(Photos: People's Daily/Lv Qiang)
The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was started because of the growing Sino-African cooperation, said Liberian President George Weah during an interview at the two-day FOCAC Beijing Summit.
Describing China as one of Liberia's biggest partners, the Liberian president said that cooperation between the two sides would help his country achieve its national goals.
"During our dark days of Ebola, China was the first country to give a hand, and we will never forget that,” Weah said. He also extended his thanks to Chinese President Xi Jinping for helping his country fight Ebola, saying China was sincere in helping Liberia promote its education and health sectors.
Speaking highly of Xi's proposal of having a shared future for China and Africa, Weah expressed his expectation for Liberia to participate in the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Since the announcement of the 10 major China-Africa cooperation plans, fruitful achievements have been made, such as the ongoing China-aided rehabilitation of Liberia Broadcasting System, the China-aided project of ministerial complex, as well as the renovation and upgrading of the Roberts International Airport.
In addition, China is also offering courses on bamboo weaving and vegetable growing in Liberia.
He also stressed the importance of infrastructure to poverty reduction and development of a country, elaborating that at present, numerous roads were being built in Liberia, and China has made irreplaceable contributions to constructing his country's infrastructure.
The China-aided demonstration center of agricultural technologies in Liberia brought both skills and expertise, said the Liberian president, adding that agriculture development was one of the main priorities for his country that has fertile soil and great potential for agricultural growth.
He believes that under the support of China, Liberia will finally be able to grow its own food.
(Photos: People's Daily/Lv Qiang)
Against the rising protectionism and unilateralism, Liberia would firmly support the multilateral trading system and globalization, Weah pledged, explaining that globalization was the only way to share the strengths of different countries.
China-Liberia cooperation played a vital role in Liberia's economic and social development and China's contribution to Africa was receiving wider and wider recognition, he stressed, pointing out at the same time that friendship should be based on mutual respect.
Facts prove that China-Africa cooperation can achieve win-win results, and more and more Western people were starting to realize the vitality that China-Africa cooperation was bringing to global development, the president told People's Daily.
As a former player of A.C. Milan, and a FIFA World Player of the Year in 1995, Weah visited China four times and gained a fan base there. But this trip will be his first Chinese visit as Liberian president.
Hailing the profound friendship China and Liberia have enjoyed, Weah vowed that Liberia was willing to contribute to further development of bilateral ties, as well as achieve win-win cooperation and common development with China and other countries.
He said that the FOCAC was a "good deed" since it could be a place where African and Chinese leaders gather and make decisions.
Having high expectations for his trip to China, Weah also wishes to visit some remote areas of the country to learn about poverty reduction.
He also wants to pay a visit to the Shaolin Temple that he visited during his previous trips, saying that China is an interesting place and he is looking forward to the trip.