the land spaces to build the academy and the military accommodation were chosen by the government and the military and that ‘we accepted and currently the projects are on.’
He said there has not been any complain or scepticism of substandard work being done by the Chinese.
Amb. Hu Zhangliang said it is the same way that the government chose the Black Johnson parcel of land for the Chinese Government to build the fish harbour, but that the report is being slanted that China wants to destroy the area.
“Please it would be nice for my friends in the media to investigate and ask the appropriate authorities why they chose Black Johnson for the project and whether the project belongs to China. We are just providing the facility for the government as we have been doing for the past 50 years without complaint. The Youyi Building, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Jui Hospital, Jui Lab, and many more, were all built by China as grants and the parcels of land were marked by the government and we came in and built the structures. So, what is the difference today that we are being accused of wanting to destroy Black Johnson for our personal gains,” he cited.
He called on all to direct their grievances towards the government rather than the Chinese that are merely helping and supporting Sierra Leone.
He further called on all to stop vilifying China for merely supporting development in Sierra Leone and also made it very clear that all the projects they have supported in Sierra Leone are the same standard in China.
Ambassador Hu averred that the stadium and Youyi building, the Mange Bridge that were built decades ago are still in full operations and that there has never been any building default for them to be demolished.
“I do hope my friends in the media will look at China for what we are than using geopolitics and Chinese bias because of the West to judge us because we are genuine friends to Sierra Leone and Africa.”