Prior to the official visit by H.E. Mr. Yu Zhengsheng, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC),to Ghana, Chinese Ambassador to Ghana H.E. Mdm. Sun Baohong published a signed article titled "China-Ghana Relations: Stepping into A New Era of Win-Win Cooperation and Common Development" in leading newspapers in Ghana including Daily Graphic, The Ghanaian Times and Business & Financial Times, to elaborate on the status quo and prospect of China-Ghana relations.
The full text reads as follows:
China-Ghana Relations: Stepping into A New Era of Win-Win Cooperation and Common Development
By/ Sun Baohong
Despite the numerous mountains and rivers keeping China and Ghana apart, the two countries enjoy long-term traditional friendship. At the invitation of Rt. Hon. Edward Korbly Doe Adjaho, Speaker of Parliament of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. Mr. Yu Zhengsheng, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, will pay an official and goodwill visit to Ghana on 16-19 April 2016. During his visit, Mr. Yu will hold official talks with Rt. Hon. Speaker Adjaho and pay a courtesy call on H.E. President John Dramani Mahama to exchange views on bilateral relations and issues of common interest as well as implement action of the follow-up action of Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). This visit, which is the first one of a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee to Ghana in the past 9 years, and the third leg of Chairman Yu's 3-nation African tour, will write a new chapter in China-Ghana friendship.
At present, China-Ghana relations have kept sound momentum of development. We enjoy frequent high-level exchanges and ever-increasing political trust. In 2015, Foreign Minister Hon. Hanna Tetteh and Defense Minister Hon. Benjamin Kunbuor, among other dignitaries of Ghana, visited China respectively. Last December, H.E. President Mahama and his Chinese counterpart H.E. President Xi Jinping held a bilateral meeting at the Johannesburg Summit of FOCAC, made an in-depth exchange of views on consolidating bilateral traditional friendship, developing bilateral relations and deepening pragmatic cooperation, and reached broad consensus. China and Ghana have always supported each other on issues concerning their core and major interests, keeping close cooperation in the international and regional arena and thus strongly safeguard the interests of the developing countries.
China-Ghana pragmatic cooperation are fruitful and inspiring. China is one of the largest trade partners of Ghana. In 2015, China-Ghana trade volume hit a historic high of USD 6.6 billion. All the indicators of China-Ghana cooperation are ranking high in China-Africa cooperation. China-aided projects in Ghana range from the National Theater, office complexes of the Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry, University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ho and the Cape Coast Sports Stadium etc. The Chinese side has financed and executed a number of critical projects relating to the economic growth and people's livelihood of Ghana, to name a few, the Atuabo Gas Processing Project, Bui Dam and Kpong Water Supply Expansion Project. Sunon Asogli Power Plant and Africa World Airline (AWA), invested by the Chinese side, have played an important role in resolving the power shortage and promoting the interconnection of the sub-region. Since lately, the Chinese equipment and technologies have accelerated the pace of integrating with local enterprises and capital, bringing into being several local star enterprises and adding fuel to the enthusiasm of Ghana's cooperation with China.
China-Ghana people-to-people and cultural exchanges are close and shining. Our people-to-people exchanges are ever-increasing and mutual understanding ever-deepening. The wood sculpture, music and dance, among other forms of tourists, are enjoying high popularity among Chinese tourists. Asamoah Gyan, Captain of the Ghana Black Stars, is widely welcomed by the Chinese football fans. The Chinese culture is also becoming more and more attractive in Ghana. The classic symbols of Chinese culture such as the Great Wall, Imperial Palace, kungfu, Chinese medicine and Chinese food are widely-known in Ghana. The Ghanaian students are passionate to study in China, with the number of the Ghanaian students totaled 4500 by the end of 2015, the highest in that of Africa. The Confucius Institute in the University of Ghana has become a window of China-Ghana cultural exchanges. The excellent performance of the Ghana students in the "Chinese Bridge" (Chinese proficiency contest) has ignited the "Chinese Rush".
Currently, both China and Ghana are arduously promoting structural reforms to transform and upgrade the economy. People in China are now striving to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, advance towards the "two centenary goals" of development and realize the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation. The Outline of the 13th Five-Year Plan for Social and Economic Development calls for innovative, coordinated, green, open and inclusive development and sets forth the targets of maintaining stable growth, upgrading the growth model and economic structure, aiming at a medium-to-high growth speed for the coming five years and avoiding the middle-income trap. The Ghanaian side also wishes to embrace economic transformation and become a industrialized and export-led economy. China and Ghana,with mutually complementary economic structures and shared development strategy, have a great potential and broad prospects in cooperation. Both sides should take the opportunity of Chairman Yu's visit to Ghana to further upgrade our relations.
-- We need to further promote high-level exchanges and keep the overall China-Ghana relationship on the right track from a strategic and long-term perspective, and solve the obstacles in our ties through friendly cooperation; promote the exchanges between our legislatures, governmental agencies, judicial departments, parties and military; clear the channels for dialogue; strengthen consultation on development path, experience on governance, domestic and foreign policies to learn from each other, increase mutual political trust, and maintain and carry forward our traditional friendship. We also need to strengthen our interaction and consultation in international and regional affairs to uphold justice, and contribute our share to the building of a new type of international relations underpinned by win-win cooperation and the construction of the China-Africa community and the international community of shared destinies.
--We need to further promote our trade and economic ties to benefit our two peoples. China is the world's second largest economy, largest trader in goods, and largest holder of foreign exchange reserves. In 2015, against the backdrop of the sluggish recovery of the world economy, China's GDP growth rate hit 6.9 percent and it accounted for 25 percent of the global economic growth. More importantly, China has seen great progress in economic structural reforms, waves of mass entrepreneurship and innovation, and expanding new driving forces of growth. Looking ahead, China will still be the powerhouse of the global economy and will bring more opportunities and vitality to the world. China has ample capacities to promote the realization of the Ghanaian Dream. Ghana, though facing some challenges in terms of economy, is still a good investment destination featuring political stability, highly open market, well-educated labors and geographical advantages. China and Ghana, with solid foundation and strong determination for cooperation, should integrate their development strategies and advance key projects in the fields of industry, agricultural modernization, infrastructure, finance, green development,trade and investment facilitation under the framework of FOCAC to strive for an early harvest of the outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit.
--We need to further deepen our cultural and people-to-people exchanges to consolidate public support for our ties. The flourish and consistency of China-Ghana relations lie in the endeavor of our two peoples generation by generation. The Chinese side will provide the Ghanaian side with more scholarships and training opportunities in China, set up more Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms in Ghana, and establish a Chinese center for cultural exchanges to introduce more splendid Chinese cultural works to Ghana. In addition, China will assist Ghana in promulgating its tourism and cultural resources and attracting more Chinese citizens to Ghana for tourism and business; promote more local governments to forge sister-city or sister-region relationship; encourage our think-tanks, media and higher institutions to carry out various exchanges programs and joint research with their Ghanaian partners. China will channel more resources to Ghana's education sector and youth development, and pour more energy into the latter's human resources development to promote mutual understanding between the two peoples, especially the youth. In July 2016,the Chinese side will invite 10 AIDS-orphaned children to join Summer Camp in China. The Embassy will build 4 more ICT labs for Ghana apart from the 4 accomplished ones.
Now China and Ghana are at the critical stage of transformative development. In Africa there is a proverb, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." In China there is also an old saying, "If two people are of the same mind, their sharpness can cut through metal." Let's pool our efforts, share weal and woe on the way ahead and usher China-Ghana relations into a new era of win-win cooperation and common development!