The Chinese Ambassador to Ghana is accusing Ghanaians of assisting and providing Chinese nationals with protection to engage in illegal mining, locally called ‘galamsey’.
Shi Ting Wang questioned how foreigners would be able to determine gold deposits without the support of the indigenous people.
The Ambassador was reacting to some Chinese national’s involvement in illegal mining after speaking at a lecture organised by the Confucius Institute at the University of Cape Coast (UCC).
“We also recognise the issue with galamsey but one thing we want to make clear is that the Chinese government will not tolerate any national engaging in the illegal act in any other country.
“So, we support your government to fight against galamsey and we will like to work with you. However, this issue is a very complicated one, I believe some local people provided some protection and support to the Chinese people.”
Ting Wang argues that the Chinese will not be successful in galamsey without the support of Ghanaians.
He is hopeful the two governments work together to find the root cause of the canker.
“We are always ready to work together to stop small scale illegal mining in the country,” he said.
His comments come on the heels of the Senior Minister justifying the decision to truncate the prosecution of a Chinese national who brazenly engaged in illegal mining despite several warnings.
Yaw Osafo Maafo said jailing Aisha Huang, nicknamed ‘Galamsey Queen’ wouldn’t have solved Ghana’s economic challenges.
Miss Aisha was arraigned before the court on May 9, 2017, for engaging in galamsey activities at Bepotenten in the Amansie Central District in the Ashanti Region.
Subsequently, the Attorney General’s office in December 2018 withdrew the case against her and four other Chinese nationals believed to be engaging in illegal mining. They were hurriedly repatriated to their country.
Addressing a townhall meeting abroad, Osafo Maafo said Ghana has great diplomatic relationship with China and intends to partner them in key infrastructural projects citing the $2 billion Sinohydro deal.
“Today, the main company that is helping develop the infrastructure system in Ghana is Sinohydro, it is a Chinese Company. It is the one that is going to help process our bauxite and provide about $2 billion to us,” he said.