Vice President Zeng Qinghong Holds Talks with Vice President of Sierra Leone
On the afternoon of April 24, 2006, Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong held talks with Vice President Berewa of Sierra Leone in the Great Hall of the People. Both sides exchanged views on further developing bilateral ties, as well as international and regional issues of common interest, and reached broad consensus.
Zeng said that friendship between the two peoples goes back to ancient times. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 35 years ago, both countries have shown mutual respect and trust and treated each other as equals. Bilateral relations have withstood the tests posed by changes in the international situation and their respective domestic circumstances and have always been developing soundly and steadily. Both sides have conducted effective cooperation in the areas of politics, economy, culture, education and health and maintained mutual support and close cooperation in international affairs. Bilateral friendship is exemplary for cooperation between big and small countries. China highly appreciates Sierra Leone for pursuing the one-China policy for a long period of time and resolutely supporting China's grand cause of reunification. Zeng indicated that the Chinese government cherishes the traditional friendship and friendly cooperation between both sides and in order to open up a new situation for friendly cooperative relations, it suggests that both sides make further efforts in the following four aspects. First, to maintain all forms of close exchanges including high-level contact, strengthen exchanges and cooperation between government agencies, parliaments and parties of both sides, build up mutual understanding and trust and cement the political basis for bilateral friendship. Second, to give play to complementary advantages, expand economic and trade cooperation and seek common development. Third, to keep closer bilateral consultations and cooperation in the UN, as well as in international and regional affairs. Fourth, to push for cooperation in the areas of human resources development and capacity building.
Berewa noted that since the establishment of diplomatic ties, both countries have established firm friendship and sound cooperative relations. China has offered lots of generous and disinterested assistance to Sierra Leone for economic and social development, which greatly benefits its government and people. Since the civil war in Sierra Leone ended in 2002, China has made important contributions to its post-war reconstruction, for which the government and people of Sierra Leone are deeply thankful. In the multilateral area, both countries also share much common interest and have always maintained close coordination and cooperation. The government of Sierra Leone thanks for the enormous efforts that China as a permanent member of the UN Security Council has made in the UN in safeguarding its peace and stability. Sierra Leone attaches great importance to relations with China and hopes that this fraternal relationship of friendly cooperation will be strengthened. Berewa indicated that the government of Sierra Leone resolutely supports the position of the Chinese government on the Taiwan question and hopes that China's grand cause of national reunification will be fulfilled at an early date.
Following the talks, Zeng and Berewa jointly attended the signing ceremony of the agreement on economic and technological cooperation between the two governments.
Prior to the talks, Zeng hosted a welcoming ceremony for Berewa's visit to China at the Square outside the East Gate of the Great Hall of the People. Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) Ismail Amat, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Luo Haocai, Minister of Agriculture Du Qinglin and other officials attended the welcoming ceremony.