[Kojo is the former Ghanian ambassador to China and a veteran of the Ghanian independence struggle]
Thank you comrades and friends. I came here because my good friend Keith Bennett told me there was about to be launched an organisation close to my heart, so I said I would participate. 42 years ago I was a founder member of the Society for Anglo Chinese Understanding (SACU), which we formed at a time when there were attempts to marginalise China and prevent it playing its role in the world. That’s when I became a sponsor of that organisation.
My own relations with China go back to 1959 when I was invited as a student leader to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Chinese Revolution. The next time I visited China was in 1961. I was impressed by the fact that it was a country with 22% of the world’s population and they were feeding their people. . Every year the population is increasing by as much as the population of Ghana yet they were feeding everyone. There was a lot of propaganda against China, yet clearly they had to be doing something right. So the propaganda didn’t work. At the time, the President of Ghana was visiting China and meeting Mao Tse Tung. A big rally was organised at a stadium. Ghana had stated it supported China and the One China policy. I was present at this Rally. The Ghana China Friendship Treaty was signed at this time. I eventually became Ghana’s ambassador to China, and was able to do a lot of work.
When I retired and went back home, I became Chairman of Ghana China Friendship Association, whose greetings I bring you.
The time has come when it is most necessary to launch an organisation such as Hands Off China to debunk the cacophony of noises going round and to support the rights of the Chinese people and of progressive mankind. The anti-China propaganda is so all-pervasive and must be countered. China is playing a major role against imperialism; it stands for the downtrodden and against under-development. When apartheid South Africa wanted to squash certain countries, they built the Tanzam railway in order to stop this kind of attack. It is necessary to fight enemies of China.
US imperialism is of course fiercely opposed to communism. There is a story going round that many years ago when student campuses in the US were in revolt against the draft, the National Guard was sent it to restore order. A National Guardsman set about hitting on the head a typical all American boy with crew cut. The boy protests â€œBut I’m an anti-communistâ€ and the officer said: â€œI don’t care what kind of communist you areâ€ and carries on with the beating!
Having been at the founding meeting of SACU I am very happy that I was able to participate here today.