While uncertainties continue to breed in the public domain as to how supportive international partners, including the United States, will be to the George Weah Administration, Chinese Ambassador to Liberia Fu Jijun has reassured his country’s continued and nurturing friendship to achieve common development on both sides.
Ambassador Fu’s statement and affirmation of China’s support to Liberia was contained in a remark he made at a reception hosted in honor of the departing Deputy Chief of Mission of the Chinese Embassy, Li Zhuang.
Fu said as the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit is pending to take place in Beijing a month from now, China stands ready to provide a friendly platform for mutual cooperation that will yield more sustainable benefits for peoples of China and Liberia.
President Weah, having received an invitation earlier from the Chinese Government to visit that country during the FOCAC Summit in September this year, is expected to attend and have a face-to-face meeting with President Xi Jinping.
While taking over from former Ambassador Zhang Yue earlier this year, Ambassador Fu said China remains committed to working with the administration of President Weah, and was soliciting views from the President about his development agenda as to how both countries can collaborate under the “One China Policy.”
President Weah himself has also declared his support to the One China Policy in speeches delivered on separate occasions marking dedications of some of China’s deliverables, which solidifies the hope that China-Liberia friendship remains strong.
“As Liberia is implementing its ‘Pro-poor Agenda,’ China stands ready to providing a friendly platform for further mutual cooperation that will yield sustainable benefits for our two countries and peoples,” Amb. Fu said.
He added, “We are very glad that our two leaders will have a face-to-face meeting during the FOCAC Summit, and it is our hope that their discussion will produce a new frontier of our relation and mutual cooperation.”
In a comment on the departure of Deputy Chief of Mission Li Zhuang, Ambassador Fu acknowledged that during Li’s stay in Liberia, he significantly promoted China-Liberia friendship that yielded tangible results.
He said such is evidenced by the mutual relation the two countries continue to enjoy even after the political transition that brought George Weah to power.
Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Elias Shoniyin, on behalf of the government, also acknowledged Li’s role in consolidating the friendship between Liberia and China during his stay as Deputy Chief of Mission in the country.
Li Zhuang came to Liberia in 2016, and during his stay, some major Chinese-sponsored projects, including annexes of the Capitol Building, the Ministerial Complex and renovation of the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex were undertaken.
Shoniyin said all these projects, coupled with knowledgeable views exchanged between Li and his Liberian counterparts, made his stay rewarding.
In response, Li Zhuang said: “Today, while I am about to leave the country, I have every confidence in this relationship.”
According to Li, he came to Liberia as a diplomat to work and nurture the friendship between the countries so that it is preserved, maintained and improved, and he has no doubt that the goal was achieved and both countries stand on a solid friendly ground.
Xu Kun, who took over from Li Zhuang, has stayed in Liberia for two weeks now.
Prior to his coming, Xu had read about Liberia and recalled that it is an open country with hospitable people, with its birth dating as far back as 1847, which makes it the first independent country on the African continent.
“I have already begun to think that this is a home away from home,” Xu said about Liberia’s hospitality.
He said though the country faces some difficulties and challenges, he is confident that under the leadership of President Weah and with the joint effort of the Liberian people as well as help from the international community, Liberia will achieve its development goals outlined in the “Pro-poor Agenda.”