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Xi Jinping Meets with President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone

2015/09/28

On September 27 local time, President Xi Jinping met with President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone in New York.

Xi Jinping pointed out that "a friend in need is a friend indeed", and the China-Sierra Leone relations are a vivid reflection of this phrase. Since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations, the two sides have showed mutual understanding and support on issues related with their core interests and major concerns and have always stood together through storms and stress and shared weal and woe. Next year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and China is willing to work with Sierra Leone to continuously strengthen political mutual trust, and comprehensively expand mutually beneficial cooperation, so as to make the bilateral relations better benefit the two peoples.

Xi Jinping pointed out that when Sierra Leone was confronted with the unprecedented Ebola epidemic last year, China responded instantly and actively to the appeal of President Ernest Bai Koroma, took the lead in actions and rushed to rescue, playing a leading and exemplary role for the international community. At present, China is formulating a package of plans on helping the three epidemic-stricken African countries in economic and social reconstruction and bilateral mutually beneficial cooperation. First, China will strengthen medical treatment and healthcare cooperation, support Sierra Leone to establish and improve the public health prevention and control system, set up a research center for prevention and control of West Africa tropical pathogens as soon as possible and send more medical staff to help Sierra Leone strengthen capability building. Second, China will deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, support Sierra Leone to construct an independent and sustainable industrial system, expand the scale of bilateral technology training and step up infrastructure construction. Third, China will expand cooperation in agriculture and fishery, support Sierra Leone to establish and improve food security and guarantee system and conduct mutually beneficial cooperation in natural rubber and rice planting, grain storage, marine fishing, agricultural and fishery product processing and so forth, so as to help Sierra Leone in increasing agricultural income and employment.

Xi Jinping indicated that the Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will be held in South Africa in early December. This will be the first FOCAC Summit held on the continent of Africa and bears great significance. China welcomes President Ernest Bai Koroma to attend the Summit and play an active role in pushing it to success. China is also willing to bolster coordination and cooperation with Sierra Leone on international and regional issues such as the post-2015 development agenda, climate change and the UN Security Council reform, so as to safeguard the common interests of developing countries.

President Ernest Bai Koroma expressed that Sierra Leone-China relations have made substantial progress in recent years. He totally agrees to President Xi' phrase of "A friend in need is a friend indeed". During the historically difficult times when the people of Sierra Leone fought against the Ebola epidemic, they received the prompt and precious support from the Chinese government and people. The prompt assistance from China also drove the international community to pay attention to and help Sierra Leone. So the government and people of Sierra Leone are deeply grateful to China. Sierra Leone will maintain and develop sound Sierra Leone-China relations as always, strengthen cooperation with China in various fields such as development, healthcare and infrastructure and enhance bilateral coordination in multilateral affairs.

Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Yang Jiechi and others attended the meeting.

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