Roosevelt Skerrit: China-Dominica relations have become a model of south-south cooperation

Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, visited China from March 23-29. During his visit he gave an interview to Wang Guan for the CGTN series Leaders Talk. 

Skerrit, who has visited China 12 times in the 20 years since the two countries established diplomatic relations shortly after he became Prime Minister, describes the country as a true and reliable friend in difficult times.

His meeting with President Xi Jinping had been the highlight of his current visit. They had reached a consensus on bilateral and multilateral issues, especially the need to take stronger measures to tackle the threats posed by climate change and to build stronger resilience in this regard. 

Skerrit acclaims the Chinese leader’s work for global peace and prosperity, in a way that will allow every country to prosper. China’s example in this regard should be emulated by the developed countries.

The Dominican Prime Minister agreed with President Xi’s observation that China-Dominica relations have become a model of south-south cooperation. He noted that although Dominica is a very small country, Xi always treats him as an equal. 

Dominica fully supports the one China principle, which it regards as a tenet of international law, and will support and play its part in the peaceful reunification of China. 

Expanding on China’s friendship in difficult times, Skerrit said that whenever Dominica faces difficulties, China comes to its aid without even having to be asked. As a small Caribbean island country, Dominica is highly susceptible to natural disasters, such as Hurricane Erika in 2015 and Hurricane Maria in 2017, which destroyed or damaged some 90% of buildings on the island, and climate change is truly an existential threat for small island states in particular, whether in the Caribbean or the South Pacific. Dominica is seeking to harness its own resources, such as geothermal and hydro, with the aim to achieve 100% renewable energy usage by 2030.

China had played a major role in reconstruction following the hurricanes, for example, completing the reconstruction of the West Coast Road, which links the capital Roseau with the second city of Portsmouth, in 2020, despite the challenges posed by COVID. Other key aid projects of China are the Dominica-China Friendship Hospital along with the building of six schools. The Friendship Hospital is described by Skerrit as the most modern one to be found in the Caribbean and he singles out its cardiology unit as a key example of a facility that ensures that Dominicans can now receive specialist treatment without needing to travel abroad.

In agricultural technology, China is helping Dominica to contribute to regional food security through the development of seedlings that are more resilient to pests and to the vagaries of the climate.

As for his impressions of the changes in China that he has been able to witness in 12 visits over two decades, Skerrit simply describes them as magical, citing in particular achievements in technology, infrastructure, education and the promotion of common prosperity.

Skerrit also commends China’s promotion of dialogue in dealing with international issues as well as its rejection of unilateral sanctions, especially the United States’ unfair and unjust sanctions on Cuba. He rejects the misconceptions harboured by the United States and some European powers regarding China’s engagement with the countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This engagement is focused on economic development and social advancement and China’s support and cooperation come with no conditions. Loans extended to the Caribbean and Latin America by China have the lowest interest rates, sometimes being fixed at zero.

The full interview with Prime Minister Skerrit is embedded below.

China, Latin American and Caribbean states deepen their space cooperation

In a significant step to enhance the unity and solidarity of the Global South and to promote economic, scientific and technological cooperation and development, China hosted the first China-Latin American and Caribbean States Space Cooperation Forum in the city of Wuhan, capital of the central province of Hubei, in the last week of April.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the forum in which he said that China and the Latin American and Caribbean countries have achieved fruitful results in space cooperation in recent years, including new progress in the fields of remote sensing satellites, communication satellites and the deep space station network, which have played an important role in promoting scientific and technological progress, strengthening regional connectivity and improving people’s wellbeing.

China is ready to work with the Latin American and Caribbean countries to build a high-level space cooperation partnership, promote space technology to better benefit both peoples, and continue to promote the building of a community of China and the Latin American and Caribbean countries with a shared future.

Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Guoqing read out Xi’s letter at the opening ceremony on April 24. In his own speech, Zhang added that China stands ready to work with the Latin American and Caribbean countries to strengthen the synergy of development strategies in the field of space, deepen scientific and technological innovation cooperation, create more application scenarios, promote industrial complementarity and mutual enhancement, and intensify talent exchanges, so as to push biliteral space cooperation to a higher level and bring tangible benefits to the people of both sides.

Luther Castillo Harry, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation of Honduras, read out the congratulatory letter from President Xiomara Castro. She said that China has been committed to carrying out space cooperation with developing countries, which can help both sides to overcome common challenges, achieve sustainable development and mitigate climate change and natural disasters. 

Gabriela Jimenez, Venezuelan Minister of Science and Technology, read out the congratulatory letter from Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. He said China and Venezuela have close cooperation and profound friendship in the aerospace sector, which is of great significance for promoting space cooperation between China and Latin America.

The forum reviewed and highlighted examples of China’s space cooperation with Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela in particular. 

Yue Yunxia, director of the economic research office of the Institute of Latin American Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said space cooperation between China and Latin American countries is not an empty slogan, but covers a wide range of fields.

“China-Latin America space cooperation has helped Latin American countries build their aerospace systems, train high-quality space technology personnel and achieve new breakthroughs in the aerospace field. China-Latin America cooperation on remote-sensing satellites, communication satellites and in the commercial field has promoted connections among Latin American countries and improved people’s well-being.” 

The following articles were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

Xi sends congratulatory letter to forum on space cooperation with LatAm, Caribbean countries

BEIJING, April 24 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday sent a congratulatory letter to the first China-Latin American and Caribbean States Space Cooperation Forum.

Noting that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the China-CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) Forum jointly announced by the leaders of the two sides, Xi said that China and the Latin American and Caribbean countries have seen prosperous development over the past decade in their cooperation in various fields within the framework of the China-CELAC Forum to usher in a new era featuring equality, mutual benefit, innovation, openness and tangible benefits for the people.

Xi said China and the Latin American and Caribbean countries have yielded fruitful results in space cooperation in recent years, including new progresses in the fields of remote sensing satellites, communication satellites and the deep space station network, which has played an important role in promoting scientific and technological progress, strengthening regional connectivity and improving people’s wellbeing.

China is ready to work with the Latin American and Caribbean countries to build a high-level space cooperation partnership, promote space technology to better benefit both peoples, and continue to promote the building of a community of China and the Latin American and Caribbean countries with a shared future, said Xi.

The space cooperation forum, co-hosted by the China National Space Administration and the Hubei provincial government, started on Wednesday in Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei Province.

Continue reading China, Latin American and Caribbean states deepen their space cooperation

Roosevelt Skerrit: China has been a true friend of Dominica

Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit paid an official visit to China from March 23-29 at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Premier Li Qiang.

Announcing the visit on March 20, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian noted that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between the two countries, adding: “China welcomes Skerrit’s official visit at this special moment.”

Dominica is an important country in the Caribbean and also a good friend and partner of China in the region, he noted, adding that since the establishment of diplomatic relations 20 years ago, China-Dominica relations have grown steadily, setting a good example of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit, common development and win-win cooperation between countries of different sizes.

“It is believed that Skerrit’s visit to China will further enhance political mutual trust between the two countries, promote practical cooperation in various fields, consolidate the traditional friendship between the two countries and push bilateral relations to a new level,” he added.

Meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on March 25, the Chinese leader told Skerrit that the the two countries have respected each other and treated each other as equals since the establishment of diplomatic ties 20 years ago.

With increasing political mutual trust, vigorous exchanges and cooperation in various fields, and with the deepening friendship between the two peoples, China-Dominica relations have become a good example of South-South cooperation, he added.

China highly appreciates Dominica’s steadfast friendship, Xi said. China is willing to work with Dominica to synergise development strategies and turn the friendly relations into a driving force for win-win cooperation to achieve more results and deliver more benefits for the two peoples.

Xi stressed that the key to the sound development of China-Dominica relations lies in a high level of political mutual trust, as well as in mutual understanding and support on issues involving each other’s core interests and major concerns. China firmly supports the people of Dominica in following a development path suited to their national conditions, and stands ready to bolster friendly exchanges and strengthen the sharing of experience on governance.

China welcomes the Dominican side to board the “express train” of Chinese modernisation and to expand bilateral cooperation in fields such as trade and the economy, infrastructure construction, agriculture and health care, Xi said, noting that China will continue to provide assistance within its capacity for Dominica’s economic and social development.

China is willing to promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges with the Dominican side, welcomes more Dominican students to study in China, and will continue to provide scholarships and training programs.

China advocates an equal, orderly, multipolar world and inclusive economic globalisation that benefits all, and it holds that all countries, big or small, are equal in the international community, Xi said.

Stressing that China attaches importance to the issues of Small Island Developing States related to climate change, Xi said that China supports Dominica in playing an active role in international and regional affairs, and stands ready to strengthen coordination and cooperation with the Dominican side, deepen South-South cooperation, safeguard the common interests of developing countries, and advance the construction of a community with a shared future for humanity.

China attaches great importance to its relations with Caribbean countries, Xi noted, saying that China appreciates Dominica’s important role in promoting China-Caribbean cooperation during the latter’s rotating chairmanship of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and that China will continue to support countries in the Caribbean to improve their prosperity, development and people’s well-being.

For his part, Skerrit said that he made the right decision to establish diplomatic relations with China 20 years ago, and that he was glad to visit China again on the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Noting that China has not only made great achievements in poverty alleviation and development, but also contributes significantly to the peace and development of Dominica, other Latin American countries and the world at large, Skerrit said that China’s support and cooperation has helped Dominica to safeguard its independence and development.

Skerrit commended the concept of building a community with a shared future for humanity and a series of global initiatives proposed by China, saying that they are crucial to improving solidarity and cooperation, and to the joint promotion of development and prosperity in today’s world.

He expressed Dominica’s willingness to be China’s all-weather strategic partner, and to continue playing a positive role in promoting relations between Caribbean countries and China.

Skerrit added that his country also expects closer communication and coordination on international affairs with China in order to safeguard international fairness and justice, and to make positive contributions to the promotion of world peace and development.

Establishing diplomatic relations with China was one of the first steps taken by Skerrit when he came to power and his meeting with Xi came just two days after the twentieth anniversary.

Marking the anniversary, Xi had exchanged congratulations with Dominican President Sylvanie Burton.

Depicting Dominica-China relations as dynamic and fruitful, Burton said that the Dominican side cherishes the friendship with China, appreciates China’s support and assistance, and is willing to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation to jointly tackle global challenges.

