By Ibrahim Joenal Sesay
At a reception celebrating the 2018 Chinese Spring Festival, February 9th, 2018 at the Bintumani Hotel in Freetown, the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone Wu Peng has promised that China’s support for Sierra Leone’s peace and development will never change!
Below are the remarks made by Chinese Ambassador Wu Peng at the reception celebrating the 2018 Chinese Spring Festival:
“Tonight, we are gathering here with great joy to celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival, also known as the Chinese Lunar New Year! At this auspicious moment, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone, let me extend my warmest welcome to all of you and express my sincere New Year greetings to all the fellow Chinese and Chinese companies, institutions residing in Sierra Leone.
According to Chinese Zodiac, 2018 is the Chinese Year of Dog. And there is an old Chinese saying that anyone born in this year will be communicative, serious, and responsible in the workplace. Thus, I wish all of you every success in the coming Chinese New Year of Dog.
Normally in Spring Festival, it is the time to review the past year and to make wishes for the New Year.
The year of 2017 had been an outstanding and impressive year for Chinese people. It witnessed the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which marked a new era was set for China’s diplomacy – to foster a new type of international relations and to build a community with a shared future for mankind and China’s commitment to working with other countries for a bright future was fully demonstrated.
In 2017, the GDP growth rate of China reached 6.9%. China contributed approximately one-third of the global economic growth and continued to play the role of an indispensable of the world economy.
China also made great efforts to steer globalization in the right direction. On various occasions from Davos to Geneva, and from Hamburg to Da Nang, President Xi Jinping presented to the world China’s vision of greater balance in economic globalization and of a community with a shared future for mankind, which remarks instilled confidence and positive energy into the international community.
Fellows and friends,
The China-Sierra Leone and cooperation has made great progress in the past year. To implement the outcomes of the meeting between our two Heads of States, a number of important cooperation projects have been launched. The Strategic Partnership of Comprehensive Cooperation between our two friendly countries has been promoted to a new height.
Next month, Sierra Leone will hold the general election. I am confident that Sierra Leoneans have the capacity and wisdom to conduct a peaceful and fair election.
Here, Here, I want to reiterate that, China’s support for Sierra Leone peace and development will never change! The resolve of China to pursue unity and win-win cooperation with Sierra Leone will never change!
Fellows and friends,
The year 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of China’s taking reform and opening-up policy. In this November, China will hold the 1st China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai. It is a significant move for the Chinese government to give firm support to trade liberalization and economic globalization and actively open the Chinese market to the world. We sincerely welcome the Sierra Leone government officials, business communities, to participate in this Expo and to explore the Chinese market, export more goods made in Sierra Leone to China.
And this September, a new forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit will be held in Beijing. The Chinese and African leaders will draw the new blueprint of cooperative development and open a new era of win-win cooperation and common development for the two sides. I firmly believe, after that, more and more opportunities and space will lie ahead between China and Sierra Leone, and our relations will surely bring along more tangible benefits to our two peoples.
Fellows and friends,
In conclusion, may I propose a toast,
To the prosperity of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Sierra Leone, to the long-lasting of China-Sierra Leone friendship, to the health and family of dear friends present tonight, and to the New Year of Dog, Cheers!”
Sierra Leone Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Gibril Sesay described this year as a year of great communication as Sierra Leoneans will decide who will govern them for the next five years, come March 7, 2018.
He said the government of Sierra Leone condemns all forms of violence and intimidation. He also implored Sierra Leoneans to take any issue they have to court or the ballot box.
Credit: The Trumpet Newspaper