The Ministry of National Defense of the Peoples' Republic of China (PRC), last Thursday, provided a large consignment of military equipment and supplies free of charge to Liberia's Ministry of National Defense (MoD). The consignment included medical and engineering equipment and supplies valued at US$300 million, according to a release from the MoD.
The equipment and supplies provided will enable the AFL to perform more effectively in its medical outreach at all its military installations and also cater to civilians residing in and around such facilities thereby contributing to the AFL's civil military initiatives.
Defense Minister Brownie J. Samukai, on receiving the goods, lauded the government and people of the People's Republic of China for the gesture.
"This grant is very timely and the AFL highly appreciates it," Samukai told the Chinese delegation that made the presentation.
He thanked Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yue for ensuring that the grant came through, because it will greatly assist the AFL in performing its constitutional tasks.
"Liberia appreciates all that the PRC is doing to ensure that the country remains safe and secure," Minister Samukai emphasized, adding that "All provisions within the agreement will be upheld."
Samukai also informed the Chinese delegation of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's awareness of the agreement, for which she is gratified.
"Liberia," he said, "stands with the one China Policy."
For his part, Ambassador Zhang Yue said that the grant is a follow-up on China's promise to the Liberian Government through the MoD to enhance the AFL's capabilities through the reconstruction of its facilities as well as promoting civil-military relations.
Amb. Zhang stated that he is proud of the friendly relations existing between the two nations and hopes that the grant will go a long way toward the rebuilding of Liberia. He also highlighted the achievements of the AFL over the last decade, and said he was very impressed with the AFL's capabilities. He said that watching the AFL on February 11, 2017 at its official Armed Forces Day program gave the impression that the AFL is prepared in all aspects.
"China stands firmly by Liberia in whatever aspect, whether in economic development, military or political," he said.
Amb. Zhang assured that the PRC is always committed to supporting Liberia and ensuring that it reaches its full potential.
It can be recalled that a previous assistance was also given about a year ago to the AFL Engineering Battalion. That assistance was a contribution to the reconstruction of feeder roads in inaccessible locations in Liberia.
Meanwhile, the US$300M grant will also be used to help repair vehicles and other logistics supplied in the previous assistance, and will empower the AFL Engineering Battalion to do more in the rebuilding of Liberia.