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Remarks at the Formal Opening of the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex

by H.E. Mr. Zhou Yuxiao, Chinese Ambassador to Liberia

on November 2, 2007

Your Excellency Madam President,

Hon. Minister of Youth and Sports,

Distinguished officials from all three arms of the government,

Respected quests,

Friends from the media:

I am so happy and pleased today to attend this formal opening of the SKD Sports Complex. I am happy not so much because it is China that built and renovated this stadium, but primarily because I see that the Liberian people are sharing the dividend of peace and that the sportive Liberian youth are "fighting" on sports ground instead of at battlefront.

While others are thanking China for its assistance to erect this complex, I wish to thank all those individuals, governments as well as regional and international organizations like ECOWAS, AU and the United Nations that have helped to bring peace and order back to the country. In my personal opinion, peace is far more important and precious than anything else. Without peace, China could do little in Liberia. Therefore, I want you to look at the stadium not merely as a Chinese aid project, but rather as a monument to peace.

As the new Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, I have been observing Liberia carefully and I have found that the Liberian people and their government under the brilliant leadership of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf are fully engaged in the rebuilding of the nation and that progresses are gradually being made in almost every field including sports. Off course, to rebuild the national economy, the social fabrics and the moral standards, which were devastated by the 14-year civil war, is by no means an easy and quick job. It requires every Liberian man and woman to make contributions and even sacrifices to get the country out of poverty and dilapidation and set it on the right track of development. It is definitely an uphill journey. But you are not alone on this treacherous and long march. The whole international community including China stands firmly behind you.

The completion of the renovation of this stadium does not mean the end of China's assistance to Liberia. On the contrary, China is intensifying its efforts to do more people-oriented aid projects in Liberia in the next couple of years. The major ones include: one hospital, three high schools, three buildings and three laboratories for University of Liberia, one army barracks, one agricultural technology demonstration center and the continued provision of medical doctors, scholarships, technical training slots in China and etc.

China is giving some help to Liberia not because it is rich, but because it is a friend of Liberia which also renders valuable support to China in many other ways. A friend in need is a friend indeed. May this mutually beneficial relationship between China and Liberia become ever stronger with each passing day. May the Liberian people live in peace forever and enjoy prosperity in the near future.

Thank you all.


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