There were “smiles” and then “cheers – particularly “claps” from Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yue and staff of the Embassy, including personnel of Chinese Police Unit owing to the incredible performances of Liberian Wushu athletes.
The Ministers of Education and Youth and Sports, George Werner and Lenn Eugene Nagbe, including the Police Commissioner of UNMIL, Mr. Gregory Hinds, and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) Brig. Gen. Daniel Dee Ziankahn amongst other audience were also excited.
Since the resumption of diplomatic ties between China and Liberia in 2003, this is the first performance of Chinese cultural martial arts.
The 12 Liberian Wushu athletes were trained and directed by retired taekwondo fighter, Master Junior Pewee Russian.
Chinese Ambassador Zhang said the practice of Wushu in Liberia is an important part of the friendly relations between the two countries, because Wushu is cultural martial arts in China, which has absorbed the popular philosophies and moral practices of the people of China over the past 5000 years of development.
“Wushu has developed into more than just a simple system of fighting and has become a way to cultivate the body, mind and spirit in a positive way that is beneficial to all that practice it,” Amb. Zhang said.
The President of Liberia National Wushu Association (LNWA), Fred Pratt thanked Amb. Zhang and the Embassy for the support and wished for technical support to the training of the athletes.
Pratt also thanked the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the inaugural budgetary allocation to the association and further extolled two media institutions, including the Daily Observer newspaper for their coverage of Wushu events.
Liberia Wushu was founded on February 11, 2011 and was accredited by the International Wushu Federation (IWF) on November 15, 2011 at its 11th Congress on October 9, 2011.
During the Chinese martial arts performances, the UNMIL Chinese Police Unit also performed various styles along with the Liberian Wushu athletes. After the performances, both of them interacted.
Reports gathered said, the UNMIL Chinese Police Unit has resolved to assist Master Russian in the teaching of Wushu and other Chinese martial arts.
It may be recalled that the Political Commissar of Chinese UNMIL Police Unit, Li Peisen expressed his appreciation for Liberians to practice Chinese martial arts and support its development in the country.