Presentation by Chinese Ambassador to Liberia H.E. Ren Yisheng at the meeting via video link with Liberian officials and media outlets representatives(2 December 2021, 10:00hrs)

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Hon. Kwame O. Weeks, Director General of Liberian News Agency (TBC),

Distinguished representatives of Liberian media outlets,

Distinguished representatives of Liberian government departments and political parties,

Distinguished representatives of Liberian academic circle and China-related associations,

Ladies and gentlemen,

 Opening remarks

Good morning! Thank you all for accepting our invitation to this meeting via video link. I have with me Counselor Xu Kun, Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr. Li Jiang, Counselor for economic and commercial affairs and Mr. Li Zhaoxin, Director for political affairs together with other colleagues from our embassy.

At the outset, I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation for your interest in and support to the economic and social development of China, and to the China-Africa and China-Liberia friendship and pragmatic cooperation.

Please allow me to give you some update on the following points, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China(CPC) and the sixth plenary session of the CPC Central Committee, building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way (including the 14th Five-year Plan and the decisive victory in the fight against poverty), China’s ecosystem construction and environment protection, the achievements of Xinjiang and Taiwan question, China-Africa relations and FOCAC, China-Liberia relations and pragmatic cooperation. Then we will open floor for comments and questions.

  1. CPC centenary celebration and the sixth plenary session of the CPC Central Committee

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Over the past 100 years, the CPC has developed from only 50 plus members at its inception to more than 95 million members today and is the world’s largest socialist ruling party. The CPC has led the Chinese people in winning victories of revolution, construction and reform. China has achieved an unprecedented great leap from continuous decline to a fundamental reversal of fate and continuous progress towards prosperity and strength.

For more than 70 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China(PRC), the CPC has led our people in creating “two miracles” that have attracted worldwide attention, namely the miracle of rapid economic development and the miracle of long-term social stability that are rare in the world. By spending decades’ time only, China has completed the industrialization process that Western countries have traversed for hundreds of years. The creation of “two miracles” stems from the strong leadership of the CPC.

Since reform and opening up four decades ago, China’s average annual GDP growth rate is 9.4% and the contribution rate of China’s economic growth to world economic growth has reached about 18%. China has become the number one engine of world economic growth. Today, China is the world’s largest manufacturing country, the largest trader in goods, the largest foreign exchange reserve country, and the second largest foreign direct investment destination and source country.

Building a community of shared future for humankind. The rapid rise of China not only benefits the Chinese people, greatly changes China, but also makes important contributions to the development and progress of human society. China firmly supports multilateralism and the United Nation’s central role in international affairs. CPC Central Committee General Secretary Xi Jinping, also president of PRC, has put forward a series of initiatives such as the Belt and Road initiative (B&R) and Global Development Initiative (GDI) put forward at the General Debate of the 76th UN General Assembly, advocating the building of a community of shared future for humankind, calling for a change in the global governance system and the establishment of a new international justice and equity.

So far, more than 140 countries including Liberia and over 30 international organizations have signed on B&R cooperation document. According to relevant World Bank reports, by 2030, the “Belt and Road Initiative” is expected to help 7.6 million people around the world get rid of extreme poverty and 32 million people out of moderate poverty. It will increase global trade by 6.2% and the trade of economies along the route by 9.7%, and global revenue by 2.9%.

The 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China convened its sixth plenary session in Beijing from November 8 to 11, 2021. At the session, the Central Committee heard and discussed the report on the work of the Political Bureau, presented by General Secretary Xi Jinping on behalf of the Political Bureau, and considered and adopted the Resolution on the Major Achievements and Historical Experience of the Party over the Past Century and the Resolution on the Convocation of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. Over the past 100 years, the CPC has adopted three resolutions related to historical issues, in 1945, 1981 and 2021 respectively. They have analyzed the causes and drown conclusions on important historical events and figures, through which the whole Party come to a clear consensus and thus grow stronger in unity.

General Secretary Xi Jinping delivered explanatory remarks on the draft Resolution on the Major Achievements and Historical Experience of the Party over the Past Century. It was highlighted at the latest session that the Party has had a glorious journey over the past hundred years. Since its founding in 1921, the Party has made seeking happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation its mission. Staying committed to communist ideals and socialist convictions, it united and led the Chinese people in working tirelessly to achieve national independence and the liberation of the people and then to make our country prosperous and strong and bring happiness to the people. The endeavors of the Party and the people over the past century represent the most magnificent chapter in the millennia-long history of the Chinese nation.

