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Remarks At The Dedication Of The New Chinese Embassy In Liberia

 

By  H.E. ZHOU Yuxiao, Chinese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenepotentiary to Republic of Liberia

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Your Excellency Madam President,

Distinguished Platform guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

All protocols observed,

I wish to begin my remarks by expressing my heartfelt thanks to all the distinguished guests for gracing this dedication of the newly constructed Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Liberia.

Today is a historical date for the Chinese Embassy, as it is the very first time for many of us to witness a dedication of a new Chinese embassy in a foreign country in our diplomatic careers. It is also a historical date for China and Liberia as the dedication represents a new milestone in their maturing bilateral relations to which both governments attach great importance. I can assure you Madam President that with a much better environment and facilities, the Chinese Embassy staff will double their efforts to expand and upgrade our bilateral ties in all fields. We are proud to be the first country to build a brand new embassy in the post-war Liberia and we are ready to share with you our joy and pride brought by this beautiful and significant project. I hope you will all enjoy a lovely evening together with us and go away with a nice souvenir if you are lucky enough in the raffle at the end of the reception.

The Embassy was not only built to improve the working and living conditions of the Chinese diplomats, but also to show our confidence in Liberia and our practical support to the noble Liberian endeavor to “Lift Liberia”. To tell the truth, it was not easy to have the embassy built under the current circumstances. But our philosophy is not to do things when good conditions fall upon us, but to do something to help creating good conditions.

The Embassy was built in two years. It covers an area of 15 acres. It consists of the chancery, the Ambassador’s residence and the staff living quarters. I wish to thank the contractor Qingjian Group Co., Ltd for its hard, speedy and quality work and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Water and Sewage Company, Cemenco, the Terra Villa Garden Farm, the Back Road Community, the Chinese peacekeepers and etc. for their kind support and cooperation in the process of construction, beautification, relocation of the Embassy. My gratitude also goes to UNMIL and UNMIL troop-contributing countries for their contribution that has made peaceful construction possible.

China is pleased with the ever-deepening Sino-Liberian relationship, which is characterized by true equality, mutual trust and respect, mutual support and mutually beneficial cooperation. All the promised aid programs and win-win cooperation projects are either completed or being earnestly implemented. The on-going world financial crisis is hitting China hard. But I can assure you that China’s financial assistance to and economic cooperation with Liberia will not be affected as she follows a principle of “a friend in need is a friend indeed”. If the 2.6 billion US dollar investment agreement can be rectified in a prompt and appropriate manner, it will serve as a clear and positive signal to and a big encouragement for the potential Chinese investors who might be able to make a minor difference in Liberia’s future development.

China is also delighted to witness the tremendous changes that have taken place in Liberia in the last few years. The Poverty Reduction Strategy is being seriously implemented; Agriculture is picking up; Infrastructure is being rehabilitated; Peace and stability have been maintained. The successful International Women Colloquium held recently in Liberia represented a landmark progress in the post-war Liberian history. It demonstrated that Liberia has been fully readmitted into the comity of nations by the international community and that the capacity and ability of the Liberian government under the dynamic leadership of Madam President Sirleaf has been markedly improved. Meanwhile, China is also concerned with the Liberian difficulties and challenges that are no fewer than the achievements. The tasks lying ahead remain daunting. China will continue to stand firmly behind the Liberian government and people in your uphill journey to renew, rebuild and revitalize your promising nation.

Just now, Madam President, other senior Liberian officials and myself have planted a friendship tree, a tree locally known as Malian Apple or Liberian Apple. I am confident that, like the young tree, the fraternal friendship and the mutually beneficial partnership between China and Liberia will grow fervently and bear rich fruits in the years to come. To conclude, may I invite all of you to join me in a toast

to the health of Madam President

to the health of all the distinguished guests and

to the peace and prosperity of China, Liberia and the whole world. Cheers!


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