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CRSG demonstrates commitment to peace

Sierra Leone is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China in a couple of month’s time. One of the companies that are making this good dream possible is the China Railway Seventh Group (CRSG). What could have turned into a serious diplomatic row was professionally handled by CRSG at the Tonkolili Mines, where one of its staffs had a physical altercation with a Sierra Leonean employee. Their action caught everyone by surprise and marks the end to all acts that disadvantage locals by foreigners. The company further displays its commitment to foster a good bilateral relationship between the two countries.

It could be recalled that in recent years, the Chinese government, through its embassy in Freetown has been providing various support to the country. During the COVID-19, the embassy provided a generator and a whole lot of assorted items for the prevention of the disease, as well as diagnosing it. The embassy further provided equipment and other facilities to various hospitals, including its medical staff to help develop the country’s response system to the disease.

In the education sector, China has provided training for many Sierra Leoneans both in the country and out in China. This included medical personnel, journalists, and other disciplines. In the area of infrastructure, China is one of the country’s main partners, a situation that had started decades back, with the construction of the Aberdeen and Congo Cross bridges, the Youyi Building, National Stadium, and many more. Most recently, the Chinese constructed the Grafton Regent road, which has contributed greatly to opening the city and easing the huge traffic that had characterized movement in the far-east of Freetown. Currently, they are constructing the Masiaka- Wellington highway. Whilst boosting infrastructural development in the country, the Chinese companies are providing jobs for Sierra Leoneans and eventually transferring skills to many who are working for them. Today, the Chinese have revamped the use of trains in the transportation of Iron Ore in the North and there is the possibility of more Sierra Leoneans getting jobs with the current operations of the China Kingho mining company.

On the economic front, Chinese goods have flooded the market at very reasonable prices, and the use of kerosene lamps has now been a thing of the past, as modern Chinese battery-operated lights are the order of the day.

What all this has shown is the commitment of the Chinese government to foster our bilateral relationship, which has seen donations of huge amounts of money to fight COVID-19, as well as protective equipment for front-line staff in the fight.

The establishment of a China Friendship Hospital at Jui has also seen many locals getting access to medical treatment, which was hitherto unavailable in the country. In this regard, the Chinese government had sent various military medical teams to the country specialized in various fields, and these have helped to boost the health sector.

The latest action by one of its construction companies to relieve one of its staffs for fighting a Sierra Leonean employee has been seen as a welcome development to foster the strong bond that had existed between both countries. It further shows China’s willingness to see fair play in its operations. Their action demonstrates that no one is above the law and all are considered equal in their workplace, regardless of race nationality, or religion. This display of transparency should be commended, as it is the first time that such an action has been taken by a foreign company to penalize their staff. The company further apologized to the nation for such an ugly incident, describing it for what it is: an isolated incident that should not be used to cloud the very good relationship between the country and the people of China, and expressed their commitment to work amicably with their Sierra Leonean counterpart and maintain peace at the workplace. It is hoped that other foreign companies and business people will copy from their example of fairness in dealing with each other.

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