President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has disclosed that the People’s Republic of China and India have committed themselves to helping Liberia recover from the lashes of the Ebola virus disease (EVD).
Speaking upon her return from what she described as successful trip to the two top Asian countries, President Sirleaf noted that the countries have made huge commitments that would be of great impacts to the development drive of Liberia, but only when Liberians are willing to fulfill their end of the agreement.
President Sirleaf made the comments at the Sinkor Assembly of God Church during a Thanksgiving Service in commemoration of her 77th birth anniversary and successful mission and safe return to the country.
President Sirleaf visited India, where she formed part of the 54 African Heads of States that attended the India-Africa Summit; there after paying a lengthy state visit to China where she met with that country’s authorities and business community.
President Sirleaf said at the Thanksgiving service that the governments of India and China have committed themselves to support Liberia’s development efforts, but Liberians must be prepared to help themselves.
“Unless we demonstrate the preparedness to help ourselves, others won’t do for us,” she said.
The President said she would reveal the contents of her agreements with the leaders of the two countries when she addresses the nation this week.
The two countries, she said, resolved that Liberia will remain one of the nations with which they will remain fully engaged.
Reports indicated that while President Sirleaf was in China, she held bilateral talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, discussed several areas of partnership and cooperation and sign three bilateral agreements.
China’s State Council Premier, Li Keqiang assured President Sirleaf that all outstanding projects in Liberia, which include the construction of a Ministerial Complex, Annex to National Legislature and the refurbishment of the nation’s major soccer stadium-the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex, will be fully implemented as scheduled. He said the implementation of these projects will begin shortly.
“We are well informed about Liberia’s history and characteristics and recalled that China was far worse than Liberia after its own wars,” said Premier Keqiang during a meeting with President Sirleaf in Beijing.
He assured President Sirleaf that China was ready to help Liberia in the health sector. He said that investment in agriculture in addition to fisheries, wood processing and manufacturing complemented by a massive re-planting program as well as the establishment of processing industries to add value to the many natural resources the country is endowed with can certainly transform the country.
Premier Keqiang indicated that China has effective technologies for high yield in agro-business and rice production which, when harnessed, can help Liberia create jobs for the young people, ensure food sufficiency and achieve food security. He expressed the hope that China-Liberia relations can be of mutual benefits or a win-win situation for both countries.
He assured her of a very productive relationship between China and Liberia on the one hand and China and Africa on the other, and praised President Sirleaf for the excellent leadership demonstrated with national and international support to defeat Ebola.
He noted that President Sirleaf has taken China-Liberia relations very seriously since her ascendency, adding that China appreciates her.
The visit to China was President Sirleaf’s second State Visit since she took up the country leadership 2006 and was described by the Chinese leader as “very successful.”
Meanwhile, President Sirleaf told the gathering at the A.G Church that her visits afforded Liberia the opportunity to appreciate how those countries are tackling poverty, and learn from their experiences in terms of how they have transformed in just two decades and are now vying for super-powership.