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Sierra Leone News: Sino-Sierra Leone relationship is based on friendship, not business – Amb. Zhao

Amb. Zhao & Minister Fofanah

Amb. Zhao & Minister Fofanah

Chinese Ambassador Zhao Yanbo has debunked reports that the China-Sierra Leone relationship is more of business than friendship.
He made this statement on Friday at the Youyi Building when he and the Minister of Health were signing two health agreements to help improve the health system in the country.
“When someone says that China is in Sierra Leone for business purposes, shows how ignorant and short-sighted he can be, because since 45 years ago when both countries signed the friendly relationship, we were not doing any business in Africa or Sierra Leone, we were in Sierra Leone to show our appreciation for what they did and to work as brothers.”
Ambassador Zhao said 45 years ago Sierra Leone and China were struggling, but now that China is better off it is their obligation to assist and make Sierra Leone a better place.
“We have helped Sierra Leone with so many permanent structures from stadiums to hospital, from agriculture to education. Are all of these supports based on business transaction? What are we gaining from Sierra Leone that we should be spending millions? Let me make this very clear that even Shandong Steel producing iron ore is running at a loss, but because of friendly relationship my government has told them to continue operation because if they stop, thousands of workers will lose their jobs.”
The Ambassador said their policy of non-interference in friendly governments will continue and they will work with their friends until they too can decide their future.
The Minister of Health and Sanitation Dr Abu Bakar Fofanah said there are people who do not want Sierra Leone to develop and they will allow any negative publication about the country in their newspaper or radio.
He said what China has done for Sierra Leone for the past 45 years, Sierra Leone can never be able to reciprocate it, but will continue to support them in every spheres of life.
“We are proud to get China as a brother and friend because they don’t help us with conditions, their help is genuine and have no strings attached. They work directly with the government and not Non-Governmental Organisations. We hope that they will continue to help us and the respect between the two will continue.
Dr Fofanah said they have signed the agreement for the Chinese government to build a new Ministry of Health building that will be named the WEISHENG building as well as the new research institute.
“These projects have nothing to do with business, but clear friendship and respect between the two countries. Those that give conditions before they help us are the ones in Sierra Leone for business not China.”
The Minister admonished the Ambassador not to listen to detractors, but continue to work with the government as they believe in the friendship and trust because China understands what it means to be victimized and bullied, so helping Sierra Leone is very important to all.
Tuesday August 16, 2016

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