The Chinese Ambassador to Ghana has challenged the leadership of the two countries to show greater political will and put in place more targeted initiatives to enhance better understanding of each other.Ambassador Sun Baohong said the move would ensure that the two countries seized opportunities, coped with challenges and also elevate the bilateral relations between Ghana and China.
“If we work-in-hand and keep our co-operation, we will be able to push forward China-Ghana relations, realise more brilliant achievements in the next 55 years, and build China-Ghana relations as a model of China-Africa co-operation,” she said at a ceremony in Accra to celebrate 55 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
In a speech that traced the history of the relationship between the two countries in economic partnership, bilateral trade and cultural relation, Ms Sun said China would continue to support Ghana to fulfil its economic transformation aspirations and embark on the road to self sustained development.

The beginning...

Ghana-China diplomatic relations started on July 5, 1960, against the backdrop of a cold war between the West and East and at a time most African countries were still battling colonial powers for independence.
Ghana became the second sub-Saharan African country to establish diplomatic relations with China and the first sub-Saharan African country to host Chinese leaders.
Led by Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah and Chinese leader, Mao Zedong, the two nations forged ties that stood the test of time with the only contentious moment in recent history being the illegal Chinese miners crisis that compelled Ghana to deport thousands of Chinese migrants last year.
But on a glitzy night of speeches, music and the display of the culture of both nations, the Chinese Ambassador said, “we should uphold mutual respect and trust, consolidating the political base of our relations.”
“Reviewing the history of our bilateral relations, we can feel deeply that the achievements do not come easily. Neither is it a gift from someone else. It comes from a joint cultivation and nurture by our older generation of leaders.”
Politically, the two countries have enjoyed a very friendly relationship culminating in major visits to China by high-profile Ghanaian leaders including President Nkrumah on August 14, 1961, the visit to Ghana by Chinese Prime Minister, Mr Zhou Enlai on January 11, 1964. Apart from that, the late President J.E.A Mills and the then Vice-President John Dramani Mahama visited China in 2010. Before that, former Chinese Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao, was in Ghana.

Trade and Infrastructure

Over the last 55 years, trade between the two countries has been on the increase. From less than $100 million in 2000, trade volumes have increased to $5.6 billion in 2014. In 2014, Ghana’s export to China hit $1.4 billion.
Chinese infrastructural footprints in Ghana include the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant, the Bui Dam, National Theatre, Kpong Water Supply Expansion Project and the Asogli Power Plant.
As part of the celebrations, Ms Sun said there was a project to implement a project known as ‘Brightness Trip Project’ which was to support free surgery for 200 cataract patients in Ghana.

Relationship of goodwill

Responding to a toast by the Chinese Ambassador, the Minister of Education, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyeman, observed that the traditional bond of friendship and co-operation forged at the political level had manifested in the economic growth between the two countries.
“The vibrant cultural cooperation between our two countries has yielded tangible results as evidenced by the people-to-people exchanges at the grassroots level.”
She observed that there were currently more than 3,400 self-sponsored Ghanaian students pursuing various courses, especially in the field of medical sciences, in Chinese universities.
“The goodwill that has been engendered at the bilateral level has crystalised into mutual solidarity and co-operation on the international scene. Our two countries have time and again shared common positions on global issues such as the post-2015 sustainable development agenda,” she added.

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