The Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, H.E Sun Baohong, paid a courtesy call on the Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon. Simon Osei Mensah, at his office.

The meeting was to discuss issues of mutual concern to the two countries, particularly on illegal mining which her nationals have heavily been linked to. Again the visit by the Ambassador formed part of her tour to the country’s regions.

Mrs. Baohong described their relationship between her country and Ghana, and in particular, Ashanti as a very cordial and fruitful one as it has helped in the socio-economic and political advancement of both nations.

To her, their friendship with Ghana dates back to the days of former President Nkrumah which she admitted was given much importance by ex-President John Kufour with kind of robust economic relationship that he created between the two.

H.E Baohong said China will support Ghana government’s One District One Factory initiative and will encourage Chinese nationals to take advantage to help make it reality to boost the economies of both countries.

According to her, China holds Ghana in high esteem due to the common investment opportunities they share.

On illegal Mining, the Ambassador said the issue which involves her country ‘is a very complicated one’ saying that ‘attacking Chinese nationals won’t solve the Galamsey issue’.

According to her, it saddens her hear when her country is single-handedly blamed for Galamsey activities in Ghana, adding that “we have also fallen victims too.”

However, her country, she indicated, will support Ghana government’s strong competence and determination in fighting the menace, adding that her outfit is ready and open for discussions to make their stay in Ghana a fruitful one while helping to fight illegal mining.

Though she admits the country has been devastated and highly hit by the effects of Galamsey, she urged for self-control from Ghanaians in dealing with the issue and called for the strengthening and enforcement of laws on mining, further calling for sincerity in dealing with Galamsey and Chinese nationals.

The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah expressed Ghana’s appreciation to China for their assistance in the field of commerce, infrastructure and others, which has greatly helped Ghana advance its economy.

He told the Ambassador to “tell your people to keep away during this period of ban. Keep away from small scale mining and rather venture into large scale mining because you have the capacity.”

According to the minister, China still plays crucial role in the overall development of Ghana, and Ashanti region.

On the abandoned Sofoline Interchange, the regional minister thanked the Chinese government for their support, and disclosed that he is negotiating with government to ensure that significant amount of monies owed Chinese construction company-China Geo- working on the Sofoline project, is paid for them to resume work.

Openghana.com

Kwame Asare

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