BEIJING, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday wrapped up a visit to three West African countries worst hit by Ebola, saying China will cooperate with Africa in reducing poverty and realizing development after defeating the epidemic.
Wang is the first foreign minister of a major country to visit the West African region following the outbreak of the deadly virus in 2014.
RELIABLE PARTNER FOR COOPERATION
Speaking to Chinese reporters, Wang said Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea have achieved a decisive victory in the fight against Ebola, with Liberia taking the lead in announcing an end to the epidemic.
The three countries have concentrated on economic and social reconstruction in the "post-Ebola era," he said, adding that he had reached a series of consensus with leaders of the countries on the issue.
As poverty was the root cause for the outbreak of the disease in the three least-developed countries in West Africa, Wang said, they should reduce poverty and realize development as soon as possible.
He called on the three countries to gradually establish and improve a public health system for the sake of their people's lives and health, saying China is willing to help them in infrastructure construction and personnel training.
Although African nations have achieved political independence, they should make unremitting efforts for economic independence, he said.
In the long run, Wang said, African nations should build up their independent development capacity and establish an industrial system.
China is ready to help Africa turn its abundant natural resources into economic strength and set up an independent industrial system through cooperation in production capacity, he said.
The minister said that in this regard, China is capable of becoming a reliable cooperation partner for Africa.
As for the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, which will hold its sixth ministerial meeting later this year, Wang said that over the past 15 years, the forum has played an important role in not only boosting Africa's development, but also bringing more investment from other major powers for the continent.
China is willing to work with Africa to deepen cooperation in such traditional areas as trade, investment, education, and science and technology, he said.
Wang said he believed that the meeting, which he said is likely to be upgraded to a summit, will become a historic event for solidarity, cooperation, mutual benefit and win-win results between China and Africa.
REAL FRIEND OF AFRICA
Wang's visit to the three West African nations once again proves that China has never stopped and will not stop its assistance to and care for Africans in need.
After the outbreak of the fatal epidemic, China was the first country to send health workers to the affected countries in West Africa, and one of the first countries to make international medical donations.
In combating Ebola, China has provided four batches of assistance to 13 countries in and around the affected areas with a total amount of 120 million U.S. dollars.
So far, China has sent over 1,000 medical staffers to the affected countries, treated more than 900 patients, and trained some 13,000 medical workers for Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and their neighboring countries.
Most recently, China has pledged to donate an extra 5 million dollars to the UN Ebola Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund to support the recovery process of the affected areas.
When meeting Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma at the start of his tour, Wang said the reason for his visit is to demonstrate to the international community that "China stands ready to support Sierra Leone in its post-Ebola recovery program and help in the development of the country."
He pledged China's full support to Sierra Leone's post-Ebola recovery program, ranging from health system rebuilding to infrastructure and industrialization cooperation.
In Liberia, Wang praised the two countries' cooperation and their deepened friendship when speaking of China's help with Liberia's fight against Ebola.
"In our joint battle against Ebola, we have cooperated closely with each other. We have come to cherish our relationship more dearly and both sides have realized that the other is a reliable and important partner," he said.
He also reiterated China's strategy for developing ties with African countries, saying China's "approach of pursuing interest and upholding justice means the country will not attach any political conditions or impose any request on the African people."
At a meeting with Guinean President Alpha Conde, Wang said China and Guinea have enjoyed a tradition of mutual help.
China not only had provided timely assistance to Guinea following the Ebola outbreak, but will also be the first to help the African country speed up economic and social development, he said.
Describing China as a real friend, leaders of the three African nations said China's quick response and practical support have played an important role in their victory against the Ebola outbreak.
Facing a number of socio-economic challenges in the fight against Ebola, the three countries are looking forward to China's support in their Ebola recovery program, they said.