On April 29th Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi joined Acting Prime Minister of Dominica Reginald Austrie in jointly hosting a video meeting with the foreign ministers of Caribbean countries having diplomatic relations with China. (Austrie was deputising for Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit who was paying an official visit to Cuba where he was awarded the Order José Martí, the socialist Caribbean island’s highest honour.) Foreign Ministers of Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago attended the meeting.
Wang Yi said that China and the Caribbean countries enjoy long-standing friendship, and the two sides are good friends, good partners and good brothers sharing the same ideal. He put forward four suggestions to further develop the partnership between the two sides.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the English-speaking Caribbean. Guyana led the way on 27th June 1972 followed by Jamaica on 21st November that year. At the meeting, Guyana’s Foreign Minister Hugh Todd commended Beijing for its “commitment to true multilateralism”.
Wang Yi Hosts the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Among China and the Caribbean Countries Having Diplomatic Relations with China
On April 29, 2022, the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Among China and the Caribbean Countries Having Diplomatic Relations with China was held via video link. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Acting Prime Minister of Dominica Reginald Austrie co-chaired the meeting. Foreign Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Everly Paul Chet Greene, Foreign Minister of the Bahamas Frederick A. Mitchell, Foreign Minister of Grenada Oliver Joseph, Foreign Minister of Guyana Hugh Hilton Todd, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica Kamina Johnson Smith, Foreign Minister of Suriname Albert R. Ramdin, Foreign Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Amery Browne, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados Sandra Husbands were present at the meeting.
Wang Yi said, China and Caribbean countries enjoy long-standing friendship, and the two sides are good friends, good partners and good brothers sharing the same ideal. Since the beginning of diplomatic relations between China and Caribbean countries 50 years ago, especially since President Xi Jinping’s visit to Caribbean countries in 2013, the comprehensive cooperative partnership between China and Caribbean countries has kept deepening, and cooperation in various sectors has yielded fruitful outcomes, setting an exemplary model of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and common development between countries of different sizes. Political mutual trust between the two sides has been strengthened as time goes by, pragmatic cooperation has yielded fruitful results, and public support has grown more solid. The two sides have always been the first to lend each other a helping hand, standing together and sharing weal and woe. The two sides have worked closely to safeguard the overall interests of developing countries and jointly uphold non-interference in internal affairs, a basic norm governing international relations.
Wang Yi said that the world is in a period of turbulence and transformation, the global economic and social development and security situations are facing complex and severe challenges, and the future of all countries is connected more than ever before. Now more than ever, China and Caribbean countries need to strengthen solidarity, overcome difficulties together, deepen cooperation and create a better future. The two sides should firmly seize the historic opportunity, further unleash the potential of cooperation and forge a higher level of partnership. China is ready to make joint efforts with Caribbean countries to promote peace and development, draw up a blueprint for the development of China-Caribbean countries relations, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and continue to promote friendship between the two peoples.
Wang Yi said that China will continue to provide economic and technological assistance to Caribbean countries without any political strings attached, focus on supporting key projects of interest to Caribbean countries, vigorously develop projects that benefit the people and promote practical technologies such as Juncao. China has decided to donate anti-pandemic and medical supplies to Caribbean countries having diplomatic relations with China and the CARICOM Secretariat, set up China-Caribbean disaster prevention and mitigation fund, and provide more government scholarships to Caribbean countries.
The Caribbean participants thanked China for its selfless assistance to the economic and social development of Caribbean countries over the years, especially its strong support in responding to natural disasters and fighting against COVID-19, and said that China is an important and reliable development partner of Caribbean countries. Caribbean countries firmly pursue the one-China principle and support China in safeguarding sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as China’s grand cause of reunification. Caribbean countries support and actively participate in high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.
All participants welcome and support the Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative put forward by President Xi Jinping, saying that China’s important initiatives fully demonstrate its responsibility and leading role as a major country. They are ready to make joint efforts with China to promote the implementation of the initiatives, safeguard world peace and stability and build synergy for global development. Caribbean countries appreciate China for upholding fairness and justice and following true multilateralism in international affairs, and stand ready to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with China to jointly tackle climate change and other global challenges.
Wang Yi Puts Forward Four Suggestions on Developing China-Caribbean Countries Relations
On April 29, 2022, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Acting Prime Minister of Dominica Reginald Austrie co-hosted the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Among China and the Caribbean Countries Having Diplomatic Relations with China. At the meeting, Wang Yi put forward the following four suggestions for building the China-Caribbean partnership at a higher level:
First, jointly promote peace and development. The two sides should be more determined to safeguard the authority and status of the United Nations and jointly practice true multilateralism; adhere to the direction of promoting peace talks and jointly seek political settlement of hotspot issues; take both development and security into consideration and jointly promote a robust recovery of the world economy. The two sides should more explicitly place the development issue at the center of the global cooperation agenda and call for the international community to pay attention to the specific situation of developing countries, so as to reach consensus, mobilize resources, take actions and form synergy for accelerating the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping are in line with the concerns of Caribbean countries regarding major issues, including the sovereignty principle, peace and stability, social development, climate change, and financing for development. China is willing to work with Caribbean countries to jointly tackle various risks and challenges and safeguard world peace, security, and prosperity.
Second, jointly draw up the blueprint for the development of China-Caribbean countries relations. The two sides should strengthen high-level exchanges, maintain strategic communication and enhance political mutual trust. China regards Caribbean countries as a vital force of the international community and equal partners. China firmly supports Caribbean countries in empowering themselves through unity and playing a bigger role in international affairs. China will continue to speak up for Caribbean countries and jointly oppose hegemonism and power politics. China will strive to make China-Caribbean countries relations an exemplary model of a new type of international relations and work together to build a closer China-Caribbean countries community with a shared future.
Third, jointly deepen mutually beneficial cooperation. China and Caribbean countries should further enhance practical cooperation in economy and trade, investment and financing, infrastructure construction, transportation and communications, agriculture and fisheries, disaster prevention and mitigation, digital economy and other areas, and jointly advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. China will continue to provide economic and technical assistance to Caribbean countries without any political strings attached, focus on supporting key projects of interest to Caribbean countries, vigorously develop projects benefiting the people and promote practical technologies such as Juncao. Caribbean countries are welcome to use China-CELAC earmarked loans for COVID-19 response, development cooperation and digital economy cooperation to achieve more results. China has decided to donate anti-COVID and medical supplies to Caribbean countries having diplomatic relations with China and the Secretariat of the Caribbean Community and support Caribbean countries in improving their capacity for governance in public health. China is ready to provide the utmost support to help Caribbean countries tackle climate change. China has decided to set up the China-Caribbean disaster prevention and mitigation fund to help Caribbean countries improve their capacity to respond to natural disasters.
Fourth, jointly continue to promote friendship between the two peoples. The two sides should take the opportunity of the 50th anniversary of the start of diplomatic relations between China and Caribbean countries to enhance communication and cooperation in education, culture, tourism, sports, news and other fields, and encourage and back people-to-people friendship organizations to play a greater role. The two sides should give better play to the role of the China-Caribbean Development Center and strengthen province- and city-level communication and cooperation projects between China and Caribbean countries. China will increase the number of government scholarships for Caribbean countries and conduct more and various human resources training to help Caribbean countries improve their capacity for independent development and carry forward the long-lasting China-Caribbean friendship from generation to generation.