The People’s Republic of China Wednesday turned over US$4 million worth of engineering equipment to the Ministry of National Defense.
Speaking at a ceremony held at the Barclay Training Center in Monrovia, Chinese Ambassador to Liberia Zhang Yue said in the past decade China has been active in assisting the Liberian Government and people in their reconstruction effort.
He said this is because China considers Liberia’s development priorities as assistance priorities aimed at bringing tangible benefits to the Liberian people.
Ambassador Zhang indicated that with the enhancement of bilateral relations between Liberia and China, the exchanges and cooperation between the People’s Liberation Army of China and the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) have also deepened steadily.
According to him, since 2004, through mutual military exchanges and cooperation, the Ministry of Defense of China has provided the AFL nearly US$10 million worth of military assistance and 194 training slots.
He disclosed that in March seven AFL officers and soldiers will go to China for a training program.
“China appreciates the achievements made by the Liberian Government in developing the national economy, speeding up infrastructure construction and bringing benefits to the Liberian people,” Ambassador Zhang said.
He said under the protocol signed between China and Liberia, the Chinese Government has not only provided the Liberian side with engineering equipment worth US$4 million, but will also send a team of engineering experts to Liberia.
The team will work with the engineering personnel of the AFL, he said, adding that the team will arrive in Liberia in March 2014.
“I believe, with our joint efforts, the AFL will possess a new well trained and well equipped engineering company in the future,” the Chinese Ambassador added.
In response, Defense Minister Brownie J. Samukai lauded the Government of China for its continued assistance to the Defense Ministry which, he said, is building the profile of the new Armed Forces of Liberia.
Meanwhile, Public Works Minister Antoinette Weeks, Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafuan and the acting Chair of the Cabinet Morris Dukuly have commended the Chinese for their assistance to Liberia, and promised to use the equipment for the intended purpose. The program was also attended by the US Ambassador to Liberia Debora Malac.