Also on March 25, Skerrit held meetings with Premier Li Qiang and Zhao Leji, Chairman of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.

Noting that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Dominica, Li said the two sides have been treating each other with mutual respect and equality over the past 20 years.

He added that China is ready to work with Dominica to implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, further strengthen political mutual trust, and push for the new and greater development of bilateral relations and cooperation.

Li said China has always supported Dominica in safeguarding its national sovereignty and independence, and in following a development path suited to its national conditions. China is willing to enhance cooperation with Dominica continuously in areas such as infrastructure construction, agriculture and trade under the framework of the joint construction of the Belt and Road. It is also ready to develop new highlights in cooperation on new energy and the digital and blue economies, help Dominica improve its disaster prevention and mitigation capabilities, and share more development opportunities.

He noted that China supports its enterprises in investing and doing business in Dominica, and it also welcomes Dominica and other Caribbean countries to actively participate in the fourth China-Caribbean Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum to open broader prospects for cooperation.

For his part, Skerrit said that Dominica and China have always respected each other, cooperated closely, forged a profound friendship and set a good example for the Latin America-China friendship. Dominica abides firmly by the one-China principle, and resolutely opposes the interference of any country in China’s internal affairs and the infringement of any country on China’s sovereignty.

He also said that China is committed to safeguarding world peace and promoting common development, and noted that the global initiatives proposed by China are receiving more and more support from the international community. Dominica is willing to strengthen communication with China further, increase personnel exchanges, expand cooperation, work together to deal with climate change, and promote the construction of a Dominica-China community with a shared future.

Zhao Leji said that China and Dominica are good friends and good partners sharing the same goals. He called on both sides to jointly implement the Global Development Initiative and promote the development of friendly and cooperative relations between China and Dominica.

During his visit, Skerrit also took part in the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2024, held on China’s southern Hainan island.

Addressing the opening ceremony, he said that the global community should work together to solve the challenges faced today and build a prosperous future.

“We need to work together to pull our strengths and move faster towards achieving peace and sustainable development. We need to strengthen cooperation and solidarity between countries in order to provide effective responses to the financial, economic, and social crises faced by many countries around the world.” 

It is clear that sustainable development continues to be a pressing issue for the international community, given the high levels of inequality, poverty, and marginalisation among countries, he said, noting that inequalities between developed and developing countries persist and are widening.

Prior to embarking on his China visit, Skerrit gave an interview to China’s Xinhua News Agency in the Dominican capital Roseau. He said that, “”China has been a true friend of Dominica, and I would say an all-weather friend.” When Dominica was in difficult times, “China is always one of the first countries, which would come to our aid.”

In 2018, Dominica signed a memorandum of understanding with China to jointly build the Belt and Road. According to Skerrit, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has opened up numerous opportunities not only for Dominica, but for many countries around the world to help with their economic independence and social development.

Skerrit said that under the BRI, Dominica has been actively working with China to set up agricultural technology cooperative projects in order to improve agricultural development, technology transfer and guarantee food security in the country.

Dominica has limited medical resources and the population has a long history of difficulty in accessing health care.

In his opinion, the construction of the Dominica-China Friendship Hospital, the introduction of new technologies and equipment, and the direct support by China in respect to its first cardiology department show “a dramatic improvement in the health care in Dominica as a result of the BRI.”

Many young Dominican students are attending universities in China and attaining their degrees in China. “Most of them are back here working in various fields, such as medicine, agriculture, architecture, environmental studies, international relations studies and psychology,” he said.

 “We always say that every country has a right to determine its own political system. And I believe that the political system which exists in China has also contributed to China’s prosperity and the improvement in the way of life of the Chinese people,” he added.

As this year marks the tenth anniversary of the proclamation of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), Skerrit deemed the China-CELAC Forum an opportunity for these countries to participate in international affairs and share ideas.

“Dominica is ideally placed. Dominica has excellent relations with all of the countries within CELAC, especially those from Latin America. We have excellent relations with China, and we will continue to serve as a bridge between China and CELAC and to advance the collaboration and the cooperation,” he said.

Continue reading Roosevelt Skerrit: China has been a true friend of Dominica

People gather to celebrate the life of communist activist Claudia Jones

Comrades from Friends of Socialist China participated in the third annual commemoration of the birth of Claudia Jones (21 February 1915) organised by the Communist Party of Britain (CPB) at her graveside, to the left of Karl Marx, in London’s Highgate Cemetery on Sunday February 25. 

Claudia was outstanding activist and leader of the US, British and international communist movements, who creatively enriched and developed Marxist-Leninist theory on questions of national, racial and gender oppression in particular. A staunch friend of China, she met with Chairman Mao Zedong on her 1964 visit to the People’s Republic, shortly before her tragically early death at the age of 49.

More than 50 people attended the ceremony including a delegation from the Chinese Embassy led by Minister Zhao Fei.

Dr. Claire Holder, who was the longest serving Director of the Notting Hill Carnival, Europe’s largest street festival that was originally inspired by Claudia, read the text of her February 2, 1953 speech from the dock immediately before she was imprisoned under US anti-communist legislation on account of her struggle for peace and in particular against what she called the “bestial Korean war”, which was then still raging.  

In a speech that surely ranks among the greatest made by a communist revolutionary before a bourgeois court, Claudia noted that she was being sentenced for an appeal that, “urges American mothers, Negro women and white, to emulate the peace struggles of their anti-fascist sisters in Latin America, in the new European democracies, in the Soviet Union, in Asia and Africa to end the bestial Korean war, to stop ‘Operation Killer’, to bring our boys home, to reject the militarist threat to embroil us in a war with China, so that their children should not suffer the fate of the Korean babies murdered by napalm bombs of B-29s, or the fate of Hiroshima.

“Is all this not further proof that what we were also tried for was our opposition to racist ideas, so integral a part of the desperate drive by the men of Wall Street to war and fascism.”

This theme was echoed in speeches by CPB General Secretary Robert Griffiths, who referred to the immense destruction visited upon the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Korean people during the war of 1950-53, and by historian David Horsley of the CPB’s Anti-Racist and Anti-Fascist Committee, and the author of a pamphlet on Claudia’s life, who said that if she were still with us, Claudia would surely be at the head of every demonstration in solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza. 

Other speakers were veteran Pan-Africanist activist and scholar Cecil Gutzmore and Fran Heathcote, General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), the largest trade union representing civil servants in the UK. The proceedings were chaired by CPB Chair Ruth Styles.

Floral tributes were paid by the Chinese Embassy, the CPB, the CPB London District Committee, the Young Communist League, PCS, the Greater London Association of Trade Union Councils and Friends of Socialist China. Among the attendees were Michael and Paul Crook, sons of the veteran communists and lifelong friends of China, Isabel and David Crook. Michael is also a member of the Friends of Socialist China advisory group.

The following report was originally published by the Morning Star.

More than 50 people gathered at London’s historic Highgate Cemetery on Sunday to celebrate the life of legendary communist activist Claudia Jones.

Jones, who is buried to the left of Karl Marx, died on Christmas Day 1964, having made a massive contribution to the movement for socialism in the United States and Britain.

Among the speakers was Fran Heathcote, the first female general secretary of the PCS union.

She highlighted the continued attacks and superexploitation of low-paid women and black members who work in outsourced industries.

Leading pan-African activist Cecil Gutzmore highlighted the continued racism faced by the black community in Britain.

Historian David Horsley said that he was convinced that “comrade Claudia would have been at the forefront of today’s fight for migrants and refugees.”

Dr Clare Holder, a past director of the Notting Hill Carnival, read out the statement Jones made to the US court before her deportation to Britain. She said it was as “powerful as others made by others such as Castro and Mandela.”

Communist Party general secretary Rob Griffiths recalled how the Smith Act in the US “was used against trade unionists, socialists as well as communists.”

Xi Jinping meets with Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda

Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of the Caribbean twin island state of Antigua and Barbuda, who is also the leader of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party, paid an official visit to China at the invitation of his counterpart, Premier Li Qiang, January 22-28. His previous visit had been in 2014, the year he assumed the premiership.

On January 24, Prime Minister Browne met in Beijing with both President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang. 

Noting that Antigua and Barbuda is one of the first countries in the Eastern Caribbean to establish diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China, Xi said that since the establishment of diplomatic ties 41 years ago, the two countries have always respected and supported each other, setting an example of equality and win-win cooperation between countries of different sizes. The bilateral relations have maintained healthy and stable development, pragmatic cooperation has yielded fruitful results, and people’s friendship has deepened, Xi added.

He emphasised that the two sides should continue their traditional friendship, consolidate political mutual trust, and continue to understand and support each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests and major concerns.

Xi observed that Antigua and Barbuda is the first Eastern Caribbean country to sign a Belt and Road cooperation MoU with China and said the cooperation between the two sides has brought tangible benefits to the two peoples, adding that China is now advancing Chinese modernisation on all fronts through high-quality development and this will bring new opportunities for the development of Antigua and Barbuda and bilateral cooperation.

Stressing the need to strengthen cultural and people-to-people exchanges, Xi said China welcomes more young people from Antigua and Barbuda to come and study in the country.

He added that China attaches importance to the concerns and demands of Antigua and Barbuda and other small-island developing countries in the field of climate change and is ready to support Antigua and Barbuda in hosting the fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States, continue to provide assistance to the economic and social development of regional countries within its capacity, and promote the continuous development of relations between China and Caribbean countries.

Browne thanked the Chinese government for its valuable support, saying that China’s assistance and cooperation have greatly promoted the development of Antigua and Barbuda and helped with its poverty alleviation efforts.

China adheres to the principle that all countries, regardless of size, are equal, and actively promotes the noble vision of building a community with a shared future for humanity, Browne said, adding that by proposing the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilisation Initiative, China has taken concrete actions to promote common development and prosperity of the world and benefit the people, showing unparalleled leadership and charisma in the world, and will surely lead more countries in the Global South to strengthen unity and cooperation.

Antigua and Barbuda is willing to be China’s most reliable partner, and will stand firmly with China on issues concerning the well-being of all humanity, and safeguard the common interests of developing countries, Browne added.

