July 19, 2024
Guinea-Bissau president embarks on state visit to China, strengthening bilateral ties

Guinea-Bissau president embarks on state visit to China, strengthening bilateral ties

President Umaro Sissoco Embaló of Guinea-Bissau is set to embark on his first official visit to China from July 10 to 12, during which he will sign a comprehensive framework agreement of cooperation between Bissau and Beijing, as confirmed by Guinean government sources to Lusa.

A government insider informed Lusa that President Umaro Sissoco Embaló will arrive in Beijing on Tuesday and commence his official engagements the following day, aimed at examining “all aspects” of bilateral cooperation between the two nations.

Highlighting key areas of collaboration, the source emphasized China’s involvement in education, healthcare, agriculture, infrastructure, fisheries, and support for the defense sector within Guinea-Bissau.

China annually provides scholarships to Guinean students and extends training opportunities to the country’s top achievers at Chinese universities through its embassy in Bissau.

In the healthcare sector, China dispatches medical personnel to Canchungo Hospital in northern Guinea-Bissau and the main military hospital in the capital.

Guinea-Bissau’s government attested to Chinese contributions in infrastructure development, including public buildings such as the Government Palace, the National People’s Assembly (ANP), and the Judiciary Palace, all constructed with Chinese cooperation.

Following the destruction of the presidential palace during the 1998/99 political-military conflict, China spearheaded its reconstruction.

China is also currently involved in the construction of Guinea-Bissau’s sole highway, an 8.2-kilometer stretch connecting Osvaldo Vieira International Airport to Safim, with a project cost of €13.6 million.

Additionally, Chinese investment facilitated the construction of the country’s primary artisanal fishing port in Bandim, near Bissau, valued at $26 million (€24 million).

In 2019, China donated agricultural equipment, including 44 tractors and motor cultivators, alongside 50,000 bags of rice and over 20,000 bags of fertilizer, amounting to €53.3 thousand.

“A testament to robust bilateral relations, China remains a cornerstone partner for Guinea-Bissau across various sectors,” noted a Guinean diplomat, who views President Embaló’s visit as “an unparalleled opportunity.”

President Sissoco Embaló’s state visit marks the second by a Guinean head of state to China, following the visit of late President João Bernardo “Nino” Vieira in June 2006.

Accompanying President Embaló on this diplomatic mission will be Foreign Minister and Minister of International Cooperation Carlos Pinto Pereira, who is already in Beijing preparing for the president’s arrival.

Sources within the military also confirmed that General Biague Na Ntan, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, will be part of the presidential delegation to China.

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