The 20th National Congress of the CPC comes at an important time when the CPC has embarked on a new journey to build a modern socialist country in all respects and to realize the Second Centenary Goal. It will be a highly important meeting and an event of great political significance for both the Party and the country.

  1. Building a moderately prosperous society in all respects

In the past four decades or so, China’s per capita GDP has increased 65 times. China has won the decisive victory of its battle against poverty and 770 million people have been lifted out of extreme poverty. China’s victory over absolute poverty means that the most populous country in the world has achieved the poverty reduction goal of UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10 years ahead of schedule. We have achieved our first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

China has embarked on a new journey of realizing the dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation by marching towards the second centenary goal when we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of PRC in 2049, which is to build a modernized socialist country in an all-round way.

Since early 2020, the world has encountered a sudden outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. China took the lead in containing the pandemic, providing technical, anti-epidemic material and COVID vaccine assistance and support to more than 100 countries and international organization including the WHO. China also took the lead in resuming the work and production. Last year, China’s annual GDP came in at 101.59 trillion yuan (15.68 trillion US dollars) in 2020 for the first time in history, accounting for about 17% of the world’s total, and its contribution to global economic growth was as high as 35%. And China’s per capita GDP exceeded 10,000 US dollars for two consecutive years.

This year marks the beginning of China’s 14th Five Year Plan and the Long Range Objective through the Year 2035. This year, China’s economic growth is expected to exceed 8%. Next year, there will be two major events for China. One is China will host the Winter Olympic Games in February. The other is the 20th National Congress of the CPC will be convened in the second half of the year. Some individuals in the USA have called for the so-called “diplomatic boycott” of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games. Politicizing sports has been an abnormal norm since the Cold War. Given the state of play of China-US relations, nobody would expect China to invite US leaders to the Games. The so-called boycott is no more than a self-invented, and politically convenient, excuse for Washington.

  1. Ecosystem construction and Environment Protection

As put by President Xi Jinping, lucid water and lush mountains are invaluable assets. In recent years, China has carried out a series of fundamental, pioneering and long-term work, accelerated the promotion of the top-level design of ecological civilization and the construction of institutional systems, strengthened the construction of the rule of law, established and implemented the central environmental protection inspection system, and vigorously promoted green development. China has achieved remarkable results in tackling desertification, air, soil and water pollution, and in developing such clean and green energy as solar power and wind power.

According to the report released by FAO, China has increased an average of 1,937,000 hectares of forests every year in the past 10 years, with a growth rate of 0.93%, much higher than that of other countries.

For many years, China has been carrying out projects to prevent and control desertification and return farmland to forests in the vast western and northern regions. In April this year, state media reported that the Maowusu Desert, one of China’s four major sandy lands, was “about to disappear”.

China is firmly committed to working together with other Parties to strengthen implementation of the Paris Agreement. As the largest developing country, China is making arduous and exceptional efforts to achieve the modernization goal by the middle of this century while realizing low-carbon and green development. China has promised to strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

  1. Xinjiang-related issues and Taiwn question

For some time, out of prejudice, ignorance and even malice, a small number of politicians, media outlets, and scholars in some Western countries have spared no effort to fabricate the so-called human rights issues of Xinjiang by spreading such rumors and lies as “genocide”, “forced labor”, “re-education camps”. These smearing attacks without a bottom line and a convincing basis seriously violate international law and the basic norms of international relations, and blatantly violate justice and conscience.

Facts prove that “genocide” is the biggest lie of the century. Over the past 40 years, the Uyghur population in Xinjiang has doubled from 5.55 million to more than 12 million. The average life expectancy has increased from 30 to 72 years.

There is no “forced labor” in Xinjiang at all. It is completely out of nothing. In Xinjiang, workers of all ethnic groups freely choose occupations and locations according to their own wishes, and sign labor contracts with enterprises in accordance with the law on the principle of equality and self-consent, and are completely free from any discrimination and coercion. According to data from the Xinjiang Agricultural Department, the machinery harvesting rate of cotton in Xinjiang in 2020 had reached 70%. Growers can order machine picking services through mobile apps without leaving home.

