The Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) and the Ghanaian Embassy in China on Wednesday jointly held an online academic seminar celebrating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. This seminar was highly valued by the two sides.
Ghana’s Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia and Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, CPAFFC chairman Lin Songtian, and other representatives delivered online speeches, reviewing the traditional friendship between China and Ghana and looking forward to the bright future of the two nations.
Bawumia first conveyed the greetings of President of the Republic of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
“Ghana established diplomatic relations with China shortly after becoming a republic in July 1960, one of the first African countries to do so”
The Vice President said, adding that the personal friendship between the first president of Ghana, President Nkrumah, and Chairman Mao Zedong laid a strong foundation for the burgeoning relations between the two countries at the time.
“Over the years, the relations between the two countries have been nurtured and strengthened by successive Ghanaian and Chinese leaders as well as by the people of both countries.”
On the economic, trade and investment fronts, he emphasized that the two countries have deepened cooperation. “China is currently the largest investor in Ghana by the number of registered projects,” he emphasized.
Bawumia also mentioned that the two countries have continued to cooperate at the multilateral level “as they work together to ensure a just, equitable and peaceful international order.”
He said that while the two nations take stock of the achievements of Sino-Ghanaian relations over the years, it is still important to explore new areas of cooperation in the years ahead.
“Ghana is leveraging its status as host of the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA). Chinese investors are, therefore, urged to take advantage of this development and the conducive business environment in Ghana to serve as a springboard to access the continental market,” he said.
“The Belt and Road Initiative espoused by President Xi Jinping also presents new diplomatic and economic opportunities for Ghana. It could transform our financial, manufacturing and technology sectors by connecting Ghana to new markets across the globe,” he continued.
Botchway also mentioned that “Ghana was one of the first countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to establish diplomatic relations with China in July 1960.” Since then, Sino-Ghanaian friendship and cooperation have grown from strength to strength as exemplified by high-level visits, economic cooperation, people-to-people exchanges and cultural partnerships, she added.
“Apart from our longstanding and exemplary relations, our two nations continue to cooperate at the multilateral level and within the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the Belt and Road Initiative,” she said.
When talking about the pandemic, she emphasized that China and Ghana have collaborated and offered each other support and solidarity in the global fight against COVID-19.
“China was the first country to donate lifesaving medical equipment to assist Ghana and other West African countries in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
This gesture was a testament of the enduring relationship between China and Africa, which is anchored on the principles of respect, sincerity, equality, mutual benefit, solidarity and common development, she added.
“Indeed, in the immediate aftermath of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, African countries led the way in offering solidarity to China. The president and vice president of Ghana sent personal solidarity messages to their Chinese counterparts, so did I to my Chinese counterpart, Mr. Wang Yi.”
Lin Songtian also reviewed the development of Sino-Ghanaian relations, spoke highly of the fruitful achievements China and Ghana had achieved in the 60 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, and appreciated that China-Ghana relations have become a model of equality, mutual trust, win-win cooperation and common development between China and Africa.
“I’m full of confidence in the future development of China-Ghana relations,” he said.
He explained that the fundamental reason why the Sino-Ghanaian friendship has been able to ride the winds and waves and travel steadily in the past 60 years is that the two sides always respect and trust each other, support each other on issues involving each other’s core interests and major concerns, and have a solid and reliable political foundation.
“We always uphold the principle of win-win cooperation and common development, actively carry out mutually beneficial cooperation under the framework of the Belt & Road Initiative and the China-Africa Cooperation Forum, and the economic foundation has been continuously expanded.
“We always adhere to people-oriented principles, actively carry out cultural exchanges and mutual learning, and continue to consolidate and expand the social and public opinion foundation of the friendship between the two countries.”
He highlighted that China, Ghana and Central Africa are facing the arduous task of fighting the pandemic, stabilizing the economy, and protecting people’s livelihoods.
Not long ago, President Xi Jinping proposed at the China-Africa Unity Anti-Epidemic Special Summit to “unswervingly work together to fight COVID-19, unswervingly advance China-Africa cooperation, unswervingly practice multilateralism, and unswervingly promote China-Africa friendship.”
“These four ‘unswervingly’ points proposed by President Xi made clear the direction of the China-Africa fight against the pandemic, friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation under the situation, drew a blueprint for the development of China-Africa relations, injected strength into China-Africa unity and cooperation to overcome the pandemic and resume production and normal life at an early date,” Lin said.
The momentum also brings new opportunities for China and Ghana to deepen friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation, he added.
Lin also noted that the CPAFFC is willing to work closely with all walks of life in Ghana to actively promote the implementation of the important consensus reached by the two heads of state and the results of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.