The consensus was reached on Thursday amid talks between the two state leaders in Beijing. The Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio is on a state visit to China and will attend the upcoming Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) 2018 Beijing Summit. During the meeting with Bio, President Xi said the two countries have been friends through good times and bad since they established diplomatic relations 47 years ago. He stressed that China will never forget its old friends, and will always view the unity and cooperation with African countries as a significant foundation for its foreign policy. He said China wants to maintain high-level exchanges with Sierra Leone, and strengthen the exchange of experience in governance. Bio thanked China for its long-term help to Sierra Leon's economic and social development. The Sierra Leoneans will always remember that China was the first to extend a helping hand when their country was most severely plagued by an Ebola virus epidemic, Bio said. Bio added that Sierra Leone is willing to improve bilateral ties with China further, actively take part in the Belt and Road Initiative, and improve communication with China on multilateral affairs.