Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday praised Liberia’s fight against the Ebola virus and the China-Liberia cooperation in the cause. Before ending his two-day visit to Liberia, Wang told reporters that “Under the strong leadership of (Liberian) President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and with the strong solidarity of the Liberian people, you have successfully become the first country to end the Ebola epidemic”, which claimed nearly 4,000 lives in Liberia alone.
Speaking of China’s help with Liberia’s fight against Ebola, Wang hailed the two countries’ cooperation and their deepened friendship. “In our joint battle against Ebola, we have cooperated closely with each other. We have come to cherish our relationship more dearly and both sides have realized that the other is a reliable and important partner,” he told reporters.
Following the outbreak of the fatal epidemic, China was the first country to send a team of trained health workers to Liberia together with much needed personal protective equipment. Their arrival helped accelerate the response process that led to a drastic reduction in the death rate of healthcare workers that were exposed to the virus through contacts with patients.
During his visit, Wang also discussed with his hosts ways to boost Liberia’s economic and social reconstruction.
He said that in Sino-Liberian cooperation, the path of development chosen by Liberia should first and foremost be respected and the “strategic needs of Liberia’s national development” should be well considered. China will speedily help Liberia increase its independent development capacity that will benefit and eventually trickle down to the entire population, Wang pledged.
He reiterated China’s strategy for developing ties with African countries, saying China’s “approach of pursuing interest and upholding justice means the country will not attach any political conditions or impose any request on the African people.” On future cooperation, Wang said China will focus on helping Liberia’s infrastructure development and human capacity — the two bottleneck issues that hamper the country’s development.
Wang also said China will encourage more businesses to more actively take part in Liberia’s resource development and transfer high-quality industrial capacity to the country.
“Only by doing so can we make sure that the country will realize its sustained and long-term development,” said Wang, who is on a tour of Ebola-ravaged West African countries.
From Liberia, he will head to Sierra Leone and Guinea.