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The Report on “Situation in Sierra Leone and China-Sierra Leone Relations” was Held in IWAAS


On February 26, 2019, the report on “Situation in Sierra Leone and China-Sierra Leone Relations” was held in IWAAS. Associate Researcher Zhan Shiming, Deputy Director of the Editorial Office of West Asia and Africa, made the keynote speech. An Chunying, Director of the Editorial Office of West Asia and Africa, hosted the report, with more than 40 scholars of IWAAS presented.
 
From October to December,2018, Zhan Shiming conducted a two-month academic research in Sierra Leone. Zhan firstly made a report on his research activities in Sierra Leone, and then briefly introduced the history, geography, population, ethnic groups, languages and religions of Sierra Leone.

Zhan Shiming analyzed and introduced the current development situation of Sierra Leone from four aspects including politics, economy, society and foreign relations. Politically, Sierra Leone has been a relatively successful country in the process of democratization in Africa, and has stable regime transitions since the new century. After the 2018 election, the new Bio Administration, in efforts to fulfill his campaign promises, is vigorously promoting the implementation of the "new direction" policy and has made some achievements in free education, anti-corruption and economic development. Economically, Sierra Leone is a small economy, and has unreasonable economic structure and severe dependence on foreign aids. Sierra Leone is recovering from the impact of Ebola virus. In the aspect of society situation, the religious and ethnic conflicts are not prominent, the terrorist attacks are not serious, and the public security is good. But the life condition of the ordinary is bad and not improved, leading to lots of complaint. In the aspect of foreign relations, the United Kingdom and the United States have deeply involved in Sierra Leone, and China’s influence has gradually expanded.
 
Zhan Shiming said the China-Sierra Leone relation, as a whole, has developed smoothly, which is reflected on the political equality and mutual trust, stable foreign exchanges, close economic cooperation and frequent international interaction in the international occasions. Since the new government took office in April 2018, the Bio Administration has made some adjustments to bilateral relations. But on the whole, it has followed the tradition of friendly cooperation between China and Sierra Leone and not affecting the overall situation of China-Sierra Leone friendship. In the amid of current China-Sierra Leone exchanges, China should pay attention to some policy changes after the transition of the old regime and the new regime, and the sustainability of bilateral cooperation, and attach importance to the promotion of people-to-people and cultural exchanges to bilateral relations. The Sierra Leone government is vigorously promoting the implementation of the "new direction" policy. The ideas of boosting the economy, improving people's livelihood, improving the level of management, and strengthening infrastructure construction can largely be docked with the "Eight Actions" and “Belt and Road” initiative put forward by Chairman Xi Jinping. There are many potentials to be explored in the China-Sierra Leone cooperation.
 
Zhan Shiming also expressed his views on the significance, objectives, methods and achievements of strengthening the studies on small countries in Africa, and then made some interactions with the participants.
 
 
 


Copyright: Institute of West-Asian and African Studies, CASS

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