In his meeting, Premier Li Qiang  said that since the establishment of diplomatic ties 41 years ago, China and Antigua and Barbuda have always respected and supported each other, adding that China stands ready to work with Antigua and Barbuda to implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, consolidate and carry forward the traditional friendship, continuously deepen strategic mutual trust, and enhance mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields to benefit the two countries and two peoples.

He noted that China, within its capacity, is ready to provide assistance to Antigua and Barbuda in addressing climate change under the framework of South-South cooperation, and to continue strengthening multilateral coordination and cooperation to build a community with a shared future for humanity.

Browne  expressed his appreciation of China’s strong support for the economic and social development of Antigua and Barbuda over the years. Antigua and Barbuda abides by the one-China principle, believes that Taiwan is a province of China, and firmly supports China in safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity. He noted that Antigua and Barbuda stands ready to promote cooperation between the Caribbean Community (Caricom) and China, promote the reform of the global economic governance system, elevate bilateral relations to a new level, work with China to cope with climate change, and strengthen cooperation with China on agriculture, education and infrastructure construction.

Antigua and Barbuda finally won its national independence on November 1, 1981, after having been a British colony since 1632. The newly independent country established diplomatic relations with China on January 1, 1983, and the two countries’ friendly ties have developed smoothly ever since. 

In order to make his country’s sovereignty complete, Prime Minister Browne has joined the regional trend to remove the British monarch as head of state and for Antigua and Barbuda to become a republic, pledging to hold a referendum on the subject in the near future.

The following articles were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

Continue reading Xi Jinping meets with Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda

China, Jamaica highlight fruits of bilateral cooperation

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi concluded his first overseas tour of 2024 with a visit to Jamaica.

Meeting Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who was joined by a number of his ministerial colleagues including for foreign affairs, on January 20, Wang said that China hopes to work with Jamaica to synergise development strategies, expand cooperation in various fields, enhance people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and consolidate the public opinion foundation for China-Jamaica friendship.

Holness recalled that in 2009, he had the honour of receiving Xi Jinping who visited Jamaica as Chinese vice president and that in 2019 he and President Xi jointly announced an upgrading of their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership. He added that China did not hesitate to lend a helping hand when Jamaica encountered difficulties, which has strongly supported his country’s economic development and the improvement of people’s lives, and vividly demonstrated China’s sincere will to help developing countries.

Wang Yi said that China advocates that all countries, big or small, are equal and respects Jamaica’s choice of a system and way of life with its own characteristics.  Briefing the Jamaican side on China’s development achievements and centenary goals, Wang said that China is accelerating Chinese modernisation and is willing to provide a useful reference for developing countries that hope to achieve rapid development while maintaining independence.

Following the meeting, Prime Minister Holness wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that “this visit marks a significant milestone in our diplomatic ties, reflecting the enduring partnership and collaboration between our two great nations.”

The Chinese Foreign Minister also had a separate meeting with his Jamaican counterpart, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith. She expressed her pleasure to receive the Chinese foreign minister at Jamaica’s new foreign ministry building, one of China’s aid projects in the country. And she thanked China for providing valuable support to Jamaica’s economic development and improvement of people’s livelihood, and for helping Jamaica successfully fight the pandemic.

Wang said that China and Jamaica are geographically far apart but have a long history of friendly exchanges. It has been 170 years since Chinese migrants first arrived in Jamaica.

Jamaica is one of the first Caribbean countries to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China and the first Caribbean country to establish a strategic partnership with China. China appreciates the correct decision made by Jamaica, its unwavering friendship with China, and its firm support for China in safeguarding core interests, Wang noted.

Strategic partnership means mutual trust and mutual support. China and Jamaica respect each other and treat each other as equals. Their bilateral relations have achieved a historic leap, and their friendly cooperation has achieved fruitful results, bringing tangible benefits to the two peoples. 

In a world lacking fairness and full of injustice, China will always stand on the side of fairness and justice, and support the cause of the vast mass of developing countries, in particular small and medium-sized countries. China supports the Caribbean countries in their efforts to unite for development and advance regional integration, Wang remarked.

Jamaica and China established diplomatic relations on November 21, 1972, eight months after the late Michael Manley, who pursued anti-imperialist and socialist-oriented policies, first became Prime Minister.

The following articles were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

China hopes to synergize development strategies with Jamaica: Chinese FM

KINGSTON, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) — China hopes to work with Jamaica to synergize development strategies, expand cooperation in various fields, enhance people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and consolidate the public opinion foundation for China-Jamaica friendship, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday.

Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks in a meeting with Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, which was also attended by Jamaica’s ministers of foreign affairs, finance, health and infrastructure.

Holness recalled that in 2009, he had the honor of receiving Xi Jinping who visited Jamaica as Chinese vice president and that in 2019, he and President Xi jointly announced upgrading bilateral relations to a strategic partnership.

Asking Wang to convey his sincere greetings to Xi, Holness said that China did not hesitate to lend a helping hand when Jamaica encountered difficulties, which has strongly supported Jamaica’s economic development and improvement of people’s lives, and vividly demonstrated China’s sincere will to help developing countries.

Jamaica will continue to firmly adhere to the one-China policy, give priority to the relationship between Jamaica and China, and strive to build a strong strategic partnership between the two countries, the prime minister stressed.

Wang conveyed Xi’s cordial greetings, noting that China appreciates Jamaica’s firm adherence to the friendly policy towards China and the one-China principle, and thanks Jamaica for understanding and supporting China in safeguarding its core interests.

China advocates that all countries, big or small, are equal and respects Jamaica’s choice of a system and way of life with its own characteristics, Wang said.

China supports Jamaica in safeguarding its sovereignty, independence, and national dignity and playing a more important role in regional and international affairs, Wang added.


Wang said that the Belt and Road cooperation between China and Jamaica has achieved fruitful results and has broad prospects.

Briefing the Jamaican side on China’s development achievements and centenary goals, Wang said that China is accelerating Chinese modernization and is willing to provide a useful reference for developing countries that hope to achieve rapid development while maintaining independence.

The two sides can share experience in state governance and achieve common development, he added.

Holness said that Chinese modernization has set a benchmark for high-quality development. Noting he has witnessed China’s adherence to the principle of equality and treating small and medium-sized countries sincerely, he firmly believes that China will continue to play a leading role in responding to global challenges.

On the same day, Wang also held talks with Jamaican Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith. 


China, Jamaica highlight fruits of bilateral cooperation

KINGSTON, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) — Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Jamaican Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith highlighted fruitful results of bilateral cooperation during their meeting in the Jamaican capital of Kingston on Saturday.

Johnson Smith expressed her pleasure to receive the Chinese foreign minister at Jamaica’s new foreign ministry building, one of China’s aid projects in the country. Noting that Jamaica is the first English-speaking Caribbean country to support the one-China principle and has since adhered to this position, she said Jamaica is proud of this tradition and will continue to unswervingly stick to the one-China principle.

Johnson Smith said the two countries enjoy solid mutual political trust, highly compatible ideas, mutually beneficial cooperation, and active people-to-people exchanges, yielding fruitful results in their strategic partnership.

She thanked China for providing valuable support to Jamaica’s economic development and improvement of people’s livelihood, and for helping Jamaica successfully fight the pandemic.

Jamaica values China’s experience in governance and has been strengthening economic development planning and striving to eliminate poverty, Johnson Smith said, adding that her country looks forward to expanding bilateral cooperation in infrastructure, economy and trade, agriculture, education, science and technology, while developing a strong strategic partnership between the two countries.

Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said China and Jamaica are geographically far apart, but have a long history of friendly exchanges. It has been 170 years since Chinese migrants first arrived in Jamaica.

Jamaica is one of the first Caribbean countries to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China and the first Caribbean country to establish a strategic partnership with China. China appreciates the correct decision made by Jamaica, its unwavering friendship with China, and its firm support for China in safeguarding core interests, Wang noted.

Strategic partnership means mutual trust and mutual support. China and Jamaica respect each other and treat each other as equals. Their bilateral relations have achieved a historic leap, and their friendly cooperation has achieved fruitful results, bringing tangible benefits to the two peoples, said Wang.

History has proved and will continue to prove that the China-Jamaica friendship is in line with the fundamental and long-term interests of both countries, Wang said, adding that China is willing to continue to support Jamaica in accelerating national development and revitalization, to write a new chapter of the China-Jamaica friendship as well as make new achievements in bilateral win-win cooperation.

Wang stressed that China adheres to the path of peaceful development, practices genuine multilateralism, and promotes the political settlement of hot-spot issues, making it a major country with the best record in peace and security.

In a world lacking fairness and full of injustice, China will always stand on the side of fairness and justice, support the cause of the vast developing countries, in particular small and medium-sized countries. China supports the Caribbean countries in their efforts to unite for development and advance regional integration, Wang said.

China is willing to jointly implement a series of important global initiatives proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping with Caribbean countries, promoting a high-level China-Jamaica comprehensive partnership featuring mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and common development, he added.

Johnson Smith stated that Jamaica fully agrees with the concept of peaceful diplomacy, highly appreciates China’s role as a major country, supports and will actively participate in a series of Chinese global initiatives, and stands ready to make more achievements in the relationship between Caribbean countries and China. 

Grenadian FM: China upholds justice in international affairs

The good relations between China and the Caribbean island nation of Grenada have been underlined by a visit to the Chinese capital by the Grenadian Foreign Minister Joseph Andall.

Meeting his Grenadian counterpart in Beijing on September 6, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that Grenada is an important country in the Caribbean and a friendly partner of China and both sides have always respected each other and treated each other as equals.

Andall said that China, a great ancient civilisation with great achievements in development today, has always fully respected and treated Grenada on an equal footing and provided valuable support for Grenada’s economic development and improvement of people’s livelihood. Grenada highly appreciates China’s role as a responsible major country in upholding justice in international affairs, sharing development achievements with countries in the Global South, and is willing to actively participate in the series of important global initiatives proposed by China.

As an ex-officio member of the Global South, Wang said that China will continue to stand on the side of developing countries, safeguard their legitimate rights and interests, especially those of small and medium-sized countries, and defend international fairness and justice.

In an interview with the Chinese newspaper Global Times during his visit, Andall said that an increasing number of regional countries support the one-China principle, which is in “keeping with the inevitable march of history.”

“As I said in my remarks in my meeting with Foreign Minister Wang Yi, resisting the one-China principle is like trying to push back a tsunami with your hands. This is an irreversible trend,” he added.

