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China-Gambia ties: some shining light on the horizon

Oct 5, 2016, 10:52 AM

China and The Gambia resumed diplomatic ties this year with both nations establishing embassies in each other’s country with effect March this year.

Although we as a nation went round through the sea of Taiwan - before arriving at the sea of China, we have, at this short space of our ties, started seeing the good of it, as the relationship has started bearing fruits.

For instance, since 2015 when China-Africa Cooperation was lifted to a new height at the successful Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), President Xi Jinping announced that China would implement ten cooperation plans with Africa in the next three years, and would provide US$60 billion financial support accordingly.

The Gambia is very well captured in the FOCAC family, which means we are blessed to benefit from the fruitful China-Africa renewed ties.

Indeed, just in about seven months since the China-Gambia ties were renewed we have started seeing the good impacts of it.

This is confirmed by the recent statement of the Chinese Ambassador to The Gambia at the celebrations, on 29 September, marking China’s 67th Independence Anniversary in Banjul.

The Chinese Ambassador said: “China-Gambia bilateral relations now enjoy a dynamic momentum of development. Our mutual understanding is deepening, our economic and commercial cooperation is expanding, our people-to-people exchanges are lively, our coordination and cooperation on international and regional issues is strong.

“A lot have been achieved in just six months. We have agreed to launch an International Conference Center project as the flagship of our cooperation priorities.

“The first group of Gambian students on Chinese Government Scholarships has started their study in China. Nanning city and Banjul have renewed their sister links and carried out the exchange of visits. And there are more being worked out and implemented which I believe will soon come to fruition for the benefit of our two countries and peoples.”

The Trade Minister, speaking on behalf of the Gambia Government at the occasion, said: “I would not hesitate to emphasise that the recent resumption of Diplomatic ties between the People’s Republic of China and the Islamic  Republic of  The Gambia is not a coincidence, rather the decisions made by our two leaders in this respect were based on common and shared values  underpinned by the principles of mutual trust and respect, as well as  a common sense  of purpose to consolidate our bilateral cooperation for the advancement of the welfare of the peoples of our two countries… we are recently witnessing several developments and milestones in our efforts to further consolidate  the friendly ties between the two countries.”

These statements by these key officials of both nations and what has been seen taking place over the last six months between the two nations mean a lot as the message speaks for itself and gives clear signs that there is more to be derived from the Gambia-China ties.

“In the field of world policy I would dedicate this nation to the policy of the good neighbour.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt