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Remarks at the Farewell Reception for Liberian Students Studying in China & Chinese Ambassador Scholarship Award Ceremony

(By Ambassador FU Jijun, Multifunctional Hall, on August 23, 2018)

Your Honorable Latim Du-Thong, Acting Minister of Education,

Your Honorable Naomie Gray, Assitant Minister of Foreign Affairs,

Officials of Liberian Universities,

The winners of the Chinese government Scholarship,

The winners of the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship,

Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen!

Good evening!

Tonight, I am very happy to host a reception at the Chinese Embassy to see off the Liberian students who are going to study in China and to present the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship to three Liberian universities. This is indeed a moment of joy as I can already see the excitement in the faces of the winners before me. In the next two weeks, nearly 100 Liberian students are expected to embark on a study trip to China, while another 100 students from the University of Liberia, Cuttington University and Tubman University will be benefiting from the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship. This is the outcome of your hard work. Congratulations to all of you and your family! At the same time, I would also like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the Liberian Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant government agencies for their long-term support and assistance in the selection of qualified winners for the various scholarships and training programs!

Both China and Liberia have a tradition of attaching importance to education. There is an old saying in China that “It takes ten years to nurture a tree, but a hundred years to train a man”. A good education program takes a long time to develop. Because we know that only when young people have more educational opportunities will the country have more hope for development. One of China’s achievements in development is to prioritize the development of education. The President of the People’s Republic of China H.E. XI Jinping on the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China stated that “Building a powerful country in education is the fundamental project for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. We must give priority to the cause of education, deepening the reform of education, speeding up the modernization of education, and running an educational system that is satisfactory to the people.” In the past 40 years of reform and opening up, China has built the world's largest education system. Education has achieved great development, great changes, and great leap. Education has become an important pillar for enhancing national competitiveness and promoting the construction of advanced culture, and has made an irreplaceable and important contribution to China's modernization. Up to now, China has formed an all directional, multi-level and wide-ranging educational opening up pattern. In 2017, nearly 500,000 students from 205 countries and regions went to study in China. China has become the largest destination in Asia and the third largest in the world. In 2017, a total of 58,600 Chinese government scholarship students from 180 countries studied in China. The Sino-foreign cooperative education projects and the Confucius Institute projects have been carried out smoothly. The educational cooperation and exchanges between China and other countries (regions) and international organizations have been further consolidated.

Education is also playing a key role in the development of Liberia. President Weah mentioned many times that quality education will be prioritized during his administration. After he assumed the office, he put education as one of the important elements of the “Pro-Poor Agenda” and proposed to implement a strategic plan for a ten-year period of providing quality education for the benefit of the Liberian people. China highly appreciates this policy. As the biggest developing country, China has always been dedicated to strengthening the cooperation between China and Liberia in terms of education and human resource by sharing its development experiences, knowledge and technology with Liberia in various means. Over the recent years, China has helped Liberia build the Fendell Campus of the University of Liberia and the Monrovia Vocational Training Center. The Confucius Institute in the University of Liberia has implemented popular Chinese language learning programs. Since 2003, more than one thousand Liberian students have received various kinds of scholarships to study in China. In addition, the Chinese government has provided a large number of short-term opportunities for professional training for the Liberian government agencies and private institutions. From January to July this year alone, more than 100 government officials, scholars, doctors, journalists, and agricultural technicians have gone to China to participate in professional trainings in education, journalism, medicine, and agricultural technology. These students returning home not only play an important role in changing the face of Liberia, but also become messengers for the spreading of friendship between China and Liberia. China is willing to further strengthen cooperation with Liberia under the framework of China-Africa Cooperation Forum and the Pro-Poor Agenda, to help Liberia achieve development and prosperity.

As an old saying in China goes, “The friendship between nations depends on the people's affinity, and the affinity lies in the hearts of mutual love.” China-Liberia friendship has flourished in the past decade, and personal exchanges and pragmatic cooperation in various fields have been increasing, thus bringing concrete benefits to the two peoples. I sincerely hope that all the students who are going to study in China and who receive the ambassador scholarship will cherish these valuable learning opportunities, study diligently, learn and make full use of their knowledge and skills, and make active contributions to the economic and social development of Liberia in all walks of life. What’s more, I also hope that you will play an active role in enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples. Please tell your family, friends and colleagues, about what you see in China when you come back and help them understand a true China.

Finally, I sincerely hope that all of you learn and live well! Thank you all!

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