Rising Superpower On Horizon -Amb. Yisheng Raps on China-Africa/Liberia Relations

MONROVIA – Last October witnessed the glamorous celebration of the Communist Party of China’s 20th National Congress, a people’s movement which within half a century stunned the world with its spiraled growth and power in all fields of human endeavors. With China’s indiscriminate and compassionate diplomatic style, it has made itself an ideal anchor point and gravitational force to which many impoverished nations troop for relief. No doubt, the balance of power in the global geopolitics is shaking and shifting, and the Chinese government and its people are not shying away from it. Africa, and Liberia not exempt, has found that communist nation a better melting pot for socioeconomic transformation. As The Analyst reports, the Chinese Ambassador to Liberia has been accentuating the ambition of his Government and nation to make Africa and world a better place for all.

In the wake of the recent hosting of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), an event that witnessed the convergence of citizens of China from all walks of life, and observers from other parts of the globe, the Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, Ren Yishen, remains extremely upbeat about progress that his government and people have made over the past decade in not only accelerating economic growth that has made China second to none globally, but in building lasting partnerships, especially with Africa and Liberia, that are yielding the budding fruits of a bilateral win-win cooperation.

Making the case and explaining to the Liberian people the true meaning of the just-ended 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China which ran from October 16-22, 2022, Ambassador Yisheng used the occasion to dispel what he termed as the unjustifiably swirling rumor mills about so-called human rights abuses occurring in China.

Appearing on the Liberian state broadcaster ELBC Thursday, November 3, 2022, Ambassador Yisheng showcased, among many things, the successes of the 20th National Congress; the progress made by China in the last decade; where China expects to be in the next five years and beyond; the significance of the Congress; and the bright future that portends for China-Africa and China-Liberia friendly and win-win cooperation.

The CPC Congress

In providing an overview of the just-ended CPC Congress, Ambassador Yisheng highlighted the report of CPC General Secretary Xi Jinping that comprehensively summarized the work of the past five years and the great changes in the first decade of the new era since the 18th National Congress of the CPC held in 2012.

“From this day forward, the central task of the CPC will be to lead the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in a concerted effort to realize the Second Centenary Goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects and to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization,” General Secretary Xi Jinping who was reelected as the General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee is quoted by Ambassador Yisheng as stating.

The Congress is also said to have passed resolutions on the report of the 19th Central Committee, on the work report of the 19th CCDI, and on the Constitution of the CPC (Amendment).

Providing a backdrop to the 20th National Congress of the CPC, Ambassador Yisheng said the very important meeting was held at a critical moment after China had accomplished its first centenary goal of building xiaokang – a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2021 when the country had celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of CPC. He said the meeting also coincided with the start of the second centenary goal of building a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful by 2049, when China celebrates the 100th anniversary of the founding of the PRC.

“The decisions, arrangements and achievements made at the 20th National Congress of the CPC will certainly play a very important role in guiding and ensuring the overall construction of a modern socialist country, the overall promotion of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the new victory of socialism with Chinese characteristics for the next five years and beyond,” Ambassador Yisheng noted.

Achievements in the past decade

According to Ambassador Yisheng, during the past ten years, China’s economic strength achieved a historic leap that saw the country’s GDP increasing from 54 trillion yuan to 114 trillion yuan (roughly 17.7 trillion US dollars).

“China’s GDP has come to account for 18.5 percent of the world economy, up 7.2 percentage points over the past 10 years. The world’s second largest economy has become a major trading partner for over 140 countries and regions, leading the world in total volume of trade in goods. China’s average contribution to world economic growth exceeds 30%, ranking first in the world.

“The per capita GDP has risen from US$6,300 to over US$12,000, and people’s lives have been improved in all aspects. China has won the largest poverty alleviation battle in human history. In less than ten years’ time, nearly 100 million rural people have been lifted out of extreme poverty, making significant contributions to the cause of global poverty reduction. Nearly 800 million rural people have shaken off poverty since reform and opening-up started in China in 1978. Around 1,800 party members and cadres have lost their lives during the poverty alleviation battles.

“I would like to especially highlight some new developments in Xinjiang, China. In recent years, Xinjiang has enjoyed sustained economic growth, social harmony and stability, better living standards, and cultures thriving like never before. GDP in Xinjiang has an average annual growth rate of around 7 percent. All remaining 3.09 million impoverished people have been lifted out of poverty. All ethnic groups, regardless of their populations, have equal legal status and enjoy freedom of religious belief and various rights in accordance with the law, including participating in the management of state affairs, receiving education, using their own languages, and preserving their traditional culture. The lies and disinformation fabricated by some Western countries at the UN Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly Third Committee session about so-called “genocide”, “forced labour” and “forced sterilization” are nothing but a political attempt to use Xinjiang-related issues to smear and contain China and are doomed to fail.