When it comes to the China-Grenada cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Andall said his country has benefited from cooperation with China in areas such as infrastructure development, expansion and modernization of the national airport and the road network.

The following articles were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency and Global Times.

Chinese FM meets Grenada’s minister for foreign affairs

Xinhua, 6 September 2023

BEIJING, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) — Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Grenada’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Joseph Andall on Wednesday in Beijing.

Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said that Grenada is an important country in the Caribbean and a friendly partner of China, and both sides have always respected each other and treated each other as equals, and their bilateral relations have become more mature since the resumption of diplomatic ties.

Wang noted that China highly appreciates Grenada’s adherence to the one-China principle, respects Grenada’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, supports Grenada in exploring a development path suited to its own national conditions, and stands ready to work with Grenada to open up new prospects for bilateral cooperation.

Andall said that China, a great ancient civilization with great achievements in development today, has always fully respected and treated Grenada on an equal footing, and provided valuable support for Grenada’s economic development and improvement of people’s livelihood.

Continue reading Grenadian FM: China upholds justice in international affairs

China supports Caribbean countries pursuing development and strength through unity

President Mohamed Irfaan Ali of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana was one of a number of international leaders to combine an official visit to China with attending the opening ceremony of the 31st summer edition of the FISU World University Games, held from late July in the Sichuan provincial capital of Chengdu.

President Ali met with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Chengdu on July 28.

Xi Jinping pointed out that China and Guyana, though far apart, have enjoyed a time-honored friendship. Guyana was the earliest country in the [English-speaking] Caribbean region to recognize the one-China principle and establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. Last year, the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Guyana was celebrated. China and Guyana should be good friends who trust and count on each other, and both countries should share opportunities, meet challenges, seek cooperation and advance development together, so as to promote the building of a more close-knit China-Guyana community with a shared future, the Chinese President said, adding that China is ready to enhance synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy 2030, and to elevate the level of high-quality BRI cooperation between the two countries.

Xi Jinping also congratulated Guyana on being elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2024-2025 term. China supports Guyana in playing a greater role in international and regional affairs, and is ready to work together to practice true multilateralism, safeguard the common interests of the numerous developing countries, jointly tackle global challenges, including climate change, food security and energy security, and build a human community with a shared future together.

Xi Jinping added that during his first visit to the Caribbean region in 2013, he joined leaders of nine [English-speaking] Caribbean countries having established diplomatic relations with China in establishing a comprehensive cooperative partnership between China and the Caribbean countries. China, he said, has always supported the Caribbean countries in seeking strength through unity, and pursuing development and prosperity, and is ready to work with the Caribbean countries to build an even closer community with a shared future. He expressed the hope that Guyana will continue to play an active role in promoting the development of relations between China and the Caribbean countries.

President Ali said that the past 50 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Guyana and China have been years of friendship, cooperation, and mutual support. Guyana firmly abides by the one-China principle, highly admires President Xi Jinping’s outstanding leadership, and highly values China’s international influence. China, the Guyanese President said, has played an important role in the economic and social development of Guyana and the Caribbean region, not only by sharing its experience, but also by providing valuable assistance for Guyana and other regional countries, including in developing infrastructure, connectivity, medicine and health.  Guyana hopes to carry out close cooperation with China to better address global challenges such as energy, climate change and food security.

The Guyanese head of state also met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang in Beijing on July 30. 

Li said that since the establishment of diplomatic ties more than five decades ago, China and Guyana have always treated each other with mutual respect and equality. The political mutual trust between the two sides has become even firmer as time goes by, he said, adding that their practical cooperation has achieved fruitful results, setting an example of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation between countries with different social systems, histories and cultures. China stands ready to work with Guyana to promote relations between China and Caribbean countries, meet global challenges together, safeguard the common interests of developing countries, and improve international fairness and justice.

Reporting on the visit, the Hong Kong newspaper, South China Morning Post, said that China and Guyana had agreed to strengthen their cooperation in agriculture, energy and mining, as well as in education and culture. Under an agreement signed last September, Sinopharm International was building six new regional hospitals in different parts of Guyana and China had also built roads, hotels and airports in the country.

Among the other foreign leaders who attended the opening ceremony of the World University Games, alongside President Xi Jinping, were the Presidents of Indonesia, Mauritania and Burundi, as well as the Prime Minister of Georgia.

The following articles were first carried on the websites of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Xinhua News Agency.

Xi Jinping Meets with Guyanese President Mohamed Irfaan Ali

On the morning of July 28, 2023, President Xi Jinping met in Chengdu with Guyanese President Mohamed Irfaan Ali who is in China to attend the opening ceremony of the 31st summer edition of the FISU World University Games and pay a visit to the country.

Xi Jinping pointed out that China and Guyana, though far apart, have enjoyed a time-honored friendship. Guyana was the earliest country in the Caribbean region to recognize the one-China principle and establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. Last year, the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Guyana was celebrated. In recent years, Guyana has witnessed rapid economic and national development, and China is advancing Chinese modernization on all fronts through high-quality development. China and Guyana should be good friends who trust and count on each other, and both countries should share opportunities, meet challenges, seek cooperation and advance development together, so as to promote the building of a more close-knit China-Guyana community with a shared future.

Continue reading China supports Caribbean countries pursuing development and strength through unity

Mia Mottley: China and Barbados share a commitment to putting people first

In this recent episode of the CGTN series Leaders Talk, Zou Yun interviews Mia Mottley, the first woman Prime Minister of Barbados, during her official visit to China in June.

Comparing what she has seen in China this time to her previous visits in 2004 and 2007, Prime Minister Mottley refers to the palpable changes in terms of China’s growth. This growth has continued to fuel the global economy despite recent challenges. She cites climate change as one of the challenges that “unite us in common purpose”. Small island developing states, the Barbadian PM notes, are on the frontline in the fight against climate change. They are the “canaries in the mine” and the world might have seen quicker action had people listened to their concerns.

Zou Yun notes that Mottley has a special bond with China in that she shares an October 1st birthday with the People’s Republic of China. Barbados, the Prime Minister notes, established diplomatic relations with China 46 years ago as an act of courage and on the premise that China and the Chinese culture and civilization are worthy of respect. Noting that a commitment to putting people first is a foundation of the two countries’ relationship, she praises China for its adherence to the principle of equality between big and small nations. An example was the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many countries had refused to provide vaccines to countries like Barbados on the grounds that their market share was too small, but China had provided her country with 30,000 doses of vaccine. She had personally gone to the airport to receive the first batch. 

When some countries had criticized Barbados’ strong relationship with China, she had retorted that since independence, her country had resolved, under successive governments, formed by different political parties, to be, “friends of all, satellites of none.” This had dictated Barbados’ recognition of China in 1977 and also its friendship with Cuba and Venezuela.

In 2021, Barbados had become the world’s newest republic, removing the late Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. Mia Mottley describes this as being about finishing the journey of independence – which started with the emancipation from slavery in 1838, continued with women gaining the vote in 1944, independence in 1966, and removing the UK’s Privy Council as the final court of appeal in 2005. A non-Barbadian head of state, she explained, was no longer acceptable to our people. This was about “the business of nation building” and overcoming the legacy of racism that was intrinsic to British colonialism.

Moving to the conclusion of the interview, Prime Minister Mottley described her mission as being to improve people’s lives and to fight injustice. It cannot just be that the market determines that the victors should live well. The levelling hand of the state is also needed to bring as many people as possible to development.

The full interview with the Barbados Prime Minister is embedded below.

China-Barbados relations constantly deepening and growing

Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Amor Mottley paid an official visit to China in late June. 

Meeting with Xi Jinping on June 27, the Chinese President pointed out that Barbados is the first country in the eastern Caribbean to establish diplomatic relations with China, and also a good friend and good partner of China in the region. Though separated by vast oceans, China and Barbados share similar goals and have moved forward hand in hand, with bilateral relations constantly deepening and growing. China welcomes Barbados to board the “express train” of China’s development, and to work with China to build a closer China-Barbados community with a shared future.

President Xi went on to note that China, as always, supports Barbados in safeguarding its national sovereignty and independence, and independently choosing its own development path. China and Barbados are both developing countries, sharing much in common in the field of development, and enjoy great potential for cooperation. The two sides should expand practical cooperation and take the Belt and Road cooperation as an opportunity to expand cooperation in such fields as infrastructure construction, digital economy, climate change, new energy, agriculture, medical care and health.  

Xi Jinping said that, facing profound world changes unseen in a century, developing countries should strengthen solidarity and cooperation, practice true multilateralism, oppose the Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation, uphold the basic norms governing international relations, safeguard international fairness and justice, and promote the building of a community with a shared future for humanity. China fully understands the aspirations of Barbados and other small island developing states in the field of climate change, and is ready to continue strengthening South-South cooperation on climate change and to provide assistance and support to developing countries, including Barbados. China attaches importance to its relations with the Caribbean from a strategic height and a long-term perspective, and will continue to provide assistance to the best of its ability for the economic and social development of the region.

Mia Amor Mottley said that she was deeply impressed by the solidarity and friendship she witnessed between Barbados and China during the visit. She thanked China for its valuable assistance for Barbados’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic and for its economic and social development. She said the Chinese government has made great achievements in eliminating poverty and benefiting the people, and these achievements are admired around the world.  Barbados firmly supports the one-China principle, highly recognizes China’s philosophies, and is ready to learn from China’s experience and actively participate in the implementation of the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative. Barbados hopes to strengthen cooperation with China in such fields as climate response, water resources, addressing the digital divide, and health care. Barbados is committed to multilateralism, opposes “decoupling and severing industrial and supply chains”, and is ready to continue promoting the development of relations between the Caribbean and China.

Two days previously, on June 25, the Barbados Prime Minister met her Chinese counterpart, Premier Li Qiang, who said that Barbados is a good friend and partner of China in the Caribbean region. Under the new circumstances, China is ready to work with Barbados to further enhance strategic mutual trust, deepen bilateral cooperation in various fields, and build China-Barbados relations into a model of solidarity and win-win cooperation between developing countries. For her part, Mottley said that Barbados attaches great importance to its relations with China, and both countries are committed to improving people’s lives and promoting sustainable development. Barbados thanked China for sending medical teams and providing strong support for its fight against COVID-19.

