— As China Observes 70th National Anniversary
President George Weah, realizing the development impact of China on Liberia, has lavished praises on the government and people of that Asian country for several infrastructural and human resource projects they have initiated and completed in Liberia.
The President bestowed the praises when he participated in a program marking the 70th National Day Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China on September 19, 2019 at the Chinese Embassy near Monrovia.
It can be recalled that this year China completed and turned over two major infrastructural projects — the eye-catching ministerial complex along the Tubman Boulevard in Congo Town, and the Roberts International Airport Terminal in Margibi County. Earlier, the annexes of the Capitol hosting the National Legislature were dedicated along with the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex that was renovated prior to the ascendancy of President Weah.
Acknowledging the role of President Xi Jinping and the People’s Republic of China, the President said these projects contribute immensely to his government’s desire and effort in ensuring that Liberia gets such infrastructures that will attract the attention of non-Liberians how the citizens are resolved to develop their country in line with the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.
Concerning China-Africa Relations, President Weah added that both partners, China and Africa, are equally enjoying proceeds from this relationship in the presence of equity and accountability without leaving anyone behind.
He then reiterated the Liberian Government’s commitment to uphold the One China Policy and urged all parties to nurture and strengthen the relationship with positive attitude and respect.
In his National Day speech that began with condolences to the people of Liberia for the fire disaster that killed over 28 persons in Paynesville on September 17, Chinese Ambassador Fu Jijun, recounted the major projects being completed and dedicated and referenced people empowerment as another important development China continues to undertake in Liberia.
Ambassador Fu, in this direction, indicated that China has significantly increased the number of scholarships and training opportunities for Liberians this year.
For investment, Ambassador Fu said the Jiangxi Shangyou Rubber Wood processing factory has started operation in Liberia, adding, “We are also working together for implementing the technical cooperation of SKD, LBS, the Bamboo and Rattan Weaving Training School and the construction of the Reference Laboratory at the 14 Military Hospital and the two flyover bridges.”
The Ambassador said he is confident that with the pushing forward of the actions of the Beijing FOCAC Summit, the mutually beneficial China-Liberia collaboration will surely yield more fruit, pledging further China’s support to Liberia in achieving her development agenda under the George Weah Administration.
China, on the global development index, is considered a third world country with a challenge in alleviating poverty for its almost 2 billion people despite its competitiveness in trade and technology with other developed countries including the United States.
As a result of its relentless pursuit of improved socio-economic development, Ambassador Fu said in the 70-year period of New China existence, the country has made tremendous progress that it is becoming richer and stronger by the day.
He recalled that China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has since risen from 67.9 billion Yuan in 1952 to more than 90 trillion Yuan in 2018. He also added that China’s total grain output rose from 113 million tons in 1949 to 657 million tons in 2018.
According to Ambassador Fu, about 800 million Chinese people have gotten out of poverty, representing 70% of the world poverty reduction. In order to overcome challenges posed by global economic competition, the Ambassador intoned that the Chinese Government has embarked on reforming its economic structure, developing high tech and service industries, expanding domestic consumption, increasing imports through founding the Shanghai Import Export and China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo.
“With 6.2% GDP growth in the first half of this year, China remains one of the fastest growing economies and driving force of the world growth and stability,” Ambassador Fu said.
China’s total imports and exports of goods, according to Ambassador Fu, increased from US$1.13 billion in 1950 to $4.6 trillion in 2018; making it first in rank in the world in two years. He said his country has been ranked first and second contributor to UN expenditure and peacekeeping force separately. China-Africa trade volume is also recalled to have reached US$204.2 billion in 2018, thereby making Africa China’s largest trading partner.
He further noted that in recent years China has been engaged in the business of railway construction, building of ports, aviation service and electricity projects on the African continent to enhance integration. “By the end of 2018, China’s investment in Africa had exceeded US$46 billion, which greatly enhanced the capacity of African industry and export,” he added.
Referencing the World Trade Organization (WTO), he said China upholds the principle of multilateralism and free trade and investment, which promote progress and prosperity, stressing that the concept for building a more just and equitable international order and a community of a shared future for mankind proposed by President Xi Jinping has been adopted by the UN and the other international institutions.