Edward Boateng, Ghana’s Ambassador to China, Zhu Jing, Charge D’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Accra and Musa Frimpong, Founder of the Duapa Africa initiative in a gripping conversation on Ghana-China relations, COVID-19 and the way forward as the two countries mark 60 years of a sturdy diplomatic relation between the two.
The forum which was dubbed ‘Sixty Years of Ghana-China Relations: The Impact and Way Forward in the New Normal’ was held via zoom and broadcast on Happy 98.9FM,e.TV Ghana and GTV.
Speaking on the Ghana-China relations for the past sixty years, Ghana’s Ambassador to China, H.E Edward Boateng commented that the Ghana-China relationship has been one of mutual respect and trust. He noted that these bedrocks of the relationship have been reinforced amid the global crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think when COVID-19 began, Ghana was one of the countries that offered support to China. If you will recall, the Greater Accra Regional Minister made a donation of masks to the Chinese embassy at that time. Subsequently the Chinese have also responded to our situation in a very big way. The Chinese Government themselves have sent a lot of PPEs and testing kits to us.
The Jack Ma Foundation which is also Alibaba, a Chinese company was the first to send us a provision of test kits to help us and we have exchanged a lot of expertise with Chinese doctors in the forefront. So there have been a lot of knowledge sharing and we are working closely.”
He furthered that projects between Ghana and China will not be affected by the novel COVID-19 disease. He explained, “So far none of the projects we have with China has been cancelled. It is just going to slow down some of these projects but it will still be done.
We are in discussions and the Minister of Finance has had conference calls with NDRC which is the body that oversees Chinese investments outside and it was positive. So I do not see a slow down or cancellation of projects. However, we need to engage in some of these discussions in terms of some of the financial issues.”
Charge D’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Accra, Zhu Jing condemned the illegal mining practice by some Chinese nationals in the country as such a practice mars the great diplomatic relations between the two countries. “China’s position on illegal mining is very clear. We highly oppose illegal mining in any country and we highly oppose Chinese nationals engaging in illegal mining.”
Zhu Jing who totally shared his government’s position against illegal mining noted that they support Ghana’s effort in the fight against illegal mining. “We support the government of Ghana’s decision to repatriate any Chinese national engaged in illegal mining in the country.”
The founder of the Duapa Africa initiative, Musa Frimpong on his part, noted that for Ghana to rapidly progress, there is the need for a balance in the Ghana-China relationship.
Musa indicated that in as much as a lot has been done over the years, Ghana can learn a lot more especially on the level of poverty reduction. “Just like China has minted poverty in the last three (3) decades, Ghana can strategically help balance then we can all do better and gain a win-win relationship.”
The forum was seamlessly coordinated by Happy FM’s Samuel Eshun and Ghana Television’s Abdul Hayi Moomen.
Report by: Lilipearl Baaba Otoo