Mottley has been the Leader of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) since 2008. She was first elected as Prime Minister in May 2018, when she led the BLP to win all 30 seats in the country’s parliament, for the first time in Barbadian history, taking 72.8% of the vote, the highest ever scored by any party in the country. In the 2022 general election, the BLP again secured all 30 parliamentary seats. On November 30 3021, Mottley led her country to renounce the British monarchy and become a fully independent republic, a trend that is gaining wider support throughout the Caribbean.

The following articles were originally carried on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Xi Jinping Meets with Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Amor Mottley

On the afternoon of June 27, 2023, President Xi Jinping met at the Great Hall of the People with Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Amor Mottley who is on an official visit to China.

Xi Jinping pointed out that Barbados is the first country in the eastern Caribbean to establish diplomatic relations with China, and also a good friend and good partner of China in the region. Though separated by vast oceans, China and Barbados share similar goals and have move forward hand in hand, with bilateral relations constantly deepening and growing. China is promoting Chinese modernization with high-quality development, which will bring new opportunities for Barbados’ development and China-Barbados cooperation. China welcomes Barbados to board the “express train” of China’s development, and to work with China to build a closer China-Barbados community with a shared future.

Continue reading China-Barbados relations constantly deepening and growing

Grenadian PM: We support China’s efforts towards peace and global development

We are pleased to republish the speech given by Hon. Dickon Mitchell, Leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Prime Minister of Grenada, at the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-level Meeting, which was organized by the Communist Party of China on 15 March. It was originally carried on the website of the CPC’s International Department. Mitchell became Prime Minister of Grenada in June 2022, after his party was victorious in the general election, winning 9 out of 15 seats. 

Noting that humanity was at a crossroads, the Prime Minister referred to “unprecedented cross-border challenges of recent years”, such as climate change and Covid-19. Such challenges highlighted the need for leaders to “work together to ensure the wellbeing of all.”

He went on to state that: “Political parties also have a responsibility to promote social and economic justice, ensuring that all citizens have access to fundamental human rights, such as housing, and healthcare, as well as promoting economic policies that support job creation, sustainable development, and the reduction of economic inequality.”

This statement is very important to note, as the Grenada Prime Minister here advocates a concept as to what are the really fundamental human rights which is far closer to the position advanced by the socialist countries rather than the capitalist powers. 

Dickon Mitchell went on to state: “My own party, the National Democratic Congress, came to power on a mandate of transformation. We, too, understood the urgent need to adopt an inclusive and sustainable approach to the development of people and our region. To this end, I place on record Grenada’s support for China’s Global Development Initiative.”

I extend respectful greetings to the President, His Excellency Xi Jinping, and the distinguished Members of the Communist Party of China (CPC), fellow Leaders of Political Parties, as well as the esteemed audience today.

On behalf of the Government and people of Grenada, and as leader of the National Democratic Congress, it is my honour to deliver brief remarks on the theme for this Dialogue: “The Path Towards Modernisation: The Responsibility of Political Parties”

Colleagues, in the current global construct, we are at a crossroads. The unprecedented cross border challenges of recent years, such as climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic, among others, continue to highlight the need for leaders to work together to ensure the wellbeing of all.

Collective decision-making and inclusiveness, therefore, will play a crucial role if we are to maintain the quality of our co-existence on this planet. The path towards modernisation must encourage increased people-to-people dialogue, cultural exchanges, and cooperation for the common good. Political parties play a vital role in shaping the direction of a country. Through the promotion of democratic values and principles, and championing respect for the diversity of all civilizations, parties can contribute to the creation of a more inclusive society.

Political parties also have a responsibility to promote social and economic justice, ensuring that all citizens have access to fundamental human rights, such as housing, and healthcare, as well as promoting economic policies that support job creation, sustainable development, and the reduction of economic inequality.

The interlocking crises of the past few years have underscored the importance of effective leadership in political parties, as many nations are still grappling with a post-pandemic reality of exacerbated poverty, supply chain challenges and rising energy costs due to ongoing armed conflicts.

I must emphasise here that, as political parties, we have a cardinal responsibility to promote peace and security, both within our own countries and internationally.

Fellow leaders, our shared path towards modernisation will require a transformation in our modus operandi as political parties and as nations, but it will prove essential to our longevity as a civilization. My own party, the National Democratic Congress, came to power on a mandate of transformation. We, too, understood the urgent need to adopt an inclusive and sustainable approach to the development of people and our region.

To this end, I place on record Grenada’s support for China’s Global Development Initiative, which seeks to steer global development toward a new stage of balanced, coordinated, and inclusive growth in the face of the severe shocks.

Let me also take this opportunity to commend you, President Xi, and the CPC leadership for your continued efforts towards a peaceful coexistence with all states, and to provide opportunities of upliftment and common development for all.

I thank you.

Donald Ramotar: the US is waging a massive propaganda campaign against China

We are pleased to republish this article by the veteran Guyanese politician Donald Ramotar, which was originally carried by China Daily

Noting that Washington is leading a propaganda campaign aimed at undermining China’s bonds with other developing countries, Ramotar states that the expressed fear of China is not because it is threatening any country militarily, but because of its success in developing its economy and the goodwill it has generated by assisting poorer countries.

Outlining China’s external economic relations, Ramotar points out that, on the one hand, the country became one of the main destinations for investment from the developed countries as well as the largest holder of US government bonds. On the other hand, China’s assistance to developing countries started with an emphasis on the least developed ones, who were generally unable to secure loans from the international financial institutions. 

“It was the selfless assistance it provided that raised China’s reputation as a true friend to peoples in the developing world, Africa in particular,” Ramotar notes. 

US hostility increased after the 2008 global financial crisis, he explains, when, “China’s economic importance to the world economy became manifest.”

Turning his attention to the myth of ‘Chinese debt trap diplomacy’, the author writes: “When countries got into difficulties repaying loans, they were supported by China, which renegotiated the loans and gave the borrowing countries more time to repay. That allowed the repayments to be made on much easier terms. It also allowed countries to pay their debts with produce that they have in abundance, thereby reducing the pressure to repay in hard currency.”

He outlines how the imperialist countries have announced various initiatives in response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), observing that, “on the face of it this seems laudable.” But as their main purpose is simply to counter the BRI, “it is clear that development of poor countries is not a priority for G7 countries.”

China’s reputation as a reliable partner and a real friend to the developing countries continues to grow, but as it does, US hostility, including the imposition of sanctions aimed at slowing the country’s progress, is also increasing.

Concluding, Ramotar states: “Clearly the US is very scared of China. Not because it believes that China wants to dominate the world militarily. The main reason is the example that China has become for many countries in the world. It shows that another road to freedom is possible and very viable.”

Donald Ramotar was President of Guyana, 2011-2015, as well as General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), 1997-2013, to which post he succeeded the late Dr. Cheddi Jagan.

The United States’ attitude toward China has always been complex.

It is apposite to note that the expressed fear of China by the US is not because China is threatening any country militarily, nor because it has attacked any state. It is because of China’s success in developing its economy and the goodwill China has garnered by helping poor countries to improve their productive capacity, that the US has been leading the West in waging a massive propaganda campaign against China. The aim of which is to create a false image of China as an exploitative state.

The reality is vastly different to their smears.

After China’s economy began to grow rapidly, it very soon surpassed that of Europe and Japan to become the second-largest economy in the world. At the same time, in keeping with its internationalist philosophy and its commitment to opening up to the world, China began to create links with the rest of the world, both developed and developing countries.

For the developed countries, China became one of the main destinations for investment. Meanwhile, the economy of China and those of Western countries became very much linked. Indeed China has become the largest holder of the US government’s bonds. It was an example of real mutual economic benefits for all concerned.

China’s assistance to developing countries started with the least developed ones, which were unable to get any loans from international financial organizations. They were considered high risk countries and practically ignored by Western governments.

It was the selfless assistance it provided that raised China’s reputation as a true friend to peoples in the developing world, Africa in particular, which had the greatest need.

During those times the US, from time to time made some criticism of China. But those criticisms grew in hostility particularly after the 2008 global financial crisis.

In this period China’s economic importance to the world economy became manifest. China became the greatest driver of the international economy and a key trading partner for most countries in the world.

From this time, relations with the US and China began to encounter choppy waters.

The main reason for this was an unreasonable fear by the US of China’s growing economic strength and the friendships China was forging by providing assistance to many developing countries.

Continue reading Donald Ramotar: the US is waging a massive propaganda campaign against China

President of Guyana: Sino-Guyanese relations are imperishable, based on shared ties of blood and history

In this edition of the CGTN series Leaders Talk, Wang Guan interviews Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of Guyana. The only English-speaking country in the South American mainland, for reasons of historical and cultural background, Guyana is also considered a part of the Caribbean. In 1972, Guyana became the first country in the English-speaking Caribbean to establish diplomatic relations with China. And in 2018, it became the first country in South America to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

But whilst China and Guyana have enjoyed just over 50 years of diplomatic relations, the Chinese presence in Guyana dates back to 1853, which leads President Ali to describe Sino-Guyanese relations as imperishable ones, based on shared ties of blood and history. The Chinese, he says, are part of our country and its diversity and bloodline. This finds expression in a line of the Guyanese national anthem: One land of six peoples, united and free.

Indeed, the first President of Guyana, Arthur Chung, was himself of Chinese heritage, serving between 1970-1980 and visiting China in 1977, five years after the establishment of diplomatic relations. Opening the Arthur Chung Convention Centre in 2015, then President David A. Granger said: “I would like the first President in this country to be remembered… This is the 45th anniversary year of becoming a Republic and Mr. Chung was the first person of Chinese descent who was President in a non-Asian country and it was historic.”

With the recent discovery of massive oil reserves, Guyana has been registering exponential rates of economic growth. President Ali reveals that by 2027-28, Guyana is expecting to produce close to one million barrels of oil per day (bpd). He wants to use this to give the people the best possible education and health care, develop and diversify agriculture, enhance manufacturing and industry, bring down energy costs, meet the housing needs of every single family, and establish proper institutional mechanisms to protect revenues, thereby ensuring that the country enjoys a ‘resource blessing’ rather than a ‘resource curse’.

China is already involved in his country’s oil consortium, but besides welcoming further bids and tenders from Chinese companies, going forward Dr. Ali is particularly keen to see China become Guyana’s most important partner on a path of low carbon development, with gas playing a transitional role, but also focusing on hydro, solar and wind, to fast track green energy development.

