Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is scheduled to pay an official visit to Ghana on June 18-19, which is expected to further promote the bilateral relationship that has seen full-round development since the two countries established diplomatic ties in July 1960.
During his visit, the Chinese premier is to attend a ceremony on June 19 for the completion of a road built with technical assistance and interest-free loan provided by the Chinese government.
It is one of the public facilities that the west African country has built with the help of China. Others include the National Theater, one hospital, camps for soldiers and policemen and some irrigation work.
In the past 40 years and more, bilateral exchanges and cooperation between the two countries have developed in numerous areas, including politics, economy, culture, education and military defense.
Since the 1990s, the relationship between the two countries became even closer with fast growth in bilateral trade.
The bilateral trade amounted to US$76.34 million in 1995 and then increased for consecutive years. The quantity had surpassed US$300 million by the end of 2003 and rose to US$590 million in 2004 and US$760 million last year.
In 2002, China wrote off 100 million yuan (US$12.5 million) debts owed by Ghana in hope that this would reduce Ghana's fiscal burden and benefit its economic growth.
Under an agreement on cultural cooperation, China began to receive Ghanaian students in 1960. The Chinese government has provided scholarships for 20 Ghanaians annually to study in China and has recently increased the number to 25. Currently thirty-one Ghanaian students are studying in China and two Chinese are teaching in the University of Ghana.
Ghana is one of the first sub-Sahara African countries that have established diplomatic ties with China. Over the past years, the Ghanaian government has all along adhered to the "one-China" policy. The first Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah visited China in 1961 and 1966 and China's late premier Zhou Enlai visited Ghanain 1964.
In April 2005, Chinese President Hu Jintao met Ghanaian President John Agyekum Kufuor in Jakarta, Indonesia where they attended the Asian-African Summit. The two leaders expressed the hope that the traditional friendship between the two countries will further develop with the concerted efforts of both sides.
(Xinhua News Agency June 18, 2006)