Cultural Exchange Points to Stronger Relationship Between Liberia-China
Monrovia – China and Liberia will join hand-in-hand to foster their relations as the two nations enter a new era, says Ambassador Zhang Yue of the embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Monrovia.
Report by Alpha Daffae Senkpeni, [email protected]
The People’s Republic of China, in October 2017 held its 19th Communist Party (CPC) congress with President Xi Jinping emphasizing the world’s most populous nation’s commitment to promoting global peace and win-win cooperation amongst developing nations.
At the CPC congress in Beijing, Xi said China was entering a “New Era” with its Socialism with “Chinese characteristics”.
And Yue said in Monrovia on January 5 that this has paved the way for a “new era” for bilateral ties between China and Liberia as President-elect George Weah also prepares to usher Liberians into a “new era”.
Ambassador Yue said “Liberia’s President-elect is a former soccer star while Chinese President Xi Jinping is a soccer fan” and that would help enhance the ties between the two countries.
“The new era means something new, just remember my new wish or new promise,” he said.
He was speaking at the official opening of the Liberia-China Wushu School at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville on Saturday, January 6.
Wushu is a famous aspect of Chinese culture and an establishment of a school in Liberia is expected to help strength culture exchange between the peoples of the two countries.
Introduced to Liberians in 2011, the new school is actively training and recruiting young Liberians at the SKD Sports complex in Paynesville City through its vice president, Master Pewee Russian.
China-Liberia Wushu School was built with support from the Confucius University and the Chinese embassy, and now has a permanent space for practicing and promoting Wushu in the country.
The Chinese ambassador thanked the Liberia-Chinese Wushu School, the Chinese UNMIL contingent and the entire UNMIL leadership for fostering cultural exchange through the sport.
Meanwhile, he suggested that young soccer stars in Liberia should be given the opportunity to get international experience in sports, while promising to help strengthen the development of sports between the two countries.
“We are trying to push a team of soccer players to visit Liberia to learn from your people – we are actually not good at it – but we are trying to be better,” Amb Yue said, promising to help further strengthen sports between the two nations.
Fredrick Pratt, president of Liberia national Wushu Association, is confident that president-elect Weah’s ascendency is a “turning point” for the sporting sector of the country.
Pratt thanked the Chinese ambassador for “his cooperation and support” towards the development of Wushu in Liberia.
‘With the Chinese government passion for Wushu, we are certain for our greatness not only in Liberia or Africa but the world at large,” he said of the embassy’s support to the sport.
Liberia’s Youth and Sports Minister Saah N’tow then described Ambassador Yue as a “passionate advocate for development in Liberia” adding that Wushu would help strengthen the people-to-people relations between Liberia and China.
“The intention here is to bring our two countries closer together. Wushu is a major part of the Chinese culture, they are supplementing this with the Confucius institute that is also helping to teach the language and also the culture of the Chinese people,” N’tow said.
The embassy has provided opportunities for the Wushu club to participate in local and international competitions in China amongst 3,000 athletics from 67 countries, with the Liberian team winning one silver and two bronze medals, added Mr. Pratt.
“However, we are urging the ambassador to continue this journey with us through technical, financial and moral support to keep us on the path with others associations around the world,” he said, calling for trainings of athletes, technical staff, administrators and journalists that have helped promote the sports in the country.