President Ali stresses that his country respects the One China Principle and the One China Policy, seeing them as a key plank of international peace and security, just like the regional demand for the Caribbean to be a Zone of Peace. Referencing conflicts such as the ongoing one in Ukraine, he notes that it is the developing world and the poorest countries, who, as a result, face the worst crises in, for example, food and fuel price inflation.

China’s ‘thought leadership’, as expressed, for example, in the Global Security Initiative and the Global Development Initiative, as well as the BRI, can, in the president’s view, contribute especially to the resolution of four key global crises – of inequality, climate change, food security, and energy security. The developing countries, he notes, did not cause these crises, but suffer the most from them.

Stressing that both countries are committed to growing their relations, President Ali says that this work should put people at the centre. If there is investment in the future generations, knowledge and technology transfers, and cultural exchanges, the bilateral ties can only get stronger.

The full interview is embedded below.

Xi Jinping address to the CELAC Summit

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) held its seventh summit meeting in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires on January 24th. CELAC groups 33 countries – that is, every country in the Americas with the exceptions of the USA and Canada. As such, it is one of the most important and representative bodies of Global South unity and solidarity.

All 33 member states were represented at the summit, 23 of them at head of state or government level. With the recent resurgence of the left in Latin America, the organisation has acquired a new lease of life, and nothing represented that more clearly than the presence of President Lula of Brazil. It was a case of ‘Lula returns; Lula returns Brazil’, as his far-right predecessor Jair Bolsonaro had suspended Brazil’s participation in the organisation. The CELAC family is once again complete.

Addressing the summit, Lula noted that its first gathering had taken place back in 2008 in the Brazilian state of Bahia. It was, he noted, the first time that Latin American heads of state had met without foreign tutelage, “to discuss our problems and seek our own solutions to the challenges we share.” Stressing the importance of multilateralism and multipolarity, Lula reminded his fellow leaders that, “nothing must separate us, since everything unites us.”

Another key indicator of the regional advance of progressive forces was the presence of Gustavo Petro, who assumed office as the first left-wing President of Colombia in August 2022. In his speech, Petro pointed out that Latin American countries can overcome their development limitations if they come together to increase the region’s geopolitical weight in the current world order. To achieve this, he proposed to collectively address what he considered the main problem facing humanity today, namely the exponential imbalances that contemporary capitalism generates in ecosystems.

For his part, Bolivian President Luis Arce called for strengthening the multilateral system in order to save the earth. “Today we are facing a multiple and systemic capitalist crisis that increasingly puts the lives of humanity and our Mother Earth at risk, a food, water, energy, climate, health, economic, commercial, and social crisis,” he said. “CELAC must return to the principles of multilateralism, but not to preserve the unfair international order that overwhelms states and peoples, but rather to move towards a better world.” 

Hosting the summit, Argentine President Alberto Fernández was one of many to speak out strongly against the USA’s unilateral sanctions and blockades against Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. This was also reflected in a 111-point Buenos Aires Declaration, adopted by the 33 nations, which also called for consolidating the region as a zone of peace free of nuclear weapons, advancing food security and deepening cooperation in health care. The declaration also expressed solidarity with Argentina’s demand for the return of the Malvinas (Falkland) and neighbouring islands and territorial seas from British colonial rule as well as for Puerto Rico’s right to self-determination.

At the conclusion of the summit, Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, took over from President Fernández as the pro tempore president of CELAC for the coming year. It is the first time for a member of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) to occupy this post.

One very important aspect of the summit, which highlighted the indispensable role of socialist China in cohering and standing in solidarity with the forces of the Global South, was the address to the summit, upon invitation and via video link, of President Xi Jinping. 

Xi Jinping noted that Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries are important members of the developing world. CELAC, he noted, has grown to be an indispensable driving force behind global South-South cooperation. It has played an important role in safeguarding regional peace, promoting common development and advancing regional integration.

President Xi Jinping stressed that China always supports the regional integration process of Latin America and the Caribbean. “We highly value our relations with CELAC and take the organisation as our key partner in enhancing solidarity among developing countries and furthering South-South cooperation.” He added that more and more countries in the region have engaged in high-quality Belt and Road cooperation with China, supported and participated in the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, and are working with China in building a China-LAC community with a shared future. 

The following article was originally published on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

On January 24, the seventh Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) is held in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. Upon the invitation of President Alberto Fernández of Argentina, the rotating president of CELAC, President Xi Jinping delivered a video address at the summit. 

President Xi Jinping noted that Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries are important members of the developing world. They also take an active part in global governance and make important contributions to it. CELAC has grown to be an indispensable driving force behind global South-South cooperation. CELAC has played an important role in safeguarding regional peace, promoting common development and advancing regional integration.

President Xi Jinping stressed that China always supports the regional integration process of Latin America and the Caribbean. We highly value our relations with CELAC, and take CELAC as our key partner in enhancing solidarity among developing countries and furthering South-South cooperation. That is why China has been working with LAC countries to steadily strengthen the China-CELAC Forum and take the China-LAC relationship into a new era characterized by equality, mutual benefit, innovation, openness and benefits for the people. More and more countries in the region have engaged in high-quality Belt and Road cooperation with China, supported and participated in the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, and are working with China in building a China-LAC community with a shared future. 

President Xi Jinping stressed that the world is in a new period of turbulence and transformation. We can only tackle the challenges and tide over this trying time through greater solidarity and closer cooperation. China is ready to continue working with LAC countries to help each other and make progress together, and advocate “peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom” — the common values of mankind. China is ready to join hands with LAC countries to promote world peace and development, build a community with a shared future for mankind, and open up an even brighter future for the world.

Celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations between China and Jamaica

November 21 is the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Jamaica. Coming 10 years after the Jamaican people won independence from British colonial rule, the country became the second in the English-speaking Caribbean, and the first of the islands, to establish relations with the People’s Republic after Guyana had led the way some five months previously.

Jamaica’s move came eight months after the People’s National Party (PNP) assumed office, with Michael Manley becoming Prime Minister. Manley sought to take his country in the direction of socialist orientation, not only recognising the People’s Republic of China, but especially forging close ties with socialist Cuba and giving strong support to the liberation movements in southern Africa. He established a minimum wage for all workers, including domestic workers, introduced free education and adult literacy programs, promoted land reform, lowered the voting age, and introduced equal pay for women, alongside a host of other progressive measures. At the 1979 Non-Aligned Summit in the Cuban capital Havana, he declared: “All anti-imperialists know that the balance of forces in the world shifted irrevocably in 1917 when there was a movement and a man in the October Revolution, and Lenin was the man.”

President Xi Jinping greeted the 50th anniversary with an exchange of messages with Jamaican Governor-General Patrick Allen, in which the Chinese leader noted that the two countries’ relations had “always maintained a good momentum of development, with the two sides deepening political mutual trust, achieving fruitful results in practical cooperation and increasing friendship between their people.”

Premier Li Keqiang also exchanged messages with Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

Writing for CGTN, Jamaica’s Ambassador to China, Antonia Hugh said that the two countries had fostered “a strong, dynamic and vibrant partnership.” Although the diplomatic relationship dates back 50 years, people-to-people friendship begins from 1849, when the first group of Chinese arrived on the island.

Ambassador Hugh hailed the countries’ bilateral partnership, highlighting in particular the fields of infrastructure development, health and education.

China’s Ambassador to Jamaica, Chen Daojiang took up his post earlier this year. In his first interview, given to Jamaica Information Services (JIS) on July 29, Ambassador Chen hailed the 60th anniversary of Jamaican independence and continued:

“Slavery and colonialism have brought catastrophic sufferings to the world and left a very disgraceful page in human history. The days when Western colonists could do whatever they want have gone. However, we must also realize that the colonialist thinking and its derivative power politics and bullying are still manifested in various forms in international relations, which are still severely impacting the normal international order and seriously undermining the sovereignty, security, and development interests as well as political, economic and social stability of relevant countries. The international community still has a long way to go to completely eliminate the impacts of slavery and colonialism.

“There is a proverb in Jamaica, which goes ‘Wi likkle, but wi tallawah’. China also always upholds that all countries are equal, regardless of their size. The history of Jamaica’s fight against the colonial rule and slavery was laudable and emotionally moving. The braveness, resilience and wisdom shown by Jamaican people in the fight is very impressive and admirable. China had similar history with Jamaica in modern times when both countries were invaded and suppressed by Western colonialists for a long time and both countries faced same tasks of seeking independence of the nation, prosperity of the country and happiness of the people. Similar history makes our two countries easier to understand and support each other.

“In 1949, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the People’s Republic of China was established. China has completely expelled the forces of Western imperialists in China, and the Chinese people has truly become the master of the country since then. Under the strong leadership of the CPC, China has successfully embarked on a development path that suits its national conditions, namely the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and has achieved the tremendous transformation from standing up and growing prosperous to becoming strong. China is now marching in confident strides toward the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects.”

The following articles were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency and CGTN and on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Xi exchanges congratulations with governor-general of Jamaica over 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday exchanged congratulatory messages with Governor-General of Jamaica Patrick Allen on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Jamaica was among the first countries in the English-speaking Caribbean region to establish diplomatic relations with China, Xi said.

In the past 50 years, China-Jamaica ties have always maintained a good momentum of development, with the two sides deepening political mutual trust, achieving fruitful results in practical cooperation and increasing friendship between their people, he added.

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Xi said, China and Jamaica have been helping each other and jointly fighting the coronavirus, injecting fresh impetus into the friendly cooperation between the two countries.

Xi said he attaches great importance to the development of China-Jamaica relations, and is ready to work with Allen, taking the 50th anniversary as a new starting point, to deepen cooperation in various fields, promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, jointly lead China-Jamaica strategic partnership to a new level, and work together to build a China-Jamaica community of a shared future in the new era.

Allen said since the establishment of their diplomatic ties, friendly relations between Jamaica and China have been developing continuously with cooperation in various fields yielding remarkable results, which is encouraging.

He added that Jamaica is ready to continue to strengthen cooperation with China and further deepen their strategic partnership.

Also on Monday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang exchanged congratulatory messages with Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

Li said Jamaica is an important cooperative partner of China in the Caribbean region, adding that China is ready to work with Jamaica to further deepen and cement the strategic partnership, so as to bring more benefits to their people.