There is no “re-education camp” in Xinjiang at all. It is completely fabricated out of thin air. The essence of Xinjiang-related issues is the issue of countering violence and terrorism, de-radicalization, and anti-separatism. From 1990 to the end of 2016, thousands of violent and terrorist cases (incidents) occurred in Xinjiang, which brought serious disasters to people of all ethnic groups. Can any government tolerate this without doing anything? The Chinese government launched the fight against terrorism in accordance with the law, and at the same time, by drawing on the experience and practices of other countries including the Western countries to establish de-radicalization centers and other preventive counter-terrorism practices, set up vocational skills education and training centers in accordance with the law to save and help people who have committed terrorism, extremism, illegal or criminal acts to achieve stable employment, improve the quality of life, and achieve de-radicalization. This is fully in line with the principles and spirit of a series of counter-terrorism resolutions such as the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. By October 2019, all trainees of the centers had completed their studies, and most of them achieved stable employment and lived a peaceful life.

There have been no cases of violence and terrorism in Xinjiang for five consecutive years, and the rights to life, health, development, and national security interests of all ethnic groups have been maximized.

Over the past 60 years, Xinjiang’s economic aggregate has increased by more than 200 times. From 2014 to 2019, Xinjiang’s GDP grew at an average annual rate of 7.2%. As of the end of 2019, a total of 2,923,200 people had been lifted out of poverty in Xinjiang, and the incidence of poverty dropped from 19.4% in 2014 to 1.24%. By November 2020, the last 10 poverty-stricken counties of Xinjiang had all completely eradicated absolute poverty. Unprecedented achievements have been made in economic and social development and improvement of people’s livelihood in Xinjiang.

Facts have proven time and again that some Western countries have meticulously concocted the so-called Xinjiang issue. They are not concerned with the “human rights of the Uyghur people” or the truth, but with the use of the so-called human rights issues to undermine China’s security and stability and to impede China’s development and growth.

On October 21, at the ongoing 76th Third Committee Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), some Western countries made a so-called “joint statement” on China’s human rights situation, using the Xinjiang issue to carry out unwarranted allegations against China. China is shocked and disappointed that Liberia, a good friend and brother of China, is among those countries that have supported this “joint statement”, and it is in fact the only African country which has diplomatic relations with China that has done so. Meanwhile, nearly one hundred developing and friendly countries have, by making joint or separate statement, supported China on human rights issues at the same Committee session. We sincerely hope that Liberia can keep her eyes open, discern the truth, not be deceived by those with ulterior motives, and stand on the side of correctness and justice with concrete actions.

On human rights issues, China advocates to respect the right of people of all countries to independently choose their own path of human rights development according to their national conditions. We believe that the realization of the right to subsistence and right to development is a top priority issue for most of the developing countries. China advocates the promotion and protection of human rights through constructive dialogue and cooperation, opposes the politicization of human rights issues and the practice of double standards, and opposes interference in others internal affairs under the pretext of human rights.

As you may be aware that the so-called Summit for Democracy will be organized by the United States in a few days time. We believe that democracy is the common value of all people, and it is not to be monopolized by a few countries. What the USA has done is proof that democracy is just a cover and a tool used by the U.S. side to advance its geostrategic goals, suppress other countries, split the world and serve its own self-interests.

The United States pursues bloc politics and incites confrontation under the cloak of democracy, reigniting a Cold War mentality and drawing widespread questions and opposition from far-sighted people in the international community.

At the same time, China firmly opposes U.S. invitation to Taiwan authorities to attend “summit for democracy”. There is only one China, and the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory, and the one-China principle is a universally recognized norm governing international relations. Taiwan has no status in international law except its status as a part of China.

We will never allow anyone or any force to hinder the great process of complete national reunification and undermine the bright prospects of the great national rejuvenation. No one should underestimate the Chinese people’s determination and strong ability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity! China will be compelled to take resolute measures, should the separatist forces for “Taiwan independence” “provoke us, force our hands or even cross the red line.

  1. China-Africa relations and FOCAC

China-Africa relations have a long history, and the friendship between the two sides will last forever. Chinese President H.E. Xi Jinping, when addressing the opening ceremony of the the 8th ministerial conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation(FOCAC), elaborated on why China and Africa have such a close relationship and so deep a bond of friendship? The key lies in an everlasting spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation forged between the two sides, which features sincere friendship and equality, win-win for mutual benefit and common development, fairness and justice, and progress with the times and openness and inclusiveness.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of China’s lawful seat in the United Nations. The Chinese people will never forget that it is the African brothers who “carried China into the United Nations”(as put by late Chairman Mao Zedong). At the same time, China has always sincerely and selflessly supported and helped the development of African countries.

