Great opportunities ahead
Development of relations between China and Guinea-Bissau have entered a new phase of in-depth cooperation
China and Guinea-Bissau have shown firm determination to further promote mutually beneficial cooperation in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. And all sectors of Guinea-Bissau's society have the eager expectation to deepen bilateral relations.
The friendship between China and Guinea-Bissau was personally created by the older generations of leaders of the two countries as early as the era of Guinea-Bissau's struggle for national independence and liberation in the 1970s. Looking back on the course of their friendly exchanges, the two countries regard each other as good brothers and partners, supporting each other and helping each other.
The Chinese people will not forget that at the most difficult time in China's fight against the novel coronavirus, the Guinea-Bissau government and friendly people expressed their sympathy and extended their support to China.
At the same time, China has always been concerned about the development of Guinea-Bissau's anti-pandemic situation, and it has provided medical aid and shared its experience with Guinea-Bissau on many occasions.
Up to now, China has provided more than 30,000 test reagents and more than 400,000 masks to Guinea-Bissau through various channels. With the joint efforts of all parties, the situation in Guinea-Bissau has shown signs of easing.
In addition, in the most severe stage of the pandemic, the agrotechnical experts and medical teams sent by the Chinese government stayed in their posts in Guinea-Bissau and fought the virus together with local people. This once again highlights the profound friendship between China and Guinea-Bissau. The two countries share weal and woe, and are in the same boat.
This year is the final year of China's 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), during which China has made many important achievements. For example, a total of 55.75 million rural poor people have been lifted out of poverty; the world's largest social welfare system has been built in China. All these are the result of the unremitting struggle of the entire Chinese people, led by the Communist Party of China, to achieve common prosperity.
China's door to the outside world will not be closed, and will open wider and wider. In the future, China will implement a higher level of opening-up, continue to uphold the principles of equal consultation, mutual benefit and win-win results, build a higher-level open economic system, and promote the high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative.
China's development will bring more new opportunities to China-Africa cooperation and Africa's industrialization. China is expected to be the world's largest consumer market. China welcomes more African countries, including Guinea-Bissau, to export goods to China.
Looking to next year, China and Guinea-Bissau will carry out in-depth cooperation in the following areas.
With the establishment of the counterpart cooperation mechanism between the Affiliated Hospital of North Sichuan Medical College and Canchungo Hospital, the medical conditions and the level of medical treatment in Guinea-Bissau will be improved gradually.
In order to alleviate the food crisis Guinea-Bissau faces because of the pandemic, China has decided to provide it with 2,600 metric tons of emergency food aid. At present, the relevant work is being processed in an orderly manner.
The Guinea-Bissau section of the West African Coastal Highway that both China and Guinea-Bissau are focusing on has also made positive progress. The two sides have agreed to hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the project in January 2021.
China and Guinea-Bissau also signed an implementation agreement on maintenance of the parliament building. China is willing to work with Guinea-Bissau to further expand the areas of cooperation on the basis of current cooperation and tap the potential of cooperation.
China welcomes every cooperation proposal as long as it is conducive to the economic and social development of Guinea-Bissau and to the enhancement of the friendship between the two countries.
Currently under the leadership of President Umaro Sissoco Embaló, Guinea-Bissau is moving toward political stability. It is continuing to focus on talent training, improving its business environment, increasing its investment attractiveness and accelerating the national development process.
Under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, there will be more opportunities for cooperation between China and Guinea-Bissau. China is willing and honored to be able to help Guinea-Bissau achieve its economic and social development.
As the ambassador to Guinea-Bissau, I have full confidence in Guinea-Bissau's future and will do my best to continue to deepen cooperation in various fields between the two countries and push bilateral relations to a higher level.
The author is the Chinese ambassador to Guinea-Bissau. The author contributed this article to China Watch, a think tank powered by China Daily. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.