Prez. Sirleaf makes remarks at the occasionPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has reaffirmed her government’s commitment to the One China Policy, an Executive Mansion release said. According to the release, President Sirleaf on Wednesday, September 12, joined Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yue, officials of government, members of the diplomatic corps, embassy staff and the Chinese community in Liberia to celebrate the 68th Independence Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).The President said Liberia remains firm on the One China Policy, which has been endorsed and ratified by the Liberian Legislature, and expressed the conviction that any successive government will realize that this is the proper international position to take and respect, and will encourage the quality of cooperation that exists between China and Liberia. She made the statement at the Chinese Embassy in Congo Town, Monrovia at a ceremony marking the celebration of the 68th Independence Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.President Sirleaf commended Ambassador Zhang for the immense contributions made to the government and people of Liberia and stressed the need that China remains a true partner and friend. President Sirleaf also praised the Chinese Government for the bilateral cooperation. She noted that China has been active in its assistance to the Liberian government and people in their endeavor to rebuild the country. She used the occasion to thank the Government of the PRC for being a major partner in the training of the new Liberian army, and providing technical, logistical and other forms of support, including the fight against Ebola.Ambassador Zhang said the China-Liberia relationship has enjoyed rapid development over the past 14 years since the resumption of diplomatic ties, especially after this administration took office, adding: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Madam Sirleaf for her continued trust established with the leaders of China to give the China-Liberia relations brilliant leadership and guidance,” he said. He noted that the stock of Chinese investments in Liberia has reached US$300 million, making China one of the major investors in Liberia. Zhang stressed that the smooth construction of the Ministerial Complex, the new airport terminal, the annexes to the Legislature, renovation of the SKD stadium and the airport’s runway rehabilitation are indicative of China’s speed and quality.The Chinese Ambassador also noted the Agricultural Demonstration Center Project, Bamboo and Rattan Weaving and Vegetable Planting Technical Cooperation projects, including the borehole project and technical assistance project to the Liberia Broadcasting System, that are progressing steadily. The Chinese envoy emphasized that China and Liberia have conducted productive cooperation in security, education, health and other sectors. Amb. Zhang pointed out that Liberia has enjoyed peaceful development including consolidated peace and stability under the leadership of President Sirleaf. “We are pleased and appreciative of unremitting efforts the Liberian Government and people have made for the economic revaluation, national reconciliation, and human capacity building under the guidance of the Agenda for Transformation and Vision 2030,” he highlighted.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
SOON we’ll be wearing plexiglass bubbles, I thought, while watching a technology program on TV. A male voice-over stated, “This is the way we’ll all be shopping soon,” as a woman pushed her cart down a grocery aisle, scanning items with a portable mini-scanner. She then dropped the groceries into bags in her cart, swiped a debit card, and headed for the store’s door. All I could think was, “Wait a minute! What’s so great about that?” I work at home. Some days, grocery checkers are the only people I interact with. Sure, my husband asks “How are you?” And on rare occasions, my teenage daughter might ask the same – which makes me suspicious. At least the checker has no ulterior motive. Every now and then, a checker has even suggested a recipe, tossed me a compliment or commiserated about raising teens. The few times I’ve tried the self-checkout computer at my store, it’s been a hassle. And I can’t stand the tone the computerized woman uses to tell me to “Put the items in the bag.” So I’d hate to see the grocery checkers disappear the way employees at “service” stations have. Less than 10 years ago, I’d chat with my friendly gas-station attendant. He told me when his wife was going to have a baby, and I told him my mother was moving to France. On other visits, he’d proudly pull out wallet photos of his little girl. One time, I paid for my gas and my attendant friend had me laughing so hard that I drove away, forgetting to fuel my car. But now we have self-pay pumps. They’re convenient – and really boring. I scan my debit card and pick the lint from my sweater as my cents tick away into my tank. Not once has the pump made me laugh. Yeah, I realize technology has made life easier, but often at the expense of human interaction. I hear that before air conditioners came along, folks would grab icy glasses of lemonade and mosey out onto their porches to catch a cool breeze. They might spy Gladys over her fence, pruning her roses, and wave. “How you doing?” But now we have air conditioners, so we stay inside and have few reasons to talk to the Gladyses of our neighborhoods. A lot of our technologies buffer us from other humans. Think about the car. We drive inside our glass and metal bubbles, feeling free to yell – sometimes with certain fingers upright – at whoever gets in our way. Why is that? Would we do that to someone in the mall for blocking the line to Hot Dog on a Stick? Probably not. Though, now that I think about it, I know a few who would. But a lot of people might not even be bold enough to squeak an “Excuse me” if they had to look into someone’s pupils. Then we get into our cars, our bubbles of safety, and we feel bolder – in the same way we might behind our anonymity on the Internet. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology. If only I had a cell phone back in the ’80s, I could have avoided one horrible evening I spent stuck on the 101 Freeway. And I remember having to search library shelves for information that I can now find within seconds on the Internet. So I’m hardly a Luddite. I just worry that the less we know about the people around us, the less we care. But, then again, plexiglass bubbles could serve as our domes of freedom; inside them, we could smoke or eat trans fats whenever we wanted. And we wouldn’t need to bother with perfume. Oh, well, I might have to accept this self-scanning grocery gadget. I guess it wouldn’t be too bad if it could say things like “Are you having a bad day? Tell me about it” and “Wow! Your hair looks great.” But to truly impress me, it would have to tell me how it got its teenager to wash her own dishes without rolling her eyes. Michele Miles Gardiner is a freelance writer in Winnetka.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!