Chinese Provide US$3.3M Grant to AFL

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The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) through the Government of the People’s Republic of China has provided US$3.3M as the country’s support to the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).

The money is provided by the PLA as support to the AFL to purchase additional logistics and other equipment that would enhance the AFL’s contribution to the country’s social and economic security.

The provision of the grant, according to Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, Zhang Yue, became necessary now that the Engineering Company of the AFL has become a well-trained and well-equipped contingent, having made a significant contribution to the fight against the deadly Ebola epidemic and the development of the Liberian economy.

Ambassador Yue signed on behalf of the Government of the People’s Republic of China, while the Deputy Minister of National Defense, Joseph Johnson, who proxied for the Minister National Defense, Brownie J. Samukai, Jr., signed on behalf of the Ministry.

Mr. Johnson said China’s provision of military assistance to Liberia was a meaningful gift from the Chinese people to the AFL during the current fight against the Ebola virus disease (EVD).

In the past decade, the Chinese Diplomat said, China has attached great importance to the grave security concern by the Liberian Government and people.

However, he disclosed that in recent years, with the development of bilateral relations, the exchanges and cooperation between the People’s Liberation Army of China and the AFL have been gradually deepened.

“Ever since 2004, through mutual military exchanges and cooperation, the MOD of China provided US$3.3M worth of military assistance and 201 training slots.”

Also, in 2014, the Chinese Government provided the Liberian side with engineering equipment gratis to the value of US$4 million, and further sent an Engineering expert team to Liberia to train the Engineering personnel of the AFL for six months.

In the words of the Chinese Envoy, China appreciates the achievements made by the Liberian Government to develop the national economy, speed up infrastructure construction and bring benefits to the Liberian people.

Yesterday’s signing ceremony coincided with the conferral of “Distinguished Service Medal” on the outgoing Defense Attaché assigned at the Chinese Embassy near Monrovia, Senior Colonel Zhao Xizhang.

As Defense Attaché in Liberia, Senior Colonel Zhao exhibited outstanding ability that led to a number of support initiatives to the AFL, leading to an increase in the number of training opportunities to personnel of the AFL, and the central administration of the MOD.

He was the one who succeeded in securing about US$4 million worth of engineering equipment, spare parts and training for the Engineering Company of the AFL.

At the peak of the Ebola crisis, Senior Colonel Zhao played an exemplary role in his Government dispatching to Liberia, in a speedy manner, significant consignments of anti-Ebola related medical supplies.  He was also instrumental in assisting his government to mobilize the Chinese military medical team to come to Liberia.  The team has constructed and is operating a modern Ebola treatment unit (ETU) in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.

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