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Uphold what is right

Feb 27, 2017, 9:56 AM

The new Gambia Government has expressed its determination to uphold the One China policy and fully support the Chinese government to unify its rightful territory.

We believe this stance is in the right direction, as there is only one China in the world, which is the People’s Republic of China, the sole legal government representing the whole of China.

The Gambia government has, therefore, made a wise decision to remain resolute in upholding the One China policy and support the government of that country to unify its rightful territory, especially so that both nations have common and shared values underpinned by the principles of mutual trust and respect, as well as a common sense of purpose to cooperate for the advancement of the welfare of the peoples of both countries.

It is also essential to recall that China and The Gambia resumed diplomatic ties last year, with both nations establishing embassies in each other’s country in March 2016.

Although we as a nation went round through the sea of Taiwan in our diplomatic ties - 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 ten months since the China-Gambia ties were renewed we have started seeing the good impacts of it.

This is confirmed by a recent statement of the Chinese Ambassador to The Gambia at the celebrations, on 29 September last year, 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.”

With these trust and cooperation, we believe maintaining our ties with the People’s Republic of China is in the right direction. There is essentially one China and it is wise enough to follow what is right.

“Every word we speak, every action we take, has an effect on the totality of humanity. None can escape that privilege - or that responsibility.”

Laurie Beth Jones