“Reversal of One-China Policy Is Not An Option” -Liberian Politicians Warned

Chinese scholarship beneficiaries with Chinese and Liberian officials

As Liberians gear up for presidential and representative polls on October 10, 2017, politicians have been warned not to reverse the “One-China” Policy.

Civil Servant Association’s President, Mr. Moibah Keller Johnson, reiterated the warning on August 22, 2017, during a symposium at the farewell reception for 2017/2018 Chinese Government scholarship students and trainees hosted by the Chinese Embassy in Monrovia.

“Let it be made clear that to all presidential candidates in the 2017 elections, that reversal of the One China Policy is not option,” Johnson sounded.

Johnson, also a product of the China’s bilateral scholarship and former President of the Liberian Association of Chinese-Trained Scholars (LACTS), reminded politicians that the policy is the diplomatic acknowledgment of China’s position that there is only one government for all Chinese people.

Under the policy, Johnson indicated that Liberia recognizes and has formal ties with the People’s Republic of China.

“In fact, in adherence to this policy, the 52nd Legislature passed Resolution No. 001 confirming and reaffirming Liberia’s total unwavering commitment to the One China Policy,” he said.

The Civil Servant Association President informed Liberians that, as the country transitions in January 2018, “our collective urge is for the continuous adherence to the policy”.

Johnson said the mutual relationship between Liberia and China is positively impacting Liberia. He named the ongoing construction of the Ministerial Complex, Roberts International Airport, annexes of the Capitol Building as some of the many interventions by the Chinese Government.

Besides, Johnson noted that Liberia and China have begun appreciating each other’s cultures, adding, “To this end, thousands of Liberians that have been trained as professionals in China are currently contributing their quota in the rebuilding of Liberia in all spheres of national life.”

He further recognized the introduction of Chinese Language teaching at the University of Liberia and warm reception by Liberians as an indication of the country’s overwhelming desire for Chinese culture.

Johnson then admonished the 2017/2018 Chinese scholarship beneficiaries to remain commitment in their educational sojourn in China. Sharing his China’s experience, he told the beneficiaries to pursuit academic excellence and at the same time maintain the image of Liberia at all times.

 

He used the occasion to commend the Chinese Government, through its Embassy, for the immense contributions towards the rebuilding of Liberia.

On his part, the Charge d’Affaires Ad Interim at the Chinese Embassy, Mr. Li Zhuang, the comprehensive cooperative partnership between his country and Liberia is developing both in scope and in depth with encouraging momentum.

Li said China has put education as one of the priorities in the China-Liberia cooperation. In this direction, he said, China has provided modern infrastructures, such as Fendell Campus of the University of Liberia, laboratories at the University of Liberia, three primary schools in Montserrado and Bomi Counties as well as the extension of the Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC).

Since the resumption of the diplomatic ties between China and Liberia in 2003, Li recounted that his country has provided more than 400 government scholarships to Liberian students for undergraduate, masters and doctorate degrees and trained over 3000 Liberian personnel in various sectors in China.

“in 2017 only, China provided 27 slots of Chinese Government Scholarship, 16 slots of one-year Master Scholarship and about 200 training opportunities for Liberian students, professionals and military officials,” he stated.

By direct contacts with Chinese universities, Li revealed that several students have successfully obtained Chinese Government special scholarship; six Confucius Institute students have obtained the Confucius Institute Scholarship and 16 students of the University of Liberia Confucius Institute are expected to go to China for summer vocation camp this September.

Li then encouraged the 2017/2018 scholarship beneficiaries to overcome difficulties they may encounter in China and embrace the new environment with courage and open-mindedness. He reminded that they may come across a series of challenges such as language barriers and cultural differences.

Also gracing the occasion were government officials, officials and members of the Liberian Association of Chinese-Trained Scholars (LACTS) as well as the 2017/2018 Chinese Government Scholarship beneficiaries with their relatives, friends and workmates. Deputy Education Minister, Mr. Aagon Tingba, Deputy Agriculture Minister and representative of the scholarship beneficiaries, Mr. Thomas Gbokie, Assistant Defense Minister for Public Affairs and Mr. David Dahn, Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister, Emmanuel Munyeneh, made remarks outlining China’s contributions to Liberia. They also advised beneficiaries to take their studies serious if they must their scholarly status. The government officials then commended China for the efforts and reaffirmed Liberia’s commitment strengthening the country’s ties with China.

LACTS’ President, Mr. Clifton Garpeh and other panelists shared their experiences during the symposium, aimed at enlightening the scholarship beneficiaries who are leaving for China.

 

China Donates To Liberian Artists

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has donated materials worth about US$10,000.00 (ten thousand United States dollars) to the Union of Liberian Artists (ULA).

China, through its Embassy in Liberia, made the donation during a Liberian Arts Exhibition hosted by the Chinese Embassy in Monrovia on Sunday, August 13, 2017.

Making remarks on behalf of his country, the Charge d’Affaires Ad Interim at the Chinese Embassy, Mr. Li Zhuang, said the donation is part of China’s efforts in supporting the development of Liberian art.

“On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Liberia, I take pride in handing over a batch of art supplies including pigment, canvas, brush and other auxiliary materials, which is worthy of 10 thousand US dollars, to the Union of Liberian Artists, to support the development of Liberian art,” Mr Li said.

The Chinese Envoy expressed wish that Liberian artists take advantage of the materials to create more impressive artworks.

There are different definitions or expressions for culture; but Mr. Li noted that China and Liberia are the same in terms of yearning for and in pursuit of wonderful things, adding, “The Chinese oil paintings and wood carvings may differ from the Liberian ones; but the both present the beauty of nature and the love of nature.”

He further said there are different civilizations with their respective and unique cultural and geographical features; but the Chinese and African civilizations need to learn from each other.

Mr. Li stated that the Liberian cultural exhibition on Sunday was an opportunity for many Chinese to enjoy exquisite Liberian oil paintings and wood carvings; something he said is a platform for cultural cooperation and a gateway for deeper mutual understanding and trust.

“I believe that a strengthened China-Liberia cultural exchange and cooperation would help deepen friendship and relations between our two countries and peoples. By working hand in hand, we are able to make the world a place of greater diversity, and we will be able to contribute to the common progress of all civilizations on our planet,” he maintained.

Receiving the donation, UL’s President, Mr. Ndorbor Godwin Yoryor, thanked the Chinese Embassy for its continuous support to the Union and tLiberia as a whole.

Yoryor said the lack of art materials is one of challenges for Liberian artists. He said this situation causes them buy materials from abroad, consequently making some of their products expensive in order to recover what they incur.

However, Yoryor rejected opinions that prices of all Liberian artworks are expensive. “I want to call on Liberians to love their own artworks. I observe people buy from us when they are ready to serve strangers. We need their support,” he stressed.

Yoryor, who termed the arts and culture industry in Liberia as embryonic, expressed the hope that the Sunday’s occasion serve as an eye-opener for investment in the industry.

The ULA President also used the occasion to commend the Liberian Government for renovating the National Museum; but equally called on the government and partners to lay more emphasis on the “deteriorating” arts industry.

At the same time, Yoryor has advanced several recommendations aimed at revamping the arts industry. He stressed the need for an art center or gallery to serve as a one-stop-shop; machines to give artworks good finishing and supplies of more art materials. He further recommended for the sensitization of Liberians to love and appreciate their own arts and culture and micro-loans to empower Liberian artists and craft men.

Meanwhile, Yoryor has called for the establishment of an art and culture ministry in Liberia if the industry must be highlighted. To begin, Yoryor disclosed plan by the Union to construct its modern headquarters. He called for support to the construction of the proposed headquarters, putting the cost at about US$50,000.00 (fifty thousand United States dollars).

The occasion graced by Liberian artists, other supporters of the industry and many members of the Chinese Community in Liberia touring and buying the Liberian artworks during the exhibition.