State House, Freetown, Monday 17 December 2018 – A high-level delegation from the Chinese Liberation Army has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces to allow for further cooperation between the two forces.
During a meeting with His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio at State House, the head of delegation, General Zhang Yingli, said he was pleased with the President’s commitment to strengthening the relationship between the two countries, adding that he was hopeful that the meeting would further build on the existing relationship and broaden ties between the two militaries.
“Your Excellency, in August this year you met President Xing of China where you both agreed to deepen the relationship between the two countries. We are pleased to inform you that the Chinese government is committed to that. Our mission here is to foster collaboration and deepen our existing relationship.
“We believe that this historic meeting will play a big role for future development of our bilateral relations and we believe that this kind of friendly relationship, between our two countries, will also be reflected in the military,” he said.
In his response, President Bio said he was pleased to host the Chinese delegation, saying that he was happy with the long-standing relationship between Sierra Leone and China. He noted that Sierra Leone was a small nation but proud of her relationship with a big nation like China, adding that he was hopeful that the hospitality would continue.
“We are grateful you are coming over to discuss ways to improve the conditions of our servicemen. Our greatest aspiration is to develop the nation for our people but we cannot do that without security. We are open to further work with you in areas of training and support service for our servicemen,” he said.
Earlier on, the Chinese government donated the sum of RMB 50 million ($ 7.2) to the government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Defense to help in various areas within the military.