As Iron Ore Deal Gains Public Criticism
Chinese Embassy To Close Down?


Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

September 7, 2004

The Chinese Embassy accredited near the capital city of Monrovia is expected to hold a major press conference soon and declare its government’s position regarding the withdrawal of diplomatic ties with Liberia.

The reported considered position of the Beijing government is said to stem from the Iron Ore deal put at US$10,000 which has sparked off mounting public criticism, latest being the citizens of Grand Bassa County, from where the stockpile of Iron Ore was purchased and conveyed to Beijing, China, by a Chinese firm – Qingbao Trading Group Corp.

According to a credible source close to the Chinese Embassy, Beijing has already contacted its embassy with an instruction to revisit all documents relating to the diplomatic ties between the NTGL and the Mainland China. The source said the controversy surrounding the iron ore deal regarding conflicting amount as to how much the iron ore was sold for, is embarrassing the Chinese envoy, Lin Songtian not to mention the Beijing government which has reportedly declared a vote of no confidence in the NTGL.

The source said the embarrassment of the Chinese government is centered on the way the taxpayers’ money is being used to benefit private pockets.

It can be recalled that five government institutions including Lands, Mines and Energy, Finance, Commerce, Justice and LIMINCO formed part of the iron ore deal which is said to cost US$10,000.000, while government officials continue to give conflicting news as to the exact cost of the ore. For instance, even with the confirmation by the Chinese Embassy that the ore was purchased at US$10 Million, Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Jonathan Mason contradicted by saying the deal was placed at US$500,000.

Meanwhile, when the Chinese Embassy was contacted through telephone, the Deputy head of mission, He Meng, denied any plan by his government to close the embassy.

He said, the Iron Ore deal was strictly between a private company and the Liberian government, as such, no reported conflicting figure concerning the iron ore deal can not trigger the closure of the embassy.

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by the Forum newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.