By Ishmael Dumbuya
The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China has yesterday, Thursday, 23rd February, held its first session of Face to Face with China session, which informs the people of Sierra Lone on the state of the bilateral relation with China as well as plans for future investments and developments in the country.
Updating the media on the state of Sierra Leone’s bilateral relation with China, the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Ambassador Wang Qing, stated that China and Sierra Leone have always been time-bonded friends and good brothers since the establishment of diplomatic relations 52 years ago.
He went on to disclose that Sierra Leone and China treat each other as equals, cooperate for mutual benefit and common development, adding that the cooperation in human resources development, education, agriculture, health, energy, communications, infrastructure and other areas has achieved numerous tangible results.
“On the third day of my arrival, I witnessed the handover of the Foreign Service Academy Building built with Chinese aid gratis, which marks a new milestone in the close cooperation between our two countries. Meanwhile, Sierra Leone has been working closely with China on issues of common interests in the international arena. We appreciate that Sierra Leone has stood firmly in adhering to the one-China principle and supporting China’s legitimate efforts to safeguard national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity. It is of no doubt that China and Sierra Leone are reliable friends to each other and we have a strong belief in creating a better world together,” Ambassador Wang Qing emphasized.
The ambassador noted that a lot of Sierra Leoneans are curious about knowing China, and to better understand China you first of all need the Communist Party System in China.
He explained that the Chinese Communist Party was born in the turmoil of war in 1921.
“Over the past century, the CPC has grown from a small party of 59 members to the world’s largest ruling party with more than 98 million members, leading China from being bullied and abused to national independence, from national incompleteness to rejuvenation, from poverty and weakness to prosperity and strength,” Ambassador Wing explained.
He furthered that the key to the success is that the CPC represents the overall interests of the Chinese people.
“It upholds the fundamental purpose of wholeheartedly serving the people and practices a people-centred philosophy of development. Between 2003 and 2016, Harvard University conducted eight surveys in China, and published its findings in July 2020.”
According to Ambassador Wing, findings have it that over 90 percent of Chinese public are satisfied with the Chinese government.
“It clearly shows that the leadership of the CPC is the choice of history and the choice of the people. Respect for China requires respect for the leading position of the CPC and the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics chosen by the Chinese people,” he said.
He however indicated that China is still a developing country.
“China’s GDP is 18 trillion US dollars in 2022, but let’s not forget that China has a population of over 1.4 billion. Its GDP per capita is only about 12,000 US dollars, which is one-sixth of that of the US. As a major developing country, China is still facing a lot of severe challenges,” he said.
In his closing remark, the Ambassador noted that China adheres to an independent policy, always proceeds from the fundamental interests of the people of China and the world, and decides its position and policy based on the merits of the matter itself.
“China puts forward Global Development Initiative (GDI), which focuses on promoting stronger, greener, and healthier global development, expanding the cake of mutually beneficial cooperation and adhering to fairness, justice and extensive consultation. China is committed to enhancing the representation and voice of developing countries, promoting the democratization and rule of law of international relations, and jointly building a new type of international relations. Sierra Leone and China have for decades enjoyed a good bilateral relationship and China will do all it takes to invigorate the relation in the future,” he said.
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swarray applauded and thanked the people of China and the Chinese government for their unflinching supports to Sierra Leone. He added that the relation between China and Sierra Leone has existed for a very long time.
He went on to state that they as government they will always help protects Chinese businesses, projects, and investments in the country.
“Since President Bio was elected president in 2018, he has committed himself to the establishing a mutual relationship with China.”
He ended on the note that China has for a long time being very helpful and supportive to the Sierra Leone government and Sierra Leonean citizens when it comes to investments, developments, scholarships as well as education.