By: Kofi Thompson
The relationship between the two nations began when Ghana's President
Nkrumah and China's Chairman Mao Zedong ruled their respective
The friendship between the two countries was anchored in the
Non-Aligned Movement - which sought to provide a middle path to
development that insulated developing member-nations from being under
the spheres of influence of the two superpowers at the time: the
United States of America (USA) and the Union of Socialist Soviet
Today, China, a great nation with an ancient civilisation and a proud
history, is a great global power both politically and economically.
Indeed, China has become a major source of investment funds for many
emerging nations, such as Ghana. That has further strengthened the
bilateral relationship existing between the two nations.
As it happens, the Chinese people have paid a high price for the
economic boom that has made their country the workshop of the world -
in terms of the health-damaging effect on millions of that nation's
citizens' caused by egregious pollution and apocalyptic environmental
To ameliorate their plight, the Chinese government is now responding
aggressively to address those growing concerns of its people by taking
active steps to improve air quality in towns and cities across China -
by closing old coal-fired power plants and ramping up investment in
its in renewable energy sector.
China is also restoring vast swathes of land in its countryside
degraded by the relentless push for industrial growth over the
That is why the relationship between China and Ghana will not be
ruined by the illegal activities of a few thousand recalcitrant
Chinese citizens who would be executed for the same crimes they are
committing here if they were committed in China.
Furtheremore, in an age of global terrorism, the government of Ghana
must take an uncompromising stand against all foreigners engaged in
illegal activities in our country - including Chinese citizens -
without exception. It has no choice in the matter, alas.
Safeguarding the remainder of our country's natural heritage is a
national security issue, no less - for there is now a real possibility
that Ghana will become a water-distressed country within a decade if
the natural environment is not protected now.
Foreigners engaged in illegal activities such as illegal gold mining
and the felling of redrose trees in the north to smuggle overseas in
40ft shipping containers are abusing our welcoming nature - and that
is intolerable in this day and age.
Those of them engaged in illegal gold mining are actually compromising
our nation's long-term future. Literally. The question is: Why
should we continue to tolerate that when we are not a nation of
Foreign nationals breaking our laws - including Chinese nationals
engaged in illegal gold mining - must all be arrested, prosecuted,
jailed and then deported back to their home countries immediately
after serving their prison sentences. Enough is enough. Full stop.