Liberia: China Gives Liberia Initial Grant of U.S.$29.5 Million for Construction of 2 Overhead Bridges

-To Ease Vehicular Traffic Around New Ministerial Complex, SKD Boulevard

The Government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) has pledged its continued support to the Liberian Government and its five-year strategic plan, the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD), with the Chinese government releasing onto its Liberian counterpart an initial grant of approximately US$29.5, for the implementation of several projects including two overhead bridges to ease vehicular traffic around the new ministerial complex and the SKD Boulevard.

As expressed by the President Xi Jinping, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China is committed to the concept of sincerity, real results and the value of friendship and shared interests, all geared towards win-win cooperation. He reiterated that China's cooperation with Africa is sincere; noting that they have always followed the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, engaged Africa under the framework of South-South cooperation.

According to a dispatch from Liberia's Embassy near Beijing, China re-echoed its commitment when Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar Milton Findley, held bilateral discussions with his Chinese counterpart, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, on the fringes of the Coordinators' Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing recently.

With this commitment to further strengthen cooperation, the two countries signed an agreement in which China provided a "gratuitous assistance" of two hundred million Chinese Yuan (¥200,000,000), approximately US$29.5 million to Liberia as the first tranche for the implementation of projects agreed to during the bilateral meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and President George Weah during the latter's visit to Beijing for the FOCAC Summit in September 2018.

This first tranche has been transferred into a joint account at China Development Bank to be administered by both governments for the implementation of these projects including two overhead bridges to ease vehicular traffic around the new ministerial complex and the SKD Boulevard, respectively; the provision of food aid to be monetized and used for development purposes; among others.

The Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councilor promised to increase cooperation and to solidify the exceptional friendly ties existing between China and Liberia.

Mr. Wang Yi further pledged the amount of two million Chinese Yuan (¥2 million), approximately US$300,000, - "In Kind" - to the country's Foreign Ministry to enhance its productivity and to build capacity.

Responding, Foreign Minister Findley thanked State Councilor Wang Yi on behalf of President Weah and the Liberian Government for China's continued support to the country's development agenda. He re-emphasized Liberia's adherence to its "One-China" policy, which has deepened the relations between both countries.

He also thanked the Chinese Foreign Minister, specifically highlighting his country's enormous assistance in the fight against Ebola that ravaged the three Mano River Union countries - Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea; as well as the important role played in the post-Ebola reconstruction efforts.

Minister Findley emphasized Liberia's preparedness to work with China in promoting the objectives of FOCAC. He expressed thanks to China's deep interest in building strong ties with Africa, particularly Liberia; noting that in April, both countries concluded a memorandum of understanding at which time Liberia formally joined the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Minister of State Nathaniel McGill signed the MOU on behalf of Government when he attended the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing.

The Coordinators' Meeting, which brought together ministerial officials from 53 African countries and their Chinese counterparts, discussed the implementation of the 2018 FOCAC agenda on trade, security and development.

At last September's FOCAC Summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping committed US$60 billion in a mix of grants, loans and special funds to African countries. He also encouraged Chinese companies to make at least US$10 billion investment in Africa through 2021.

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