|Address at the Chinese New Year and Farewell Reception|
Address at the Chinese New Year and Farewell Reception
Niu Qingbao, Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica
February 16, 2018
The Honourable Delroy Chuck, Minister of Justice representing the Government of Jamaica,
The Hon. Peter Philips, Leader of the Opposition,
HE the Most Hon. Kenneth Hall, Former Governor-General and Lady Hall,
Former Prime Ministers the Most Hon. Edward Seaga and Mrs Seaga, the Hon. Bruce Golding and the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller,
The Most Hon. Glenn Manley,
Hon. Ministers, Senators and MPs,
Heads of Government Agencies,
Chiefs of JDF and JCF,
Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps,
My Fellow Chinese,
Members of the Media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Very good evening!
Today is the very first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year of the dog. Thank you all for joining me tonight in celebrating the Spring Festival.
The beginning of the new year is a moment to review. In 2017, China’s economy grew by 6.9%, maintaining a sound and stable momentum of development. Over 13 million jobs were created, and more than 12 million people were lifted out of poverty. China’s development is higher in quality and the economy is now better restructured. We cut 50 million tons of steel capacity and phased out over 150 million tons of coal capacity. Energy consumption per unit of GDP fell by 3.7%, contributing to notable progress in pollution control.
While contributing 30% of global growth, China has actively participated in global governance by offering Chinese wisdom and initiatives.
We hosted several multilateral diplomatic events in China, including the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and the BRICS Summit in Xiamen. President XI Jinping attended the annual World Economic Forum in Davos and welcomed all other countries, particularly friendly developing countries, to take a free ride on China’s economic express. By actively fulfilling international responsibilities and obligations and firmly advancing the Belt and Road international cooperation, China is always a force for world peace, development and international order.
Overall guidelines were set out in the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) for China’s development between now and the middle of this century. China will continue to follow a path of peaceful development and forge a new form of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation. China calls on people of all countries to work together to build a community with a shared future for mankind and an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world of lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity. Following the principles of equal consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, China will further intensify the Belt and Road international cooperation to give new impetus to common development through policy coordination, unimpeded trade, infrastructure connectivity, financial cooperation and people-to-people affinity.
In December, leaders representing nearly 300 political parties and organizations of 120 countries participated in the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting, in which high-level officials of both the JLP and the PNP also participated. China called on people across the world to be guided by the vision that all the people under the heaven are of one family. By enhancing mutual understanding and seeking common ground while setting aside differences, together, we should endeavor to build a community with a shared future for mankind. We should endeavor to build a world of universal security free from fear, a world of common prosperity free from poverty, an open and inclusive world free from isolation, and a green, clean and beautiful world. The CPC will continue to uphold global peace and tranquility, promote common development for all, and promote mutual enrichment among civilizations.
Dear friends, I am here today to bid you farewell. This is an emotional moment.
I am pleased, during my tour of duty, to witness and contribute to the advancement of the Friendly Partnership for Common Development between China and Jamaica.
Our mutual trust has been strengthened through closer exchanges of visits at various levels. There have been 14 ministerial visits either way. A number of leaders of the two major political parties, members of parliament and youth leaders have visited China.
Economic cooperation has been expanded with marked progress. Large investment projects such as the North-South Highway and JISCO Alpart Alumina Plant are the best embodiment of the Chinese proverb “teaching one to fish is better than giving him fish”. Huawei and ZTE respectively offered internship training to students of UWI and UTECH. Sinopharm helped arrange the exchange program in China for management personnel of public health and nurses from Jamaica. JISCO will send 60 students and employees to China for vocational and technical training programs. With more alumina and seafood exported to China, bilateral trade will be more balanced and stable, and will benefit the both sides more. Pan Caribbean Sugar Company, itself in deep red, has been generously contributing to community service.
Mutual support and assistance has advanced steadily. China continues to provide assistance to the best of its ability. Construction of the office building of MFAFT is proceeding as planned. Two kindergartens in Kingston and Morant Bay will hopefully be open to hundreds of children in the communities by the end of the year. Preparation is underway for the construction of the Western Children’s Hospital and the building of the Confucius Institute, UWI. Our bilateral cooperation on human resources training has been greatly expanded during the past two year, with nearly 800 Jamaicans taking up offers of short-term training in various fields. The first group of Chinese coaches of synchronized swimming, badminton and other sports came to Jamaica this January and just returned to China upon successful completion of their mission. Our help is two-way. Jamaica has offered 10 full government scholarships to train Chinese track and field coaches and students. 20 scholarships at the CMU are available for Chinese students. The newly established Sports Department of UWI has generously promised to train Chinese sports talents. On behalf of the Chinese coaches and students who have benefited and will benefit from Jamaican generosity and goodwill, I would like to express our gratitude to the government and people of Jamaica. Thank you!
During my tenure, 5 Chinese artistic troupes have come to entertain the Jamaican audience. 2 Chinese painting exhibitions were staged in Jamaica. All were received with enthusiasm. Jamaican artists also visited and performed in China. Prominent Jamaican painter Brian McFarlane will exhibit his paintings created in China at the Olympia Gallery next month. What a pity I cannot go and take a look by myself! I wish the exhibition a complete success.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,
My tour of duty in Jamaica has been extremely precious and rewarding. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt appreciation to friends from all walks of life.
I thank His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, Governor General, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, Prime Minister, and the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, Former Prime Minister. Thanks to your steering, China-Jamaica relations have been advancing fast and steadily on the right track.
Thank you, the Hon. Peter Phillips, Leader of the Opposition. You and the PNP under your leadership have devoted your heart and soul to our friendly bilateral exchanges and major cooperation projects.
My thanks go to Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson-Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, and her great team. Their diligence and efficiency have been most remarkable and have set a good example for me and my colleagues in the Embassy.
I owe my appreciation to the Hon. Delray Chuck, your colleague ministers, members of council of spokespersons, ministries and government agencies, JDF and JCF, for all your support and assistance. I would like to thank my friends from various fields, including education, sports and culture, for your close cooperation.
The ones that touched me most and most worthy of my gratitude are the friendly and talented Jamaican people. You are the matchless! You are at the center of China Jamaica friendship and partnership!
Thank you, my fellow Chinese in Jamaica. You have brought to Jamaica not only investment, technology, cost-effective goods, but also goodwill of the Chinese people. You are the solid bridge and link connecting our two countries.
I would like to thank all my colleagues in my Embassy. All the achievements of the Embassy are due to the hard work of everyone of you. I wouldn’t have achieved anything without your input and implementation.
Last but not the least, I express special gratitude to my wife YUAN Jun and my daughter Yimei for their consistent understanding, support and company. Like myself, they have thoroughly enjoyed Jamaica and are reluctant to leave. My daughter even asked whether she could stay after I leave.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,
Although my family and I will soon leave Jamaica, our hearts will always be with you. No matter where I go, I will always care about and continue to contribute as much as I can to China-Jamaica relations. May China-Jamaica friendship be deeper than the Caribbean Sea, higher than the Blue Mountain, and richer than the Blue Mountain coffee!
Dear friends, I have a last favor to ask of you. Please take good care of my successor and give him you full support as you have given me.
Let me conclude by proposing a toast
To the peace and prosperity of Jamaica and China,
To the ever-deepening China-Jamaica friendly partnership,
To the personal health, family happiness and career success of each and every of you,