“You are an old friend of the Chinese people, I am ready to work with you” – Prez XI to Akufo-Addo

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The President of the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency Mr. Xi Jinping, has stressed that he is prepared to work with his Ghanaian counterpart, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to ensure that relations between Ghana and China take the lead on the African continent.

According to President Xi, the “deep historic bond” between China and Ghana, nurtured by leaders such as Mao Zedong, Kwame Nkrumah and others, has resulted in “a 58-year old tradition of friendship”.

Whilst acknowledging the role of President Akufo-Addo “to the growth of China-Ghana relations”, the Chinese leader stated that, “You (President Akufo-Addo) are an old friend of the Chinese people… and I am ready to work with you.”

He was confident that, under their joint leadership, Ghana and China would “enrich our friendship, take our bonds of co-operation to new heights, and, thereby, deliver greater benefits to our two peoples.”

President Xi Jinping made this known, on Saturday, 1st September, 2018, when he held bilateral talks with President Akufo-Addo at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, as part of the Ghanaian President’s State Visit to China.

Describing Ghana as a “trustworthy friend and good partner for development”, the Chinese President assured President Akufo-Addo of his commitment “to intensify our co-operation, give support to each other’s concerns, and ensure that China-Ghana relations take the lead in China-Africa relations.”

To this end, the two Presidents witnessed the signing of eight (8) Agreements that define the ambit of Chinese co-operation with Ghana in the immediate years ahead. Principal amongst them was the $2 billion Sino-Sure Framework Agreement, which will enable Sino-Hyrdo Corporation, a subsidiary of Power China, to finance and participate in major infrastructure, road and railway construction projects.

President Xi Jinping also indicated that China will provide a grant of 200 million Chinese Yuan, the equivalent of $30 million, to Ghana, to assist in the effective implementation of the economic policies of President Akufo-Addo.

Additionally, the project embarked on by the Chinese government to construct 1,000 boreholes across some parts of Ghana, which will help in ensuring access to potable water, he said, will be completed.

The Chinese President also assured Ghana of China’s commitment to financing the construction of the Jamestown Fishing Port Complex, the expansion of the Cape Coast Sports Stadium, the commencement of the Phase 2 expansion project of the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ho, and the construction of a new cocoa processing facility, in line with President Akufo-Addo’s vision of adding value to Ghana’s raw materials.

On defense co-operation, President Xi Jinping announced the provision of a 50 million Chinese Yuan ($7.3 million) grant, in military assistance, which will also aid in the construction of the headquarters of Ghana’s Armed Forces.

Furthermore, the defense co-operation, he added, will also encompasse the strengthening of Ghana’s capability to help improve maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, training of Ghanaian peacekeepers, strengthening the capacity of Ghana’s Police Service, and the establishment of a legal assistance and extradition treaty between Ghana and China.

“Such co-operation will inure to the benefit of our two countries. We will support your country in achieving its vision of Ghana Beyond Aid,” he added.

President Xi also pledged that his government will encourage Chinese firms to invest in Ghana, and take advantage of flagship programmes such as 1-District-1-Factory, Programme for Planting for Food and Jobs, infrastructural development initiatives, particularly in the roads, railway and energy sectors, amongst others.

With Ghana being the African country with the highest number of students studying in China, the Chinese leader stated that his country will increase the number of scholarships to Ghana, and also advocated for the deepening of collaboration between media organisations, think tanks, and universities of the two countries.

President Xi Jinping, in highlighting the importance of UN Reforms, urged Ghana to continue its advocacy on the reform of the matter and reiterated China’s support to this end.

On the matter of illegal mining in Ghana, and the involvement of some Chinese nationals in the phenomenon, the Chinese President assured President Akufo-Addo that his government will “co-operate with Ghana and tackle the problem”, and indicated his full acceptance of the enforcement of Ghanaian law in the area of illegal mining.

The Chinese President stressed the endorsement by his Government of the vision of building a Ghana Beyond Aid by President Akufo-Addo, and urged his Ghanaian counterpart to be resolute in realizing this vision not only for Ghana, but also for the entire African continent, as it would lead to the growth of independent, sovereign nations, acting in their own interests and with their own resources, which was the example of China.

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