Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone has on Friday September 27, 2019 hosted a grand reception in warm celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China at the Bintumani International Conference Centre, Aberdeen, Freetown.
The reception attracted in attendance a host of high-profile personalities. And among them were the Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone – H.E. Dr. Juldeh Jalloh, Chinese Ambassador in Sierra Leone –H.E. Hu Zhangliang, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister – Solomon Jamiru Esq., Government Ministers, Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps, Chinese Community, the Press and other invited guests.
On October 1, 1949, the first five-star red flag was raised in Tian’anmen Square in Beijing. The Chinese people, who had experienced bitter struggle since modern times, finally saw the dawn of the rebirth of the Chinese nation. And with the rebirth of the PRC, the Chinese people became masters of the country, society and their own destiny. They began to embark on a great journey of realizing a strong and prosperous country, national rejuvenation and people’s happiness with full pride.
In his keynote address, Amb. Hu Zhanliang, started-off on recounting how far they have come as a nation stating that the Communist Party of China, the Chinese government and the Chinese people have united as one, forged ahead and made great strides that brought earthshaking changes to China. And that 70 years ago, China was one of the poorest and most backward countries in the world; but today, China has grown into the world’s second largest economy, the largest industrial country, the largest trader in goods, and the biggest holder of foreign exchange reserves. And that in 2018, China’s GDP totaled 13.6 trillion U.S. dollars, and China’s average contribution rate to global economic growth has been close to 30% for17 consecutive years now.
“From the early days of the founding of the People’s Republic of China to the year 2018, China’s urbanization rate has increased from less than 11% to about 60%,the per capita disposal income has grown in real terms by nearly 60 times, and people’s life expectancy has been increased from 35 to 77 years. China has lifted more than 700 million people out of poverty by UN benchmarks. There are 854 million Chinese citizens using 4G network to access information, learn knowledge and skills, and freely express their opinions and demands online”, said Amb. Hu Zhangliang.
He continued that China’s marvelous success would not have been possible without the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, the determined struggle of the Chinese people, and the deep commitment to the mutually beneficial and win-win strategy of opening-up.
Amb. Hu Zhangliang furthered that, “given the spectacular achievements made in the past 70 years, China remains a developing country, China ranks the 71st in the world in per capita GDP and the 91st in human development index. China’sdevelopment is still unbalanced and inadequate, faced with challenges and risks. The government and people of China, under the strong leadership of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, following the guidance of Xi Jinping ‘Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era’, will resolutely uphold China’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, security and development interests, strive to achieve the Two Centenary Goals and fulfill the Chinese dream of national renewal.”
With regards the China–Africa relationship, Amb. Zhangliang said that time has proven that China and Africa are a genuine friends and reliable partners, and of which the FOCAC Beijing Summit last year ushered in a new era for the development of China-Africa relations. He continued that since the establishment of diplomatic ties 48 years ago, China and Sierra Leone have gone a long way in conducting fruitful cooperation in all areas.
And Sierra Leone being one of the countries that supported the restoration of the legitimate seat of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations and having always adhered to the one-China principle, the ambassador said China will continue to be highly grateful.
In responding to the toast of the Chinese Ambassador, Sierra Leone’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister – Solomon Jamiru Esq., congratulated, on behalf of His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio and the people of Sierra Leone, President Xi Jinping and the People’s Republic of China for the commendable transformation of that great country and PRC’s desire to achieve the Global Family of Equals.
“Sierra Leone is grateful for interventions such as the ultra-modern specialized medical centre at Jui, construction of roads and the rein of public infrastructure in the country, international scholarship support to students, construction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation building, supporting the implementation of phases 1 and 2 of the fibre-optic back-roll, and several other interventions for which Sierra Leone remains grateful”, Minister Jamiru expressed gratitude to the People’s Republic of China, and reiterated Sierra Leone’s commitment to deepening and strengthening the bond with China whilst looking forward to closer cooperation in the broad range of areas expressed as priorities in Sierra Leone’s development plan. He concluded by wishing prosperity to President Xi Jinping and the People’s Republic of China prosperity.
And the reception ended with performances from staff of the Embassy and pupils of the Fourah Bay College Secondary School, and the cutting of the celebration cake by the Vice President, Chinese Ambassador, and Deputy Foreign Minister.