By Stephen G. Fellajuah
Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor, Vice President of the Republic of Liberia says Liberia believes that cooperation must be at the zenith of any Nation’s foreign policy as she specifically appreciates the Government and people of China for their enormous contribution to Liberia’s economic transformation.
In all his public expositions on Liberia’s alliance with friendly Nations and Allies, VP Taylor said Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, has maintained China as one of Liberia’s most reliable allies.
Madam Taylor made the assertion yesterday, at the First of the Dialogue Events to Consolidate Peace, Stability and Development in Liberia, when the Chinese Embassy hosted of the first event of a series of dialogue, a ceremony that took place at the Multifunctional of the Chinese Embassy in Oldest Congo Town, Liberia, Thursday, December 15, 2022.
“Our alliance was further solidified when Liberia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of China, and officially joined more than 150 countries as members of the Belt and Road Initiative.
“It is indeed a great honor to be invited at this first interactive dialogue being hosted by the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China; an Illustrious Nation which continues to contribute to Liberia’s economic development. I am also grateful to the Government of Germany and ECOWAS for launching such a unique dialogue”, she noted.
Speaking on the event, she said she believe, that dialogues like these present the platform for not only the convergence of the friends and partners, but they also seek to engender discussions on assessing the impact China and Liberia’s international friends have had in making Liberia a post-conflict success story.
The program organized under the topic “Strengthen Development Cooperation for Sustainable Result”, she mentioned that the topic was so aptly selected especially at a time when Nations across the world are still grappling with the socio-economic impact of COVID, saying for her, COVID ushered in two major world realities, as she told the audience that the global health systems are still incapable of handling the health challenges which guaranteed human safety. That cooperation amongst Nations at all levels is the only pathway to achieve sustainable development, she added.
“You have asked to make brief remarks on the topic: Strengthening Development Cooperation for Sustainable results. The call for development cooperation is being echoed across our global landscape; this call is resounding at the level of the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union, ECOWAS, and other regional bodies. We must be aware that our world will only get better when Nations strengthen cooperation through trade and diplomacy”, said Madam Taylor.
The people of Liberia continue to appreciate the alliance between both nations; an alliance deeply rooted in friendship and mutual respect. While Liberia remains a beneficiary of the economic dividends China offers. The government continues to value and respect the territorial integrity of the People’s Republic of China; and reaffirms its commitment to the One China Policy, according to the VP.
Continuing, the Liberia’s first Vice said it will be remiss of her to not highlight some of the major interventions of China in the economic development of Liberia. Today, pinpointing that Liberians are still overwhelmed with Chinas intervention through visible bilateral projects including the construction of public buildings, health delivery and educational facilities across the country, telecommunications, the construction of US$55m Ministerial Complex, US$40m New Terminal at Roberts International Airport in Margibi, US$35m Jackson F. Doe Hospital in Nimba County, and US$55m overpass Bridges to be constructed, among dozens of projects undertaken by China in Liberia.
She went further to say that Liberia cannot forget the several other millions of dollars’ worth of projects in Liberia including the Chinese Building University of Liberia Fendall Campuses, the installation of Traffic lights in Monrovia and its environs, the rehabilitations of the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex, the Extension of MVTC, rehabilitations, and refurbishing of roads and bridges, amongst others.
While these interventions are indeed laudable, she expressed that she still believes an old Chinese saying: “It is better to teach somebody how to fish than simply give him the fish”. In other to help Liberia in the areas of socio-economic development, the international friends can pursue a policy of enhancing Liberia’s human resource capacity so that the people fend for themselves.
Madam VP noted, “We must envision a Nation that will transition from aid dependence to self-sufficiency. Liberia must seize the historical opportunity presented in the new era of China-Liberia relationship for the realization of our socio-economic development.”