President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says her government’s decision to subscribe to the “One China Policy” has paid Liberia huge benefits, indicating that her administration will continue to subscribe to this globally renowned policy.
Madam Sirleaf said Liberia is pleased to have resumed diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and to have joined other nations of the world that continue to adhere to that policy.
The Liberia leader spoke at a farewell reception for outgoing Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua at the Chinese Embassy near Monrovia.
She told Ambassador Zhao that during his tour of duty, he had gone above the call of duty by identifying and making interventions in critical priority areas; some of which are being implemented while others are already completed.
The President named the near-completed Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC) and the proposed Ministerial Complex as some of the projects Ambassador Zhao ensured were approved by his government.
She also recounted interventions made in the areas of human resource development and sports. In the former, hundreds of Liberians had either been trained at the degree-granting level or certificated in various disciplines, and had returned home to contribute their quota to nation- building, while others were still pursuing their studies in China.
In the area of sports, the President said that Ambassador Zhao sponsored regular table tennis competitions among Liberian youth, which gave them motivation and inspiration in helping them shape their minds to compete internationally.
“We see the transformation of the mind-set as the most important intervention which leads people to change course, to see things differently, to act in a new manner in the interest of the nation,” she said. “This is why we are grateful to the Chinese people for their role in education,” she added.
She renewed Liberia’s commitment to a strong bilateral and private-sector partnership, leading to a long-lasting remembrance of the Ambassador’s intervention during his time in Liberia.
In his remarks, Ambassador Zhao described his stay in Liberia as rewarding, and he promised to always push Liberia’s development interests in whatever capacity he assumes after his assignment in Liberia. He said the projects being funded by the Chinese Government will go a long way in strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries, and serve as a demonstration of China’s commitment to helping rebuild Liberia.
Ambassador Zhao said: “Many people ask why does China give so much to Liberia, and the most important reason is that you, Madam President, together with the Government and people of Liberia, have won the respect and trust of the Chinese people and the international community.”
Ambassador Zhao Jianhua said since he commenced his tour of duty in Liberia in 2011, the bilateral relationship between the two countries made steady progress and entered a new phase.
Ambassador Jianhua: “I’m very proud to say that since I came here, significant progress has been made in the development of our friendship and cooperation. We have further proven ourselves as steadfast and reliable partners bilaterally and internationally. As a result, the relationship between our two countries has entered a new period.”
He indicated that politically, the two countries have strengthened mutual trust and the Liberian government is firmly adhering to the One China policy, while at the same time, the Chinese government is firmly supporting Liberia’s peace and stability.
The outgoing Chinese Ambassador reminded Liberians that the two countries have common dreams, making reference to Liberia’s “Vision 2030” policy document and China’s “Reform and Transformation Policy,” which aims at improving the lives of the Chinese people in the same way that Liberia envisages for its people.