“China has also joined the ranks of the world’s innovators with breakthroughs in some core technologies in key fields. With its people-centered philosophy of development, the country has built the largest education, social security, and health care systems around the globe.

“As a collaborative endeavor, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) advocated by President Xi has been welcomed by the international community both as a public good and a cooperation platform. According to the prediction of the World Bank, the joint construction of the B&R is expected to lift 7.6 million people out of extreme poverty and 32 million people out of moderate poverty in relevant countries.

As heralded by Ambassador Yisheng, during the past two years, President Xi has also put forward Global Development Initiative (GDI) and Global Security Initiative (GSI) respectively.

Other great achievements highlighted in the report range from comprehensively deepening reform to advancing the critical battle against pollution. For example, over the past 10 years, more than 2,000 reform programs have been rolled out. And one of our four big deserts is about to disappear thanks to our decades’ afforestation efforts, Ambassador Yisheng stated emphatically.

Five Years and Beyond for China

The well-articulate Ambassador to Liberia said China will accelerate the creation of a new development pattern and pursue high-quality development; invigorate China through science and education and develop a strong workforce for the modernization drive; advance whole-process people’s democracy and ensure that the people run the country; exercise law-based governance on all fronts and advance the rule of law in China; build cultural confidence and strength and secure new successes in developing socialist culture; improve the people’s wellbeing and raise quality of life, pursue green development and promote harmony between humanity and nature; modernize China’s national security system and capacity and safeguard national security and social stability; achieve the centenary goal of the People’s Liberation Army and further modernize national defense and the military; uphold and Improve the policy of One country, Two systems and promote national reunification; promote world peace and development and build a human community with a shared future; exercise full and rigorous self-governance and advance the great new project of party building in the new era.

China-Africa, China-Liberia friendly, win-win cooperation

Expounding further on the Chinese Government’s burgeoning support to Africa in general and Liberia in particular, Ambassador Yisheng outlined that in recent years, China-Africa-Liberia cooperation has accelerated in a win-win fashion, exemplified by docking the B&R Initiative and Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) action plans with AU Agenda 2063, as well as Liberia’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) and other African development strategies, that focus on economic growth and development, reducing poverty through human resource capacity development, to ensure sustainable peace and security on the continent.

“Today, the outcomes of China-Africa cooperation are all over the African continent. The roads, railways, airports, ports, high-rise buildings, stadiums and other structures that China helped build can be seen everywhere.

“This is true for our cooperation with Liberia, too. Landmark projects are seen inside and outside Monrovia including the SKD Sports Complex and Ministry of Health completed in the early days, the Fendall Campus of the University of Liberia, Monrovia Vocational Training Center and the rebuilt JFD Hospital in Tapeta completed shortly after the civil conflict, and the Ministerial Complex (the second largest China-aided construction in Africa when dedicated), the two annexes to the Capitol Building, and the Roberts International Airport through concessional loan dedicated since 2018.

“New projects including the two Overpass Bridges on Tubman Boulevard, the National Clinical Diagnostic and Treatment Lab at the 14 Military Hospital, the Fingerprint Examination Lab, and LBS upgrade and expansion, etc. are in tendering and procurement phases respectively. An engineering team is expected to arrive to conduct a feasibility study for the Somalia-Sinkor Road and Bridge project. The two governments are also working together to design projects for implementation of the next phase of the Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement which was signed last year.

“China and Liberia have also carried out active people-to-people exchanges. Every year, China provides around 50 full government scholarships and more than 150 short- and long-term training opportunities, some of which also include master and doctorate degree scholarships, to Liberian students and trainees. For the 2020-2023 period, the Chinese government will provide altogether 190 full scholarships to Liberia.

“China-Africa and China-Liberia cooperation has become a model for South-South cooperation and international cooperation with Africa. The biggest feature of China-Africa and China-Liberia cooperation is mutual benefit and common development.

“Next year, Liberia will hold presidential and general elections and we will also usher in the 20th anniversary of the resumption of diplomatic ties between China and Liberia. In the new era, by taking the 20th National Congress of the CPC and the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and AU as the new starting point, China will strengthen the alignment of BRI, GDI and GSI with African and Liberian development strategies and jointly implement the “Nine Programs” of the FOCAC with African countries and Liberia and make concerted efforts in building a community with shared future for both sides,” Ambassador Yisheng assured, as he unraveled the cornucopia of development opportunities unfolding between China and Liberia.

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