China’s outgoing ambassador to Ghana, Shi Ting Wang, has declared that Ghana will win the fight against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The world has been fighting the virus since it was first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019.
The Chinese diplomat gave this assurance at Jubilee House in Accra when he paid a courtesy call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Ambassador Shi was bidding farewell to Ghana after a two-year tour of duty.
Firm friends, strong ties
“Our relations have been further strengthened facing the challenge of COVID-19. We have supported each other and have co-operated very well.
“At the beginning of this year, when China was in difficulties, you gave us a lot of support. You are one of the first presidents to write a letter of solidarity to our president. Now, in return, we have also given you a lot of support.
“It is my hope that we will win the fight against the pandemic as soon as possible,” Ambassador Shi said.
Responding to the statement, President Akufo-Addo said that news of the Chinese ambassador’s recall had come as a surprise to him, because he had been hopeful that the diplomat would stay in Ghana much longer.
The president said that the past two years, which coincided with Ambassador Shi’s tour of duty, have been eventful. His departure is a sad day for Ghana, the president said.
“So much has happened in our relations with China largely because of you. You have proved to be a strong and dedicated friend of our country. So we all have to be sad that such a good friend of ours is leaving our shores,” President Akufo-Addo said.
The president wished the departing diplomat well in all his endeavours, in China or wherever else his work might take him around the world.
“Apart from the normal gifts that we give to departing diplomats, in your case, we have an additional exceptional gift as well for you, to show exactly how much we have appreciated you and your stay in the country. We wish you luck in your future career,” the president said.
During Ambassador Shi’s tour of duty, he facilitated several high-profile visits to China by top-level officials, including the Foreign Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia and President Akufo-Addo. The Chinese Vice-Premier, Sun Chunlan, also visited Ghana.
During his tour, Ghana signed the Sinohydro bauxite-for-infrastructure barter deal with China. The two countries also reached agreement on construction of the James Town Fishing Harbour and several landing sites in Ghana.
Goodbye to Oz
The Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, Andrew Barnes, also paid a courtesy call on the president to bid farewell after a duty tour of four years in Ghana.
In a brief statement, the High Commissioner said that he has had a wonderful four years. He, too, commended the government for its efforts to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.
President Akufo-Addo congratulated the outgoing envoy, and wished him the best of luck in his next assignment.
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