|Speech by Ambassador Zhao Zhenyu at the Reception to Celebrate the 55th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China Hosted by China Benevolence Association|
Mr. Dalton Yeh, President of CBA,
Executive Members of CBA,
Mr. Shen, President of Jamaican Freemason Society,
Mr. Ho, President of Jamaican Cultural Association,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good afternoon, everyone!
It gives us a great pleasure to be with you today at this jubilant gathering to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
Let me, first of all, express our special thanks to CBA and all its members for organizing such a special event in celebration of the Chinese National Day. The celebration of the Chinese National Day has become an annual activity for CBA. This is a vivid expression showing the Chinese community's affections towards their motherland, and the affections towards the 1.3 billion countrymen in the People's Republic.
The founding of the People's Republic of China brought to an end that dark page of the Chinese history, the history of the oppression of colonialism and feudalism and the humiliation of foreign invasion and exploitation. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China the Chinese people have turned a poor and backward nation into a strong and prosperous socialist country within a short period of 55 years. Those who have had the opportunity to visit China in recent years have deeply impressed by the dramatic changes taking place in the country. I think community leaders Messrs. Yeh, Shen and Ho, who visited China in August, would share this view. There is no need for me to elaborate on this here. I just give you one statistic figure: in the year 2003 China's GDP exceeded 1.4 trillion USD, which was 8.5 times that of 25 years ago.
This year is a special year for the Chinese community. It has been celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Chinese first arrival in Jamaica. Supported by CCA and the Freemason Society, CBA has played a leading role in organizing various activities for that purpose. I am very glad that the Chinese Embassy has been successfully involved in some of the key activities, for instance, the erection of stone lions outside the CBA gate, visit to Jamaica of two performing troupes: the Yangzhou Puppet show and Zunyi acrobatic performance.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thanks to the support of the Chinese community, the bilateral relations between China and Jamaica have grown from strength to strength. This relationship will be further strengthened by two forthcoming events scheduled for next February. One is the official visit to Jamaica by China's Vice President Mr. Zeng Qinghong. This is the highest-level Chinese leader's visit to the Island in recent years. The other is the China-Caribbean Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum cosponsored by the Chinese Government and the Jamaican Government. This Forum will have two supporting events: the Business Conference and the Trade Fair. I know CBA has been invited by the Jamaican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade to be a member of the Jamaican Planning Committee of the Forum. I am confident that these important events will facilitate to bring China-Jamaica relationship to a higher plateau.
In conclusion, let me thank you all for celebrating the Chinese National Day by participating in tonight's singing competition either as the audience or as the competitors.