It is no secret that foreign relations are conducted on the basis of interest and not permanent friendship. This entails a win-win situation. Unlike some whose interests suppress others, especially countries in Africa, the China’s relations with the continent continue to be characterized by values. In the conduct of its foreign relations, the People’s Republic of China continues to make strategic moves to prioritize trade and direct foreign investments in all sectors with almost all countries on the continent. For example Sudan, Nigeria, Algeria, Gaddafi-era Libya, Ghana, as well as Liberia, among others are among China’s top trading partners.
The Chinese Police Deployment: An Applaudable Move Worth Recognizing
In Africa, the PRC is not just interested in the extractive sector, but extended its investments to textile, food and agro-processing, retail venture, fisheries, sea food farming, as well as commercial real estate, transportation, construction, tourism, power plants, banking an financial services, education and telecommunications to name a few. In executing its trade and foreign policy, China employs a policy of non-interference in which it does not attach any strings to its development aid or investment packages as long as its African partners embraces its ‘One China Policy’. In consonance with such policy, Sino-Liberia relations has become so cemented that the impact is being felt in almost all sectors of the Liberian society.
For more than 6 years now Sino-Liberia investments have been very overwhelming so much so that it is trigging down to ordinary Liberians. The opportunity for Liberians to pursue higher education at various universities in China, the creation of employment schemes in the extractive industry, road construction, as well as food and agro-processing are among the many investments the PRC has made in Liberia like other countries.
Most prestigious is the construction of a ministerial complex to host a number of Liberian government ministries and agencies to reduce the high rent costs. The delay on the part of the Liberian Government, in terms of providing the construction site is the most pressing challenge-something that may threaten the project. As the United Nations draws down its peacekeepers, the Government of the People’s Republic of China will, next month, be deploying 140-Riot Police Unit to Liberia.
The Chinese Government, through its Defense Attache to Liberia, Senior Colonel Zhao Xizhang, made the disclosure last Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at the reception for the 86th Anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) held at the Chinese Embassy in Congo Town, near Monrovia. Col. Xizhang also disclosed that the troop will join the remaining batch of the peace-keeping mission in Liberia, emphasizing that the deployment of the riot police will be the first time China has sent Formed Police Unit (FPU) to Africa. This is an applaudable move by the PRC, especially amid the fear among the Liberian population now characterizing the UN draw-down.