Xi holds talks with Sierra Leonean president
  ·  2024-02-29  ·   Source: Xinhua News Agency

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan hold a welcome ceremony for President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio and his wife Fatima Bio prior to the talks between Xi and Julius Maada Bio at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, on February 28. Xi held talks with Julius Maada Bio, who is on a state visit to China, in Beijing on February 28 (XINHUA)

Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio, who is on a state visit to China, in Beijing on February 28.

Noting that China and Sierra Leone enjoy a time-honored friendship, Xi said the two sides have supported each other on issues concerning their core interests and major concerns, carried out efficient cooperation in the fields of economic and social development, coordinated closely on issues such as world peace and development, and worked together to fight against Ebola and the COVID-19 pandemic.

China-Sierra Leone relations are a good example of China-Africa solidarity and cooperation, Xi said, adding that China is willing to work with Sierra Leone to consolidate high-level political mutual trust, advance pragmatic and mutually beneficial cooperation, and strengthen coordination on international and regional affairs to push bilateral relations to a new level.

Xi said China firmly supports the Sierra Leonean people in pursuing a development path suited to their national conditions. He said China stands ready to strengthen exchanges with Sierra Leone on national governance, and work with Sierra Leone to continue supporting each other's major concerns and safeguarding their respective sovereignty, security and development interests.

China is also willing to provide assistance and support to the best of its ability for Sierra Leone's development in agriculture, infrastructure construction and human resources, and encourage Chinese enterprises to invest and do business in Sierra Leone, Xi said.

Both sides should strengthen cooperation on UN Security Council affairs and jointly safeguard the interests of Africa and developing countries, Xi noted.

The Chinese president welcomed Sierra Leone to participate in the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative, and jointly promote the building of a community with a shared future for humanity.

"China has always regarded solidarity and cooperation with African countries as an important cornerstone of our foreign policy," Xi said.

China will work with African countries to align its initiatives to support Africa's industrialization, agricultural modernization and talent development with the African Union's Agenda 2063 and the development strategies of African countries; and to further integrate the development of China, Africa and the world to promote the upgrading of China-Africa cooperation and move the world towards a bright future of peace, security, prosperity and progress, Xi said.

China is ready to work with African friends, including Sierra Leone, to make this year's session of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) a success, Xi said.

Bio said China is a trustworthy and reliable friend, thanking China for its great support for its economic and social development.

He spoke highly of the Communist Party of China leading the Chinese people to achieve leapfrog development and promoting national rejuvenation. Bio said China's experience provides inspirations for developing countries to accelerate their development.

Bio said Sierra Leone abides by the one-China principle, supports China in safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and supports China in safeguarding its core interests.

He said Sierra Leone is willing to learn from China's experience, strengthen cooperation with China on the Belt and Road Initiative, and tap the potential for cooperation on infrastructure, trade, education and public services.

After the talks, the two heads of state witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation documents in the fields of the Belt and Road Initiative, agriculture, economic development, and the implementation of the Global Development Initiative.

Both sides issued a joint statement on deepening their comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

Prior to the talks, Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan held a welcome ceremony for Bio and his wife Fatima Bio at the Great Hall of the People.

In the evening, Xi and Peng held a banquet for Bio and Fatima.

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