Editorial: Stop the Unfair Accusations Against Chinese Companies

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By Amin Kef (Ranger)

In recent times, several newspapers have unfairly accused Chinese companies with inflammatory headlines using words like “slavery,” “mafia,” and “colonialism.” Conscientious and discerning citizens must consider: who has historically engaged in the slave trade and practiced colonialism? Certainly not China! China has never invaded other countries, colonized other nations, or engaged in the slave trade. Additionally, China has no association with the mafia.

Consider the Tonkolili Iron Ore Project. During the operations by African Minerals and Shandong Iron & Steel, the project faced numerous interruptions due to infectious diseases and falling iron ore prices. In 2021, Leone Rock was invited by the government to reactivate the project. Recently, Leone Rock completed the loading of 100 Capesize vessels, each capable of carrying over 100,000 tons of iron ore for export. Sierra Leone is rich in mineral resources, and to benefit the government, society, and the people, these projects must continue. Do we want to drive away these legally operating investors and bring projects to a halt? Will this benefit the people?

When China was founded in 1949, its per capita GDP was $27, the lowest in Asia. Today, China is the world’s second-largest economy, achieved through peaceful development, not colonialism. Sierra Leone became independent in 1961 and gained republican status in 1971. Our economic development remains relatively backward. Shouldn’t we adopt an inclusive attitude and learn from other countries’ successful experiences?

The friendly relationship between China and Sierra Leone has a long history, evidenced by Chinese investments in projects like the Friendship Building, the National Stadium, the Friendship Road, the China-Sierra Leone Friendship Hospital, the 34 Military Hospital, and the Tonkolili Iron Ore Project. Have Chinese companies, medical teams, and military medical groups brought oppression or colonialism? Is there any mafia? We must listen to the evaluations of the people. Are there individuals using media freedom to smear China and Chinese companies? Who are the experts in blackmail? Thoughtful consideration is required.

Sierra Leone is a peace-loving and united country, our last stronghold. Despite development challenges, we must adopt an inclusive attitude and welcome more foreign investors based on mutual respect and understanding, without political conditions, to jointly build our beautiful homeland. The unfair labeling must stop, and we should focus on enhancing bilateral ties with China. While there may be rogue individuals, the good ones far outweigh them.

Stop the unjust accusations and recognize the benefits of our longstanding and productive relationship with China.


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