- Wants Liberia to exercise Independence in the United States Taiwan Choice
By: G Bennie Bravo Johnson
As China continues to demonstrate that China-Liberia cooperation is genuine by completing China-aid projects across Liberia, such as the Ministerial Complex, the Annexes of the Capitol Building, 50 bore wells for rural areas, and the RIA through concessional loans, the Chinese ambassador to Liberia, Ren Yisheng, reassured Liberia that additional development benefits are on the horizon.
He indicated that China is committed to assisting Liberia in achieving industrial development, as he provided an update on the two long-awaited overpass bridges on Tubman Boulevard, the National Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment Lab, the LBS expansion project, and the Laser Fingerprint Examination Lab for criminal science investigations, all of which will soon commence; he stated that they are all in the bidding and procurement phases.
During a discussion with Liberian media and academics at the Chinese Embassy near Monrovia on August 8, 2022, Ambassador Yisheng alluded to China’s interest in development and investment in Liberia.
In an effort to revitalize the dormant Liberian economy through investment, the Chinese ambassador lauded China Union’s ambitions to resume operations in Bong County before the end of the year. Bao Chico has recently secured a mining permit and is planning to launch a mining operation in Gbarpolu County in the near future, it was discovered.
He reported that Shanghai will host the fifth China International Import Expo summit from November 5 to 10.
African items and handicrafts will be on show at the summit, since they have long been popular with Chinese buyers. He said that the Chinese government has granted two complimentary standard booths to Liberian exhibitors. “We encourage Liberian businesses to participate actively in the Expo”.
In the meantime, Amb. Yisheng stated that all Chinese enterprises operating in Liberia have been warned to abide by Liberian law and promote the welfare of workers and employees in accordance with human rights and dignity.
China has granted roughly 50 full government scholarships and 200 short- and long-term training opportunities to Liberians, some of which are combined with master’s and doctoral degree scholarships for Liberian students and trainees.
According to him, 16 training terms for 155 individuals and 11 training slots for scholarships have been introduced for the 2021-2022 training year.
In addition, 85 scholarship applicants for master’s and doctoral degrees were recommended, with 79 enrolling.
He added that all limitations on student travel to China have been lifted.
In the meantime, the ambassador promised them that the Chinese Embassy will supply hygienic menstrual pads through the Clar Hope Foundation and the Jewel Starfish Foundation to help women and girls remain in school during menstruation.
Together with the First Lady’s Clar Hope Foundation and the Vice President’s Jewel Starfish Foundation, we will provide sanitary pads to young women and girls.
In terms of food security, Ambassador Yisheng stated that China donates 2,500 tons of rice to Liberia annually.
He claimed that China is now distributing food to Liberian students, pregnant women, and children as part of a two-food and nutrition aid initiative, and that the distribution would transition to schools after the project is completed.
“After completing two food and nutrition aid projects for Liberian students, pregnant mothers, and newborns, we are now collaborating with the Ministry of Education to deliver an additional 1,000 bags of 25kg each bag rice along with some milk powder and vegetable oil.” In addition, we intend to donate desks and chairs to Liberian schools.”
Amb. Ren Yisheng reported at the same time that the 15th batch of China Medical Teams, comprising of nine individuals, has arrived in Liberia and would begin working at JFK Medical Center in mid-August following quarantine.
He continued by stating that there will be no consultation costs for the exam, but that patients must purchase their medication from the drugstore.
In his considerations regarding Liberia’s energy sector, he noted that China had donated more than 300 solar power lights and poles to Liberian communities, 75 of which had been installed on a bridge and along a street connecting two districts in Montserrado and Bomi counties; the bridge has since become much safer.
Ambassador Yisheng continued to describe China’s ongoing efforts to positively influence the Liberian education and health sectors.
“We assisted Booker Washington Institute in developing a partnership with Shandong Vocational and Technical College. We are collaborating with Bomi Community College to foster its growth. We are assisting JFD Hospital in Tapeta, Nimba County, with infrastructure improvements. We have assisted in the reconstruction of Star Foundation School near Monrovia along the Japan Freeway, and all parties have decided to rename the institution “China-Liberia Friendship School.” China would assist the National Wheelchair Basketball Federation of Liberia in constructing a wheelchair basketball court near the SKD Sports Complex in Monrovia, he added.
Meanwhile, Amb. Yisheng has condemned the recent visit of U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to China’s Taiwan region as a grave infringement of the One-China principle and the conditions of the three China-U.S. joint communiqués, claiming that it has a severe influence on the political underpinning of China-U.S. relations and violates China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in a serious way.
He came to the conclusion that Liberia is a sovereign nation that takes independent judgments that do not interfere with other internal affairs.
“Liberia may be a longstanding ally of the United States, but because Liberia is a sovereign nation, it does not imply it will always follow what the United States says,” Amb. Yisheng said.
“China-Africa and China-Liberia are brothers and close pals. Based on the norms and principles of respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states enshrined in the United Nations Charter, China is prepared to continue to make unrelenting efforts to strengthen China-Africa and China-Liberia friendly and pragmatic cooperation and build a community of shared future for our peoples.”