Africa is an important strategic partner of China. A rapidly rising China will bring important development opportunities to Africa. Almost all African members of FOCAC have joined the big family of Belt and Road (B&R) cooperation. Under the framework of the B&R Initiative and the FOCAC, China will continue to uphold the concept of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith and the right approach on interests and justice.

The 8th ministerial conference of FOCAC was held in Dakar, Senegal on 29-30 November. The theme of the conference was “Deepen China-Africa partnership and promote sustainable development to build a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era”.

President Xi made four proposals for building a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era. First, fighting COVID-19 with solidarity. Second, deepening practical cooperation. Third, promoting green development. Fourth, upholding equity and justice. He also announced that China and Africa have jointly prepared the China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035. Under the first three-year plan of the Vision, China will work closely with African countries to implement the following nine programs:

First, the medical and health program. China will provide another one billion doses of vaccines to Africa, including 600 million doses as donation and 400 million doses to be provided through such means as joint production by Chinese companies and relevant African countries.

Second, the poverty reduction and agricultural development program. China will undertake 10 poverty reduction and agricultural projects for Africa, and send 500 agricultural experts to Africa.

Third, the trade promotion program. China will open “green lanes” for African agricultural exports to China, speed up the inspection and quarantine procedures, and further increase the scope of products enjoying zero-tariff treatment for the least developed countries (LDCs) having diplomatic relations with China, in a bid to reach 300 billion US dollars in total imports from Africa in the next three years.

Fourth, the investment promotion program. China will encourage its businesses to invest no less than 10 billion US dollars in Africa in the next three years, and will establish a platform for China-Africa private investment promotion. China will exempt African LDCs from debt incurred in the form of interest-free Chinese government loans due by the end of 2021. China is ready to channel to African countries 10 billion US dollars from its share of the IMF’s new allocation of Special Drawing Rights.

Fifth, the digital innovation program. China will undertake 10 digital economy projects for Africa, set up centers for China-Africa cooperation on satellite remote-sensing application, and support the development of China-Africa joint laboratories, partner institutes, and scientific and technological innovation cooperation bases.

Sixth, the green development program. China will undertake 10 green development, environmental protection and climate action projects for Africa, support the development of the “Great Green Wall”, and build in Africa centers of excellence on low-carbon development and climate change adaptation.

Seventh, the capacity building program. China will help build or upgrade 10 schools in Africa, and invite 10,000 high-level African professionals to seminars and workshops. We will encourage Chinese companies in Africa to create at least 800,000 local jobs.

Eighth, the cultural and people-to-people exchange program. Ninth, the peace and security program. China will undertake 10 peace and security projects for Africa, continue to deliver military assistance to the AU, support African countries’ efforts to independently maintain regional security and fight terrorism, and conduct joint exercises and on-site training between Chinese and African peacekeeping troops and cooperation on small arms and light weapons control.

The Dakar Plan of Action (2022-2024) adopted by the conference covers an extensive scope for our cooperation in political, economic, social development, people-to-people, peace and security, green development, experience sharing on state governance, and FOCAC mechanism building areas.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a joint press conference together with his Senegalese counterpart that the Conference has achieved the following outcomes.

First, both sides will promote the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation. The spirit was proposed by President Xi for the first time in his speech and became a highlight of the meeting.

No matter how the international situation may change and what difficulties and obstacles China and Africa may encounter, the two sides will remain strongly committed to strengthening mutual political trust and deepening practical cooperation so that the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation will be carried forward and passed on from generation to generation.

Second, China and Africa will work together to defeat the pandemic. When addressing the opening ceremony of the conference, President Xi solemnly announced that China will provide an additional 1 billion vaccine doses to Africa to help the African Union achieve its goal of vaccinating 60 percent of the African population by 2022.

This is the largest vaccine assistance plan undertaken by a single country to Africa since the outbreak of the pandemic, which will surely boost Africa’s confidence and motivation to overcome the pandemic.

Third, both sides will work to enrich China-Africa cooperation. Xi announced that China will implement nine programs jointly with African countries, which is a strong declaration of China’s continued commitment to Africa and the sustained momentum of China-Africa cooperation.

Fourth, the two sides will work together to practice true multilateralism. China and Africa will continue to firmly support each other on issues of core interests and major concerns, jointly safeguard the international system with the United Nations at its core and the international order underpinned by international law, and enhance the representation and voice of developing countries in international affairs.

