September 26, 2016 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
China’s Ambassador to Sierra Leone, H.E. Zhao Yanbo has observed that 45 years of relationship between China and Sierra Leone has shown that culture knows no national borders and that it serves as a bridge of communication between minds and heart.
Ambassador Yanbo was last Thursday (22nd September) speaking at the Bintumani International Conference Centre, Aberdeen, west Freetown, during a music and dance performance by Chinese performers, as part of ongoing celebrations marking the 45th anniversary of China- Sierra Leone diplomatic relations.
He said the purpose of the event was to showcase the friendship between the two countries, and to demonstrate a sense of charm that an old, yet young, China presents and savours the profound goodwill and wishes from afar.
He said Chinese and Sierra Leoneans have always shared mutual friendly sentiments toward each other.
The colourful occasion, which was witnessed by Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh and other dignitaries, was themed ‘Brilliant Cultures and True Friendship.’
The event also marked crystallisation of friendly relations between Gannan Normal University and the University of Sierra Leone.
Amb. Yanbo disclosed that the art troupe that participated in the show came from Guangzhou City, Jiangxi Province, southern China.
He revealed that the city inaugurated the very first Confucius Institute in the University of Sierra Leone in 2012 and started teaching courses in Mandarin Chinese ever since, communicating in Chinese, and contributing to mutual understanding between China and Sierra Leone.
“Though separated by endless mountains and rivers geographically, and both countries having different cultures and traditions, all these have never stopped both countries from coming together and interacting through thick and thin,” said the Chinese envoy.
The government of the People’s Republic of China, through bilateral diplomatic relations with Sierra Leone, established on July 29, 1971, has lent support to Sierra Leone in almost all sectors, including education, infrastructure and health.
During the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the country, the Chinese Government was the first to come to the aid of Sierra Leone with over 40 brand new ambulances, 1,000 beds, motorbikes and other assorted medical supplies and malaria drugs worth millions of United States Dollars.
They also deployed 120 personnel who worked as personal protective equipment trainers, helping with contact tracing and surveillance as part of their help to fight against the Ebola virus.