Wednesday, 30 March 2011

"REGRETFUL DEPARTURE": Out-Going Chinese Ambassador Wants Liberians To Maintain Peace Even After UNMIL

Monrovia -
The out-going Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, Zhou Yuxiao, has said Liberians should hold on to the peace and stability prevailing in the country even if the United Nations Mission leaves the country. 
He said the development of Liberia lies in the hands of Liberians and if there is no peace and stability, the country’s development agenda will not move forward. And as out-going Ambassador, it is his hope that peace will remain in the country after UNMIL departs.
He noted that he is leaving Liberia with the greatest confidence, because he has witnessed so many positive changes in the last three years, and he is very proud to be a part of the change.amb
The outgoing ambassador named the building of schools, hospitals, universities, banks, shops and residential houses as positive changes made in the post war country.
Amb. Zhou also said over the past three years as an Ambassador, he witnessed peace and stability being maintained and the enhancement of democracy.
The Chinese diplomat noted that human rights have been ensured with numerous laws being put in place to facilitate rule of law.
Amb. Zhou noted that during his stay in the country he also saw huge foreign debts waiver by Liberia’s international partners which demonstrates that the tiny West African nation is on a good path to recovery.
Continued the Chinese diplomat: “Foreign aid and direct investment have been attracted; Liberia’s international status has been mightily been lifted. Tireless efforts have been made to move the country from dependency to self-sufficiency and turning the nation from poverty to prosperity are achievements that cannot be overlooked.”
Since the bilateral agreement between Liberia and China was renewed when President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf took over the country, there has been massive cooperation between the two countries.
The former Ambassador, whose administration saw many projects undertaken by the Chinese Government dedicated and turned over to the Liberian Government, projects like the Tappita Hospital, in Nimba County, the rehabilitation of Central Agriculture Research Institute, CARI in Suakoko, Bong County, and the historical building of the University of Liberia (UL) Fendell Campus outside Monrovia that cost about US$20m.
The bilateral agreement has remained tight and the former Ambassador at his farewell message over the weekend said “Our bilateral relationship has entered its best. The achievements made here are the richest in his diplomatic arena.”
Mr. Zhou mentioned that he is not leaving Liberia to abandon the country, but make it known for more dynamic ambassadors to come to the country. And say he will volunteer as unpaid messenger for good will for Liberia if he called upon. “ I am  Leaving Liberia with the greatest confident that Liberia will export foods to China one day as it has abundant land, adequate rainfall, plentifully sunshine and sufficient manpower which are the ingredients for agriculture,” the outgoing Chinese Ambassador said.
He told guests at the event that he is proud, satisfied and fulfilled to have served in Liberia. Mr. Zhou noted that Liberia is the smallest Country he has served, among the many countries he had worked but the number of friends he has made in the country is the largest. “The support I received from the government and people are the strongest,” the outgoing Ambassador said. He said he is Happy with the work done and hoped he could stay and complete his unfinished dreams.
Also at the farewell program, several government entities presented special gifts to the out- going Ambassador. Liberia National Police (LNP) boss Marc Amblard promised the former Ambassdor that LNP will continue to protect the Chinese in the Country. The crowded farewell program was graced by the cabinet, legislature and well wishers.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said it was difficult to say    goodbye to a strong bilateral partner. She said for over three years, China has built strong bridges of friendship on a bilateral basis and personal basis for many in the country. The Liberian leader thanked the former Ambassador for leaving the city on many occasions and going in the rural areas to see the people and responding to some of the needs of those he met.
 Mr. Zhou said all the gifts and honor given to him by the government, he received on behalf of the Chinese people as well as the hard working Chinese Community in Liberia.
He thanked the President for taking him on some of her inspection tours like the unforgettable trip to Bella-Yella on a Christmas Day, and thanked the entire government and the people of Liberia including UNMIL, Chinese officials here for their constant cooperation during his time as ambassador.