The two sides will resolutely oppose any unilateral sanctions, any interference in other countries’ internal affairs and racial discrimination, and will promote the shared human values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom, to make greater contributions to safeguarding world equity and justice. Fifth, China and Africa will jointly build a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era. China appreciates African countries’ welcome and support for the Global Development Initiative proposed by President Xi.

Since the establishment of FOCAC in 2000, China-Africa cooperation has witnessed many completed or on-going projects which have added and upgraded for African countries more than 10,000 kilometers of railways, nearly 100,000 kilometers of roads,120 million kilowatts of installed power capacity, about 150,000 kilometers of communication backbone network, nearly 1,000 bridges and nearly 100 ports, more than 80 large-scale power facilities, more than 400 medical facilities, 45 gymnasiums, more than 1,200 educational institutions, 400,000 tons of clean water treatment capacity per year, and created more than 4.5 million jobs. China has trained more than 160,000 African talents in various fields. As Chinese State Counselor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has put it, FOCAC has set a good example for South-South cooperation. In the first 10 months of this year, China Africa trade volume bucked the trend and exceeded the 200 billion US dollars mark. It is expected to reach a record high throughout the year. China will be Africa’s largest trading partner for 13 consecutive years.

As put by one African think-tank that, the 21-year-old cooperation mechanism between Africa and China founded at the turn of the century has become a model of international cooperation famous for delivering measurable, tangible and practical outcomes.

  1. China-Liberia relations and pragmatic cooperation

China regards Liberia as our good friend and good brother. Our two countries have supported and helped each other on many occasions. The Chinese government and people will always remember the strong support rendered to us by the Liberian government and people during the most difficult time of our fight against COVID. Meanwhile, China is the first country to rush to support Liberia both in 2014 during your fight against Ebola and in 2020 against COVID-19. Since last year, the Chinese government has provided four rounds of anti-epidemic materials which include ventilators, oxygen concentrators, PPEs, medical protective masks, infrared thermometers among others (for example, the fourth batch of donation turned over last May included 180 ventilators and 50 oxygen concentrators). Sinopharm and Sinovac COVID vaccines have been validated by WHO for emergency use, and China is ready to enter into cooperation with Liberia in this regard given the fact the pandemic continues to ravage.

We are proud of some of the landmark buildings in Liberia including the SKD Stadium, the annexes to the Capitol building, the Ministerial Complex, and the Roberts International Airport terminal and its new run way built in Monrovia and Tappita Hospital built in Nimba County, all with Chinese assistance. Projects such as the overpass bridges on Tubman Boulevard, Somalia Drive-Sinkor Boulevard Road-bridge, and the 14 Military Hospital National Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment Lab are also making steady progress. China Union is preparing to resume production at Bong Mine and hopefully with a significant increment of investment.

Positive progress has been made in agricultural technology cooperation projects, as reflected by the Agricultural Technical Demonstration Center and the Bamboo and Rattan Weaving and Vegetable Planting Technical Assistance Project.

The Center enrolls 10 local young people for vegetable cultivation training for a term of 3 months each. They are provided with meals and $50 subsidy every month. It has expanded its pig breeding scale from 60 heads to 140 heads. It has newly added a wood processing and production line to create more job opportunities for local people.

For the Bamboo and Rattan Weaving and Vegetable Planting Technical Assistance Project, more than 900 technical young people engaged in bamboo and rattan weaving and vegetable planting have been trained, and the weaving products and vegetables planted by graduates account for about 50% of the share of the market.

People to people exchanges is an important means of deepening the understanding and friendship between nations. Over the years, Chinese government has provided hundreds of scholarships and many long-term and short-term training programs to Liberian nationals. In recent years, the Chinese government offer on average around 50 full scholarship opportunities together with more than one hundred training places both off-line and on-line depending on the pandemic situation. We are glad the some of you have been the beneficiaries of those program and hope more will have similar opportunities in the future.

Ladies and gentlemen,

China has been and will continue to be a good friend to Africa and Liberia. The Dakar FOCAC conference offers a golden opportunity for China-Africa and China-Liberia to further promote our friendly, pragmatic and win-win cooperation in an all-round way. China will closely work with Africa and Liberia to build a community of shared future for mankind.

Thank you. Now, I together with my colleagues will be glad to take your questions.

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