November 18, 2021
Hassan Gbassay Koroma
The Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone has stated that he was convinced that the coming 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will achieve new tangible results, which will elevate China-Africa and China-Sierra Leone cooperation to a new level.
The 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will be held on November 29 and 30 in Dakar, Senegal.
“I am convinced that the coming FOCAC Ministerial Conference will achieve new tangible results, which will elevate China-Africa and China-Sierra Leone cooperation,” he said.
Ambassador Hu Zhangliang was speaking yesterday, Wednesday November 17, during an online zoom meeting on the second bi-monthly event by the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone called ‘Information Salone’.
He said the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit was a major success, which set a new direction for strengthening China-Africa solidarity and cooperation under the new situation and President Juliu Maada Bio was invited to pay a state visit to China and attend the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit.
He said since 2018, Sierra Leone-China practical cooperation has achieved fruitful results and China has enhanced assistance to Sierra Leone in the areas of agriculture, health and sanitation, education, transportation, optical fiber communications, infrastructure and human resources development, noting that China-Sierra Leone comprehensive strategic partnership has been further strengthened.
He said the theme of the conference would be “Deepen China-Africa Partnership and Promote Sustainable Development to Build a China-Africa Community with a Shared Future in the New Era.”
Ambassador Hu stated that the conference will review and assess the implementation of the outcomes of the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit as well as the joint China-Africa response to COVID-19, and chart the course for China-Africa cooperation for the next three years and beyond.
He said during the conference, China and Africa will further build consensus, focus on how to deepen cooperation in such key areas as health, industrial production capacity, infrastructure, trade and investment, digital economy, green development, peace and security, and human capital development, stating that China is working with African members of FOCAC to step up preparations for the conference and ensure that the Conference is be a complete success.
He said FOCAC is an important platform for collective dialogue and effective mechanism for practical cooperation between China and Africa and since its inception in 2000, FOCAC has spearheaded international cooperation with Africa and become a golden brand for South-South cooperation.
He said in the face of challenges and a global pandemic unseen in a century, foreign ministers and ministers of economic cooperation of all the 55 FOCAC members will be invited to gather together in Darkar and discuss new plans for future cooperation.
He said the conference will inject new impetus into the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership and make new contributions to upholding the overall interests of developing countries and advancing world peace, stability, development and prosperity in a post-COVID era.
Speaking about the Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the CPC, he said the 19th committee convened its sixth plenary session in Beĳing from November 8 to 11, 2021 and that the session was of historical significance and it reviewed and passed a resolution on the major achievements and historical experience of the CPC’s endeavours in the 100 years of its glorious journey.
The top Chinese diplomat in Sierra Leone said the session pointed out that over the past century the party has made great achievements in different periods of China’s development.
“In the period of the new-democratic revolution from 1921 to 1949, the Party successfully led the Chinese people to oppose imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat-capitalism, seek national independence and the people’s liberation, and create the fundamental social conditions for realizing national rejuvenation through bloody battles and unyielding struggles. “In the period of socialist revolution and construction from 1949 to 1978, the Party successfully led the Chinese people to realize the transformation from new democracy to socialism, carry out socialist revolution, promote socialist construction, and lay down the fundamental political conditions and the institutional foundations necessary for national rejuvenation through a spirit of self-reliance and a desire to build a stronger China,” he said.
He said in the new period of reform, opening up, and socialist modernization from 1978 to 2912, the Party successfully led the Chinese people to continue exploring the right path for building socialism in China, unleash and develop the productive forces, lift the people out of poverty and help them become prosperous in the shortest time possible, and fuel the push toward national rejuvenation by freeing minds and forging ahead.
He said the Party has successfully led the Chinese people to fulfill the First Centenary Goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and has embarked on the new journey to achieve the Second Centenary Goal of building a strong modernized socialist country in all respects, and achieving the great national rejuvenation through a spirit of self-confidence, self-reliance and innovating on the basis of what has worked in the past.
Also speaking on the issue of Taiwan, he said this year marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the People’s Republic of China’s lawful seat in the United Nations.
“On 25 October, 1971, with the support of friendly countries, especially African countries, including Sierra Leone, the UN General Assembly at its 26th Session adopted Resolution 2758 with an overwhelming majority.”
He said the Resolution decided to restore all lawful rights of the People’s Republic of China in the UN, which had been widely upheld by the international community all the time and recently there was some noises stirring up the so-called “meaningful participation” of Taiwan in the UN organizations.
“I believe our Sierra Leonean friends will not be misled by those noises. I wish to take this opportunity to explain a little bit on the Taiwan question so that you can have a better understanding,” he said.
He said first, there is only one China in the world, of which Taiwan is an inalienable part and Taiwan has been part of China since ancient times, noting that the Chinese people were the earliest developers of Taiwan.
He said starting from the Yuan Dynasty in the 13th century, the Chinese government of different periods set up administrative bodies to exercise effective jurisdiction over Taiwan.
He said from 1895 to 1945, Taiwan was occupied by Japan and the Cairo Declaration in 1943 and the Potsdam Proclamation in 1945 stressed that Japan must return Taiwan to China.
He said Secondly, as a province of China, Taiwan is not eligible to become a member of the UN, noting that the UN is an intergovernmental international organization composed of sovereign states and the Resolution 2758 has solved once and for all, the issues of China’s representation in the UN and its system in political, economic, legal and procedural terms.
“The Government of the People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government representing the whole of China in the UN. The system, agencies and the Secretariat of the UN should abide by the one-China policy and UNGA Resolution 2758 when dealing with Taiwan-related affairs. The current Taiwan authorities led by the Democratic Progressive Party, refused to acknowledge the 1992 consensus, which acknowledges that “both sides of the Taiwan Straits will follow the one-China principle. No one should underestimate the resolve, the will, the ability of the Chinese people to defend our national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.
He said during the just-concluded virtual meeting between President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden, President Xi stated China’s principled position on the Taiwan question and he noted the new wave of tensions across the Taiwan Strait, and ascribed the tensions to the repeated attempts by the Taiwan authorities to look for US support for their independence agenda as well as the intention of some Americans to use Taiwan to contain China.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament, Hon. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, thanked China for what they have done for Sierra Leone and what they are still doing, noting that Sierra Leone and China are brothers now.
He said Sierra Leone over the years has benefited for the 50 years old bilateral relationship and that some of the benefits are visible including the Youyi Building that houses majority of the government ministries, the national Stadium, the Foreign Affairs Ministry building, roads and others. He said one of the important things about the relationship between both countries is that no matter the administration in governance, Sierra Leone always recognizes only one China