By Foday Moriba Conteh
During a well-attended ceremony held on Friday 30th September, 2022 at China House on Old Railway Line Brookfields in Freetown, the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone has commemorated the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
In his address, the outgoing Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Hu Zhangliang, said that over the past 73 years, under the staunch leadership of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese people have united as one, overcome all kinds of challenges and forged ahead unswervingly in creating the two miracles of rapid economic growth and enduring social stability for a long period of time.
She added that the Chinese spirit, strength and wisdom has been widely praised by people around the world and China’s propositions, solutions and contributions to global affairs have been widely recognized by the international community.
He maintained that facing the complex situation at home and abroad, China has been focusing on managing its own affairs well, mitigating the instability of the world by maintaining its own stability, and providing gravity and impetus for the global economic recovery by boosting its domestic development.
This year, he said, under the firm leadership of the CPC Central Committee with General Secretary Xi Jinping at its core and based on the historical achievements already made the Chinese Government and people have embarked on a new journey to build a modern socialist country in all respects.
China is setting foot on a new development stage, implementing the new development philosophy and accelerating the establishment of a new development paradigm to drive high-quality development.
He continued that, “this year, China remains on the track of seeking progress while maintaining stability. In China, effective investment has continued to expand, market potential has been gradually released, household consumption has steadily increased, industrial production has further recovered, employment and prices have been stable, and technological advances have been fastened.”
He revealed that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of the African Union and the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the African Union and that China and Africa have continued to deepen their relationship and cooperation in the spirit of “sincere friendship and equality, win-win for mutual benefit and common development, fairness and justice, progress with times, openness and inclusiveness”.
“This year marks the 51st anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Sierra Leone. In July, H.E. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a telephone conversation with Sierra Leonean Foreign Minister Honorable David Francis, exchanged ideas in depth on the implementation of the important consensus reached by H.E. President Xi Jinping and H.E. President Julius Maada Bio, and injected new energy into the further deepening of the Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership between China and Sierra Leone,” he maintained.
The outgoing Ambassador stated that this year China-Sierra Leone cooperation in all areas such as education, human resources development, mining, agriculture, infrastructure construction, fight against COVID-19 pandemic, health and sanitation, peace and security has yielded laudable results, adding that new batches of testing kits and COVID-19 vaccines donated by China have been delivered to Sierra Leone.
He underscored that China- aid mobile clinics have been put into use and benefiting tens of thousands of Sierra Leoneans across the country and the reconstructed Wilberforce barracks has been commissioned of which he also said that the rice aid, agricultural machinery, water bowsers, fire engines, engineering equipment and traffic boat donated by China have been transported to Sierra Leone.
“Under the Chinese Government assistance programs, the construction of the Foreign Service Academy is to be completed soon and the overhaul of the National Stadium is making smooth progress. Many more community development projects have been carried out for the well-being of the Sierra Leonean people,” he stated.
The Outgoing Ambassador said he firmly believes that on the journey toward our respective goals, China and Sierra Leone will continue to treat each other with sincerity and mutual trust, work hand in hand for common development, and support each other in good faith.
“I’m convinced that the future of China-Sierra Leone friendship will be more shining and promising,” he expressed optimism adding that:
“I wish to take this opportunity to reluctantly bid farewell to all of you, my Sierra Leonean brothers and sisters, dear friends from other countries, and my Chinese compatriots. Following the instruction from my headquarters, I will be leaving Sierra Leone today as I end my tenure of my duty here. I thank you for all your generous support and profound fraternity accorded to me. I will miss you all. I will cherish each and every moment I spent in this beautiful country. I wish you greater success, prosperity and happiness!” he concluded.
On her part, the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mamadi Gobeh Kamara congratulated China on its 73rd National Day and the country’s desire to achieve greatness, for having one of the largest economies in the world, reducing poverty in addition to deepening its influence globally and emerging in technology, trade and science.
She furthered that the friendship between China and Sierra Leone is complementary, that Sierra Leone is grateful for the support that the Chinese Government have been giving to the country, adding that during the 73 years China’s journey to Global Leadership in the fields of trade, and investment, peace, security and development can be best described as magnificent and a show of extraordinary resilience.
Mamadi Gobeh Kamara said Sierra Leone has enjoyed cordial and special relationship with China spanning over 50 years and recalled the last visit of President Julius Maada Bio to China where the two leaders held fruitful discussions and also the visit of the Chinese President’s Special Envoy to Sierra Leone in 2019 further increasing trust and mutual respect between the two countries.
Madam Gobeh Kamara ended by stating that Sierra Leone and China will continue to work together for the prosperity and socio-economic development of the two countries.