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Celebrating 60 years of Ghana-China diplomatic relations

By Edward Boateng | | Updated: 2020-07-05 20:08
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President Xi Jinping accompanies Ghanaian counterpart Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Sept 1, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

Today, July 5, marks the anniversary of the 60 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ghana and China. Sixty years of enduring and exemplary relations and cooperation between the two countries is worth cerebrating and pondering over.

Ghana established diplomatic relations with China shortly after becoming a republic in July 1960, one of the first African countries to do so. The personal friendship between President Kwame Nkrumah and Chairman Mao Zedong laid the deep foundation for relations between the two countries at the time. They were the thought leaders of their generation who stood shoulder-to-shoulder and became the mouthpieces for the oppressed. The first Chinese ambassador to Ghana, Huang Hua, presented his credentials on July 5, 1960, while the first Ghanaian ambassador to China, Kobina Kessie, assumed duty in Peking on March 26, 1961. On Aug 23, 1961, Ghana and China signed the Friendship Treaty, which affirmed the close bilateral ties between the two countries and established the foundation for practical cooperation, as well as the emergence of Afro-Asia solidarity that became strategic in the pursuit of decolonization and peace, and the development agenda of small developing countries at the time.

The Friendship Treaty was also aimed at creating a model for mutual economic, social and political development, as well as to contribute towards the stability of Ghana and, by extension, other newly-independent African countries.

The 60th anniversary of our diplomatic relations with China presents an opportune moment for our two countries to take stock and deliberate on past developments and to formulate new agendas for greater successes in the coming years. Over the past six decades, our relations and cooperation have been tested but become more robust and diverse, touching practically all conceivable spheres of development, especially under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and President Xi Jinping, notably in trade and investment, culture, education, politics, economics, among others.

Our two countries have recorded significant achievements that deserve acknowledgment. Notably, Ghana was one of the earliest and consistent advocates and supporters of the admission of China into the United Nations organization and later a permanent member of the UN Security Council. It was Ghana, and indeed our ex-president J.A. Kufuor, at the time a deputy foreign minister, who cast the historic vote at the United Nations General Assembly for the admission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations in 1971. The significance of this singular act should not be lost on us. It paved the way for acceptance of the People’s Republic of China into the international comity of nations and restored its legitimacy as the only true representative of China to the United Nations. Since then, Ghana has continued to adhere to the One China Policy. China, on its part, has also been an ardent supporter of the Common African Position on the Proposed Reform of the United Nations, also known as the EZULWINI CONSENSUS, which was put forward by our current president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, when he served as foreign minister. The two countries have continued to cooperate at the multilateral level as they work together to ensure a just, equitable and peaceful international order.

Sino-Ghanaian relations have been reinforced through the exchange of high-level visits between leaders of both countries. Over the past four years, the president of the Republic of Ghana, the vice-president, chief of staff, foreign minister, the first lady and a host of other ministers of State have all paid official visits to China. The Chinese side has reciprocated with visits to Ghana by the vice-premier, ministers of State and other high-ranking members of the Communist Party of China. The exchange of high-level visits has reinvigorated Sino-Ghanaian relations and given it a renewed sense of purpose.

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