For his part, Holness said Jamaica highly appreciates China’s valuable support for its economic growth and social development and his country stands ready to continue to strengthen cooperation with China to ensure that the strategic partnership will benefit their people. 


Jamaica and China’s golden 50: Special bonds of friendship

As the Ambassador of Jamaica to the People’s Republic of China, I welcome this opportunity to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Jamaica and the People’s Republic of China, and to celebrate the special bonds of friendship, which our two countries have enjoyed over these 50 years.

On November 21, 1972, Jamaica proudly created diplomatic history when it became the first English-speaking Caribbean island to support the one-China principle, and establish diplomatic relations with China. Since then, Jamaica and China have made remarkable progress in fostering a strong, dynamic, and vibrant partnership.

Jamaica and China have longstanding people-to-people engagement, which goes beyond 50 years, dating as far back as 1849, when the first cohort of Chinese arrived in the island, followed by a larger cohort in 1854. The 1972 landmark Agreement was, therefore, a consolidation of the special relationship that had long existed between our peoples. 

In this regard, we celebrate the fact that today, Chinese Jamaicans have been wonderfully woven into the fabric of Jamaican society and have become an inseparable part of our vibrant cultural heritage. Chinese in Jamaica and Jamaicans of Chinese descent have contributed greatly to Jamaica’s economy, particularly in the areas of retail, banking and the culinary arts, as well as in the political and musical spheres.

The special relationship between Jamaica and China is underpinned by deep mutual respect and shared values, and is continuously reinforced by our extensive cooperation at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels. 

In this connection, both countries have consistently demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the development of a sustained technical and functional cooperation program, which has allowed us to forge and maintain our dynamic and mutually beneficial partnership.

Within a global context, the People’s Republic of China has made an indelible mark on almost every sphere of human endeavor, including in the arts, medicine, education, economics, engineering, science and technology, just to name a few – and as a result, the world is looking to China as a key driver of global economic development, and a partner in addressing common challenges. 

China is also home to the world’s largest population. This ancient civilization with a legacy of innovation and focused determination, has become the world’s largest manufacturing economy and the largest exporter of goods, achieving strong, sustained economic growth and inclusive development for its people.

We wish to commend China on its accomplishment of eradicating extreme poverty. We are impressed by the fact that China has met the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development target 10 years ahead of schedule and thus has contributed to greatly to global poverty reduction. 

We admire China’s steadfast commitment to the goal of modernization and its relentless pursuit of situating the needs of the people within that mandate and we look forward with anticipation, to the unfolding of its modernization plan from 2020 through to 2035 and beyond.

In light of the foregoing, I would also like to commend China for pursuing, with the same tenacity it pursues national development, international outreach and in particular, South-South Cooperation, through which Jamaica has benefited tremendously.

Through our bilateral cooperation agreements and initiatives, the government of China has provided invaluable support to Jamaica particularly in the areas of infrastructure development, health, and education. 

Today, China stands as one of the key partners in Jamaica’s drive for infrastructural development and modernization. Across Jamaica, there are many examples of this fruitful partnership, including the new fit-for-purpose headquarters of the Foreign Ministry and the outstanding Edward Seaga Highway, which connects the north and south of the country.

Jamaicans are appreciative of China’s instrumental role in the achievement of our social development goals. Given the critical role that education plays in development, China has sought to make meaningful contributions to Jamaica’s education landscape. 

Through China’s medical scholarship program, the dreams of many ambitious Jamaican students who aspire to pursue medicine are financed and supported. Hundreds of other students have been awarded scholarships to pursue studies in China at top universities and all have expressed their gratitude at the opportunity to use what they have learned in China to build their country. 

Within this vein, I am reminded that many Jamaican teachers have been assigned to work across China’s provinces, thereby improving their individual economic realities in practical and fulfilling way.

It is often said that “hard times reveal good friends” and so I would like to seize this opportunity to express my profound gratitude to the Chinese government and people for their support and assistance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, arguably among the most difficult years of our lives. Throughout this pandemic we observed how the Chinese spirit of solidarity, resilience and innovation has led a nation to rebound from the pandemic with renewed agility.

We observed how China, in the midst of its own trials and challenges, chooses continuously, to cling to hope and extend its goodwill by helping other countries including my own. In this connection, I reiterate our gratitude for China’s commitment in the construction of the Western Children’s and Adolescents’ Hospital in Montego Bay, another first in the English-speaking Caribbean.

China and Jamaica elevated relations to that of a strategic partnership in 2019 during the visit of Prime Minister Andrew Holness to China. This was a watershed moment in our history, which followed the groundwork laid in previous official visits and high-level exchanges, including when we opened the Jamaican Embassy in China’s capital Beijing in 2005; and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Jamaica in 2009, when he was Vice President.

As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, Jamaica intends to increase the frequency and scope of our policy dialogue with China. We look forward to developing innovative and lasting platforms for direct interaction between policymakers, business, and other vital segments of society. We also look forward to finalizing more groundbreaking agreements and MOUs, which will serve to build mutual understanding to create more opportunities for commerce and social programs to thrive.

On a cultural note, cognizant of the fact that Jamaican products provide Chinese people with enriched and diversified access to new cultural experiences, we will continue producing and exporting consistent volumes of the luxurious Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee to China. We will also seek to provide more delicious lobsters and aged rum and continue to share the magic of Reggae music with the beautiful people of China. Similarly, we encourage landmark institutions such as the Confucius Institute, established at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, to enhance the dissemination of Chinese history and culture among Jamaicans.

On this, our Golden Jubilee – our Golden 50, let us seize this historic opportunity to promote our “win-win” relationship under the guidance of our leaders and endeavor to continue making solid contributions to building a community with a shared future for humanity.

Happy 50th anniversary Jamaica and China!

Happy Golden Jubilee!


Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica Chen Daojiang Gives an Interview to Jamaica Information Services

On July 29, 2022, H.E. Mr. Chen Daojiang, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Jamaica gave an interview to Jamaica Information Services (JIS), expressing congratulations on the 60th anniversary of the independence of Jamaica and answered questions regarding the China-Jamaica relations, the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Jamaica and the Global Development Initiative, etc. The interview has recently been published and broadcast on the website and radio of JIS and RJR (Radio Jamaica). The full interview is as follows:

Ambassador Chen Daojiang: I am very glad to be interviewed by Jamaica Information Services on the occasion of upcoming 60th anniversary of the Independence of Jamaica, and this is my first interview during my tenure. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Government and Chinese people, I would like to extend warm congratulations and best wishes to the Jamaican Government and Jamaican people. Big up, Jamaica!

I am honoured to come to Jamaica, a shining pearl on the Caribbean Sea, to serve as the Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica. Over the past two months, I have paid courtesy calls on many Jamaican officials and friends from various walks of life, talked with heads of Chinese enterprises and communities in Jamaica, toured several projects contracted by Chinese enterprises, and visited the National Gallery of Jamaica, from which I got some strong feelings that Jamaica is a beautiful, open and vibrant country and Jamaicans are enthusiastic, friendly and optimistic. The friendship between the two governments and two peoples is profound. Jamaica enjoys geographic advantages, unique culture and abundant creativity, and has huge potential and a promising future for economic and social development. I believe that Jamaica will yield more and more development achievements in the future.

JIS: What’s your general remarks on the importance of the island’s Diamond Jubilee? Do the people of China think it’s also important and why?

Ambassador Chen: On 6 August 1962, Jamaica declared its independence from colonial rule, opening a new chapter in Jamaican history. Jamaica entered a stage of rapid economic growth under the leadership of The Right Excellent Sir William Alexander Bustamante, the first Prime Minister of Jamaica. Over the past 60 years, under the strong leadership of Jamaican leaders and arduous efforts of Jamaican people, Jamaica has been making big progress in socioeconomic development, constantly moving forward its cause in the fields of science, education, culture, health and sports, continuously improving people’s living standards, and playing an active and important role in international and regional affairs.

As a Chinese old saying goes, “Feel happy for others’ joy and others will do the same”, Chinese people always sincerely feel happy for their friends’ happy and joyful events. As China’s good friend and partner, Jamaica will celebrate its Diamond Jubilee of Independence, and Chinese people will definitely share this great happiness and joy with brotherly and sisterly Jamaicans.

Currently, the world is witnessing a persistent and unchecked COVID-19 pandemic, accelerating changes unseen in a century and a period of turbulence and transformation globally. Faced by unprecedented challenges, countries around the world are looking for answers and humanity needs to make the right choice. Under such circumstances, the international community should strengthen solidarity and cooperation, jointly meet challenges, and continue to promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind so as to strive together for a brighter and better future for our world.

Diamond Jubilee of Independence provides a great opportunity for Jamaica to gather national strength and plan for future development. I sincerely wish that Jamaica would achieve the goal of “Reigniting a Nation for Greatness” and become “the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business”.

JIS: What are your thoughts on the resilience of the country, which included Chinese natives, to overcome slavery and now live as a free country?

Ambassador Chen: Slavery and colonialism have brought catastrophic sufferings to the world and left a very disgraceful page in human history. The days when Western colonists could do whatever they want have gone. However, we must also realize that the colonialist thinking and its derivative power politics and bullying are still manifested in various forms in international relations, which are still severely impacting the normal international order and seriously undermining the sovereignty, security, and development interests as well as political, economic and social stability of relevant countries. The international community still has a long way to go to completely eliminate the impacts of slavery and colonialism.

There is a proverb in Jamaica, which goes “Wi likkle, but wi tallawah”. China also always upholds that all countries are equal, regardless of their size. The history of Jamaica’s fight against the colonial rule and slavery was laudable and emotionally moving. The braveness, resilience and wisdom shown by Jamaican people in the fight is very impressive and admirable. China had similar history with Jamaica in modern times when both countries were invaded and suppressed by Western colonialists for a long time and both countries faced same tasks of seeking independence of the nation, prosperity of the country and happiness of the people. Similar history makes our two countries easier to understand and support each other.

In 1949, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the People’s Republic of China was established. China has completely expelled the forces of Western imperialists in China, and the Chinese people has truly become the master of the country since then. Under the strong leadership of the CPC, China has successfully embarked on a development path that suits its national conditions, namely the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and has achieved the tremendous transformation from standing up and growing prosperous to becoming strong. China is now marching in confident strides toward the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects. I wish Jamaica, under the leadership of Prime Minister Andrew Holness and with joint efforts of Jamaican people, would take the 60th anniversary of Independence as an opportunity to find a development path that suits Jamaica’s national conditions so as to achieve better and faster development.

