August 29, 2018
By Joseph S. Margai in Beijing
The Chinese President, Xi Jinping, has on Thursday 30th August, 2018, met with his Sierra Leonean counterpart, President Julius Maada Bio at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Bio, who is visiting China for the first time as president of the Republic of Sierra Leone, is in the country for both a state visit on the invitation of his Chinese counterpart and for the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
In his welcoming remarks, President Xi said he appreciated his Sierra Leonean counterpart for honouring his invitation and to subsequently attend the FOCAC 2018 Beijing Summit.
He noted that China was ready to working with the new government of Sierra Leone under the leadership of President Julius Maada Bio.
He remarked that the relationship between China and Sierra Leone has existed for a very long time and both countries have always enjoyed good friendship, adding that his country’s bilateral ties with Sierra Leone will always realise mutual benefits.
President Xi urged President Bio to work together tirelessly in order to ensure a successful 2018 Beijing FOCAC summit.
On his part, President Bio echoed that he brought best wishes to the government and people of China from the people of Sierra Leone.
He thanked the Chinese president for the warm welcome that he and his delegation were accorded.
“The bilateral relationship between my country and China has existed for 47 years now. Our friendship has been tested on many occasions but we still remain even stronger friends,” he said.
He reaffirmed his country’s continued support to China under his leadership at all times, adding that he will ensure that under his leadership, the bilateral relationship becomes better and fruitful for the benefits of both parties.
At the end of their official remarks, agreements were signed on various projects that will be beneficial for Sierra Leone. One of the agreements was that of economic and technical cooperation.
The Sierra Leonean president was accompanied by his wife, First Lady Fatima Bio, the Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Swarray, Minister of Finance, Mr. Jacob Jusu Saffa, Minister of Trade and Industry, Peter Bayoku Conteh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Alie Kabba, Chief Minister, Prof. Francis, Sierra Leone Ambassador to China, Ernest Mbaimba Ndomahina, Head of Chancery at the Embassy of Sierra Leone in Beijing, Unisa Sahid Kamara, the Press Secretary to the President Yusuf Keketoma Sandi, among others.