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Address at the Reception Celebrating the 45th Anniversary of China-Jamaica Diplomatic Relations
2017-11-14
 

Address at the Reception Celebrating the 45th Anniversary of China-Jamaica Diplomatic Relations  

Niu Qingbao, Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica

November 13, 2017

Kingston, Jamaica

 

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Good evening!

Thank you for joining the Chinese Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica in celebration of 45 years of China-Jamaica diplomatic relations.

Congratulations and thanks to Jamaica for being the first English Caribbean island country to recognize the People's Republic of China.

Over the past 45 years, despite vicissitudes in the international arena, China and Jamaica have always respected each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity and treated each other with sincerity and due respect.  Our bilateral relations have been developing steadily. In addition, our two countries have had close coordination on climate change, sustainable development and other regional and international affairs of significance, and we have jointly worked to safeguard the interests of developing countries as a whole. The establishment of Friendly Partnership for Common Development in 2005 brought our bilateral relations to a new high. China-Jamaica relationship stands as role model of equality and mutually beneficial cooperation between countries of different history and culture, different political systems and different sizes.

45 years ago, trade and economic cooperation between us were virtually non-existent. Today, China is the largest source of FDI to Jamaica. Large investment projects such as the North-South Highway, Alpart Alumina Plant and Frome and Moneymusk sugar plants are generating growth, creating jobs and improving people's lives. China has shown its solidarity with Jamaica through unconditional aid projects for years, such as the new office building for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and two kindergartens which are under way. Soon to come are the Western Children's Hospital, the building of the Confucius Institute, and sports coaches. Our bilateral cooperation on human resources training is expanding rapidly. Up to now, over 1,500 Jamaicans in various fields have taken up offers of government scholarships or workshops in China, a third taking place in this year alone. In trade, Jamaican sea-food export to China will come soon, making sea-food another Jamaican brand image after Blue-Mountain Coffee, Bob Marley and Usain Bolt.  

Our people-to-people exchanges are ever expanding. This year alone has seen 3 Chinese performing troupes in Jamaica and all received with enthusiasm. An exhibition of Chinese paintings will be staged at the Olympia Gallery for two weeks starting Dec. 5th. and you are welcome to visit.

China-Jamaica partnership is equal, mutually beneficial and two-way. I especially thank Jamaica for successfully training 10 Chinese track and field coaches and students. Your offer of another 10 scholarships at the Caribbean Maritime University is heartily appreciated. Thank you, Jamaica!

Thanks to generations of leaders of the Chinese government and Jamaica's successive administrations of both Parties for their right steering, our Friendly Partnership for Common Development has been flourishing. Also contributing are the deep-rooted people-to-people friendship, special and sound bridging played by the Chinese community in Jamaica, and our mutual complementarity. As Chinese believe, "When you drink water, think of those who dug the well." Let me pay the highest tribute to founders of our diplomatic relations and acknowledge the presence of the Most Honourable Glynne Manley. It was her husband, the Most Honourable Michael Manley who established diplomatic relations with China. My highest respect also goes to successive Jamaican governments led by the Most Honourable Edward Seaga, the Most Honourable PJ Patterson, the Honourable Bruce Golding, the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller and the Most Honourable Andrew Holness. I want to thank friends from all walks of life who have contributed to China-Jamaica friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation. May I say a special thank-you to the Jamaican Chinese community and the Jamaica China Friendship Association!

China-Jamaica friendship has popular support and serves the interests of our peoples.  All are welcome to participate in and benefit from our win-win cooperation. Let's further expand exchanges at various levels to enhance mutual trust. Let's intensify our pragmatic cooperation in various fields and tap new growth potential. Let's encourage more people-to-people exchanges to further consolidate the foundation of our friendship.

If history is of any reference, China-Jamaica relations can only go from strength to strength!

Ladies and gentlemen,

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China that was successfully convened last month is a milestone for China and the world. General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed in his report that the country will take the building of the Belt and Road Initiative as a priority, lay equal emphasis on bring-in and going-global, follow the principles of equal consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, enhance open cooperation of innovation capacity, and make new ground in opening China wider through links running eastward and westward, across land and over sea. The Congress also adopted a revised Constitution of the Communist Party of China to enshrine in it the Belt and Road Initiative. This fully demonstrates the importance China attaches to the building of the Belt and Road and its determination of and confidence in firmly advancing the Belt and Road international cooperation.  We stand ready to work with various parties and make greater contributions to building a community of shared future for mankind and an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world of lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity. Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that Jamaica supports and will participate in this initiative. It is my firm belief that Belt and Road Initiative will open up more areas of win-win cooperation, contribute to Chinese and Jamaican economic and social development, and further raise living standards of our peoples.

Dear friends,

To celebrate 45 years of China-Jamaica diplomatic relations, I have invited a song and dance ensemble from Sichuan Province. I believe the show will be more popular than Sichuan food!

Please allow me to take this opportunity to extend special thanks to the show's sponsor, CHEC. CHEC has contributed to Jamaica's infrastructure construction, economic growth and job creation, and is a loyal partner to the government, communities, contractors and workers of Jamaica. CHEC is way more well known than I am in Jamaica. But what's less known is that CHEC is also a good corporate citizen that has spent millions on social welfare and has helped hundreds of students from families with financial difficulties. CHEC owes its successes to the endorsement by the Government, hard work by its employees and support from all walks of life of Jamaica. I appeal to you to help CHEC better integrate into and better serve Jamaica.

Thank you!

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