By H.E. Mr. Ren Yisheng, Ambassador of China to Liberia
23 September 2021
Your Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia,
Honorable representatives of the Legislature, the Cabinet and relevant political parties of Liberia,
Distinguished colleagues from the diplomatic corps and international organizations,
Distinguished representatives of the media,
Dear Chinese compatriots in Liberia,
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,
Good evening! We are honored and delighted to have you all with us in celebrating the 72nd Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Thank you very much for sparing your precious time to grace this reception.
In 2021, the Communist Party of China（CPC） celebrated its centenary. Over the past century, through the continued efforts of the whole Party and the entire nation, we have realized the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. This means that we have brought about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty in China, and we are now marching toward the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects. Over the past hundred years, the CPC has united and led the Chinese people to great success in the new-democratic revolution, socialist revolution and construction, reform and opening up, and socialist modernization, and taken socialism with Chinese characteristics into a new era. Chinese nation has achieved the tremendous transformation from standing up and growing prosperous to becoming strong, and that China’s national rejuvenation has become a historical inevitability.
In February 2021, President Xi Jinping solemnly declared that China had secured a complete victory in its fight against poverty. All of the 98.99 million rural residents that fell below the current poverty line have now been lifted out of poverty. Since the reform and opening up, 770 million rural poor people in China have shaken off poverty. In the first half of this year, China’s GDP reached 53.2167 trillion yuan, which is the first time in the history of China’s GDP which exceeds 50 trillion yuan in the first half of any year. China’s economy keeps a good momentum of steady growth. Since reform and opening-up, China has been contributing over 30 percent to global economic growth for the past ten-plus years, promoting the economic recovery after the global epidemic.
Your Excellency Mr. President,
2021 is an extraordinary year for people all over the world. The COVID-19 pandemic is undergoing many twists and turns, including the constant mutations of the virus. Controlling the pandemic still poses a daunting challenge. As a responsible major country, China has been actively participating in global scientific origins tracing cooperation with a scientific attitude, and opposes politicization of origins tracing that goes against the WHA resolution.
While fighting COVID-19 at home, China has actively cooperated with other countries in the world to overcome difficulties and launched a large-scale global humanitarian operation. At this year’s Global Health Summit, President Xi Jinping announced that China had provided free vaccines to more than 80 developing countries in urgent need and exporting vaccines to 43 countries. We have provided 2 billion US dollars in assistance for the COVID-19 response and economic and social recovery in developing countries hit by the pandemic.
We have sent medical supplies to more than 150 countries and 13 international organizations, providing more than 280 billion masks, 3.4 billion protective suits and 4 billion testing kits to the world. A cooperation mechanism has been established for Chinese hospitals to pair up with 41 African hospitals (including JFK Medical Center of Liberia), and construction for the China-assisted project of the Africa CDC headquarters officially started late last year. Important progress has also been made in the China-UN joint project to set up a global humanitarian response depot and hub in China. On August 5th, President Xi Jinping announced that this year China will provide 2 billion doses of vaccine to the world and donate 100 million US dollars to the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX).
This will make new contribution to the global cooperation against COVID-19. Up to now, China has provided 770 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and concentrates to more than 100 countries and international organizations, which is equivalent to one-sixth of the current global total output of COVID-19 vaccines. China is the country that has provided the largest number of vaccines to developing countries.
China and Africa, China and Liberia are good friends and good brothers, and we have joined hands in fighting the epidemic to write a new chapter in our friendship. China has always supported African countries including Liberia in the fight against COVID-19 with tangible actions, by donating a large number of anti-COVID-19 medical supplies, dispatching medical expert teams, building the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and China-Africa Friendship Hospitals, carrying out pairing-up cooperation between Chinese hospitals and African hospitals, canceling interest-free loan debts of relevant African countries, and extending the debt relief period of some African countries. China will continue to carry out pragmatically the concept of constructing a China-Africa and a China-Liberian community with a shared future.
Your Excellency Mr. President,
China is willing to join hands with Liberia to build a global community of health for all. Based on this concept, China has provided large amount of vaccines to the world, especially developing countries. China actively carries out joint production of vaccines and makes them global public goods. China will continue to do its best to help developing countries fight against the pandemic. Up to now, China has donated four batches of anti-epidemic materials to Liberia. In the next stage, we are ready to continue to actively provide anti-epidemic assistance to Liberia, so as to help Liberia overcome the epidemic as soon as possible and smoothly resume economic and social production.
China is willing to join hands with Liberia to open up new prospects for mutually beneficial cooperation. Over the past 20 years, with the joint efforts of China and Africa, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) has always been committed to developing a high-quality comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Africa, and the achievements of the Forum have benefited the Chinese and African people.
The major cooperation projects between China and Liberia such as the Flyover Bridges, Somalia Drive-Sinkor Road and Bridge, and the Diagnoses and Treatment Laboratory have been making steady progress, and we will encourage more Chinese enterprises to invest in Liberia.
This year, the FOCAC will hold a new session in Senegal, which will surely bring new opportunities for pragmatic cooperation between China and Liberia. Under the framework of FOCAC and the “Belt and Road Initiative”, China will continue to strengthen strategic docking with the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) as advocated by H.E. President Weah, jointly implement the China-Africa “Eight Major Initiatives”, and continue to advance friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation of China and Liberia, so as to bring more tangible benefits to the two peoples. Hand in hand we will build a China-Africa community with a shared future that features joint responsibility, win-win cooperation, happiness for all, common cultural prosperity, common security, and harmonious co-existence, and turn it into a pacesetter for building such a community for mankind.
China is willing to join hands with Liberia to realize the beautiful dreams of the two peoples. Under the leadership of the CPC, the Chinese government always takes the people as the center and regards the people’s longing for a better life as its fundamental goal.
This coincides with President Weah’s development concept of attaching great importance to people’s livelihood. In 2021, President Weah has taken County Tours to all 15 counties of Liberia, and personally visited rural areas to observe the people’s situation and sentiments, and worked hard to serve the people, address their needs, and attend to their problems. China is willing to further deepen cooperation with Liberia, carry out more cooperation projects related to improving people’s livelihood and enhancing people’s well-being, and jointly realize the beautiful dream of the two peoples to pursue a happy life.
When brothers are of the same mind, they have the power to cut through a piece of metal. At present, the COVID-19 epidemic is still raging all over the world, and China-Liberia cooperation faces both opportunities and challenges. China is willing to follow the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith, join hands with Liberia, seize opportunities and meet challenges, and push bilateral cooperation in the fields of politics, economy, security, medical care, education, agriculture and people-to-people exchanges to make new achievements and promote China-Liberia comprehensive cooperative partnership to a new level.
In conclusion, I would like to propose a toast,
To the world peace and prosperity,
To the prosperity, development and everlasting friendship of China and Liberia,
To the good health and family happiness of President Weah and the other guests present!
(October 1 is an important day for both China and President Weah. Happy Birth Day to you, Mr. President!)
Thank you all!