China Restates Commitment to Liberia -Lists Priority Projects for Africa

The Chinese government through its Embassy near Monrovia has restated its commitment to the cordial relationship existing between Liberia and China which has blossomed over the years, stressing that it will continue to support the development aspiration of the country just as it emphasizes the need to leverage on strengthening the China –Africa relations with the view to further promote a friendly, pragmatic and win-win cooperation and build a community of shared future for mankind.

The words of assurances where given yesterday, Thursday, December 2, 2021, by the Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, REN Yisheng when he addressed government officials, representatives of political parties and media outlets via video links to give an overview of the relationship existing between the two countries, the China-Africa cooperation as well as some information on the progress China has made over the years under the Chinese Communist Party.

“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”, Ambassador Yiseng said.

He said the Chinese are proud of some 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 runway built in Monrovia and Tappita Hospital built in Nimba County. He also named other 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 and mentioned about China Union preparing to resume production at Bong Mine and hopefully with a significant increment of investment.

Ambassador Yiseng also stated that 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.

He said the Center enrolls 10 local young people for vegetable cultivation training for a term of 3 months each, provided with meals and $50 subsidy every month and the center has expanded its pig breeding scale from 60 heads to 140 heads. He also said 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”, he said.

The top Chinese diplomat also discussed his country’s contribution to the human capital development of the country with the provision of hundreds of scholarships and many long-term and short-term training programs to Liberian nationals. He said in recent years, the Chinese government offers 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.

Addressing the China-Africa relationship, Ambassador Yiseng said it was forged on sincere friendship and equality, win-win for mutual benefit and common development, fairness and justice and progress with progress with the times and openness and inclusiveness.

He said during the 8th ministerial conference of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation(FOCAC)  held in Dakar, Senegal on 29-30 November, 2021 under theme “Deepen China-Africa partnership and promoting sustainable development to build a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era”, the Chinese President Xi made four proposals for building a China-Africa community which include, fighting Covid-19 with solidarity, deepening practical cooperation, promoting green development and upholding equity and justice.

He said 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. “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”, the Diplomat said.

He said under the China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035, China will be embarking upon several projects in Africa including provision of 1 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, China will undertake 10 poverty reduction and agricultural projects for Africa and send 500 agricultural experts to Africa and China will encourage its businesses to invest no less than 10 billion US dollars in Africa in the next three years.

He also said as part of the projects, 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 as well as undertaking 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.

He said 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.

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