JIS: Could you briefly speak on why China considers its relationship with Jamaica to be so important?

Ambassador Chen: Jamaica is the largest English-speaking country in the Caribbean region with great influence. China and Jamaica established diplomatic relations on 21 November 1972, and Jamaica was among the first several Caribbean countries to establish diplomatic relations with China. Over the past 50 years, under the strategic guidance of the leaders of our two countries, China-Jamaica relations maintain steady and sound development. During his visit to China in 2019, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, together with President Xi Jinping agreed to elevate the bilateral relations to strategic partnership. Since then, bilateral relations have been enjoying accelerated development. Over the past 50 years, China and Jamaica has been supporting each other on major issues involving each other’s core interests. China highly appreciates Jamaica’s consistent adherence to the one-China principle.

China-Jamaica relations is always at the forefront in the Caribbean region. Jamaica was the first Caribbean country to establish strategic partnership with China, and the first Caribbean country to sign the cooperation plan with China on jointly promoting the Belt and Road cooperation. The Confucius Institute at Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) was the first Confucius Institute in English-speaking countries in the Caribbean region. Both history and realities prove that China and Jamaica are good brothers supporting each other, good friends going through ups and downs, and good partners seeking common development.

The steady and sound development of China-Jamaica relations brings many tangible benefits to our two countries and two peoples. The China-aid new headquarter of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica, the Chinese Garden at the Hope Royal Botanic Gardens and the Confucius Institute at Mona Campus of the UWI have been the witnesses and symbols of China-Jamaica friendship and cooperation. The China-aid Jamaica Western Children’s Hospital currently under construction, and the Montego Bay Perimeter Road Project, South Coast Highway Project as well as the JISCO Alpart Bauxite Upgrading and Expanding Project contracted or invested by Chinese enterprises will improve medical services, strengthen infrastructure construction, create more jobs and promote economic growth for Jamaica, and these projects will become the new symbols and landmarks of mutually-beneficial cooperation between our two countries. Jamaica’s reggae music, rum, Blue Mountain coffee provide Chinese people with enriched and diversified access to material and cultural experiences. We also welcome more Jamaica-featured products and services such as seafood, pork and tourism being exported to China so as to promote economic recovery and development of our two countries.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Jamaica. Our two countries will host a series of celebrating events, including co-hosting a reception celebrating our jubilee of diplomatic relations. I would like to take this interview as an opportunity to invite representatives from various circles in Jamaica to attend the reception and other celebrating events and jointly embark on a new journey of China-Jamaica relations then. China stands ready to work with Jamaica and jointly take the 50th anniversary of our diplomatic relations as an opportunity to enhance practical cooperation in various fields, pursue high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and promote China-Jamaica strategic partnership to a higher level so as to bring more benefits to our two countries and two peoples.

JIS: Do you think the Chinese community in Jamaica, also acknowledges and will celebrate the nation’s independence?

Ambassador Chen: I noticed the motto on Jamaica’s national emblem upon my arrival of this country, which reads “out of many, one people”. This saying vividly shows that Jamaica is a multinational country, or a “melting pot”.

As a matter of fact, the first group of Chinese arrived in Jamaica more than 160 years ago, following whom more and more Chinese nationals came. They overcame various challenges and difficulties and actively integrated themselves into Jamaican society and have made important contributions to Jamaica’s economic, social and cultural development. With family ancestry from China, they also act as ambassadors between China and Jamaica and make their own contributions to promoting China-Jamaica relations, deepening bilateral practical cooperation and consolidating the traditional friendship between our two countries.

Today, Chinese Jamaicans have become an important part of the multinational Jamaica. As other Jamaicans, they live and study across the country and work in various fields, promoting the development of their mother country in their own ways. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese communities in Jamaica donated a large number of medical supplies and items to the Jamaican government and people, supporting Jamaica’s fight against the pandemic. I believe that, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Independence, Chinese communities in Jamaica would take an active part in the celebration activities in various manners.

JIS: How will you celebrate with the country during “Emancipendence” week?

Ambassador Chen: “Emancipendence” week is a very important festival for Jamaica and its people. Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, Sate Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will send Message of Congratulation to the Governor General, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith respectively to congratulate Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of Independence.

I myself will also contribute a signature article to send my own congratulatory messages to Jamaican people and share the happiness of this festival. In addition, I will watch celebration activities through television and Internet, and I would probably attend some activities in person. I believe this is a valuable chance to have a taste of the colorful and unique history and culture of Jamaica.

JIS: Any China’s future plans that you would like to mention at this time which includes mutual benefit between the two countries?

Ambassador Chen: As developing countries, both China and Jamaica face the task of achieving people-centered development and delivering an enjoyable life to our people. Development is the “master key” to solving all problems. Jamaica has already been involved in the Belt and Road Initiative. China and Jamaica have conducted win-win cooperation and yielded fruitful results in various fields such as economic and trade and infrastructure construction. Recently, Prime Minister Andrew Holness emphasized the necessity and importance of infrastructure construction at the Ground-Breaking Ceremony of the Montego Bay Perimeter Road Project.

Last September, President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Development Initiative (GDI), calling for a more robust, greener and more balanced global development. In July this year, China-Caribbean Development Center was established in my hometown Shandong Province. The Center aims to make the best of the geographical advantages of Shandong Province as a coastal province and promote cooperation between China and Caribbean countries in agriculture, logistics, infrastructure construction, information technology so as to seek common development by fully leveraging our respective strengths.

We welcome Jamaica’s participation in the Global Development Initiative and explore more cooperation in areas such as poverty alleviation, food security, COVID-19 response, climate change and green development, industrialization, digital economy and connectivity. We also welcome Jamaica to enhance its cooperation with the China-Caribbean Development Center. By doing these, Jamaica could allocate more resources for and inject stronger impetus into its socioeconomic development. The Chinese Embassy in Jamaica will play its role of a bridge, promoting practical cooperation in related areas and bring more benefits to our two countries and two peoples.

We also welcome more media friends to pay more attention to and increase coverage on the Global Development Initiative and the China-Caribbean Development Center in order to jointly create a positive atmosphere that promotes mutually-beneficial cooperation between China and Jamaica.

The second half of this year will witness the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Jamaica and we will hold a series of celebration activities. We will fully implement the strategic guidance of the leaders of our two countries and jointly usher in a bright future for China-Jamaica strategic partnership. The CPC will also convene its 20th National Congress, which will offer a panoramic prospect of the two-stage strategic plan for China’s drive to build a great modern socialist country in all respects, and will in particular lay out plans for the strategic missions and major measures in the next five years. More steady steps are to be made by Chinese people under the leadership of the CPC to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. A rich, strong, open and prosperous China will bring more opportunities to Jamaica and the rest of the world. I firmly believe that the future of China-Jamaica strategic partnership would be even brighter and the traditional friendship between our two peoples would be even more profound!

PM Roosevelt Skerrit at launch of Dominica-China Friendship Association

The following video, which we reproduce with thanks to our friends at Kawsachun News, features a warm and important speech by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of the Commonwealth of Dominica at the September 10 launch of the Dominica-China Friendship Association, attended by a galaxy of the country’s VIPs, including President Charles Savarin.

Prime Minister Skerrit hails the formation of the Friendship Association as a “most progressive move towards a deepening of already strong ties” between the two governments and peoples.

Roosevelt Skerrit is the third successive Prime Minister from the Dominica Labour Party. The first, Rosie Douglas, was a long-standing and good friend of the People’s Republic and Communist Party of China. Unfortunately, he tragically died on October 1 2000, from a heart attack, after just a few months in office, and before he could complete the work he had initiated of breaking the ties that the previous right-wing government had established with the Taiwan authorities. It fell to his close comrade Skerrit to take this step on March 23 2004. 

In his speech, Skerrit notes that this decision has enhanced the lives of Dominica’s people – including in education, human resources, health care, agriculture and sports. China has also extended invaluable help in the face of two tropical storms and the global pandemic. He drew particular attention to the word friendship in the new association’s name.  Friendship, the Prime Minister explained, means that you stand with your friends, especially in difficult times. He encouraged the association to issue statements of solidarity with China whenever the country is unjustly attacked.

Guyana and China: 50 years of diplomatic ties and future prospects

On June 27th, China and Guyana celebrated the 50th anniversary of their establishment of diplomatic relations. Guyana’s bold move, becoming the first country in the English-speaking Caribbean to establish official relations with the People’s Republic, was followed by Jamaica on November 21st that year. Together this marked a milestone in the development of friendship and cooperation between the peoples of China and the Caribbean and in the developing countries’ common struggle against imperialism.

Marking this anniversary, Chinese President Xi Jinping exchanged messages with his Guyanese counterpart Irfaan Ali. Writing in the local media, China’s Ambassador to Guyana Guo Haiyan noted that trade between the two countries grew by 123% in 2021.

Friendship with China constitutes a bipartisan policy in Guyanese politics. A statement from the Office of the Leader of the Opposition noted that:

“We in Guyana will and must always appreciate that during the 1980s, when the country faced steep economic challenges, China without hesitation provided much needed assistance to Guyana. With modest beginnings in the seventies, the economic exchanges have grown to impressive dimensions. Guyana and China now cooperate over a wide range of economic areas and are involved in major projects which can transform Guyana and benefit China as well. The emergence of Guyana as a petro-state will further catalyse and intensify this trend.”

An example of this was the conclusion last month of a US$260 million agreement with a Chinese joint venture company for the construction of a new bridge across the Demerara River. Speaking at the ceremony, Guyana’s Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh said: “Make no mistake that you are witnessing history today. The making of modern Guyana is well underway, and today’s generation of Guyanese are incredibly privileged not only to witness it, but to be part of it.”

Writing in China Daily on June 15th, Donald Rabindranauth Ramotar, who was President of Guyana from 2011-2015, and General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) from 1997-2013, said that:

“When China established diplomatic relations with Guyana in 1972, it was still very underdeveloped. Guyana’s per capita GDP was higher than that of China. Yet China helped the country try to lessen its dependence on a few big capitalist countries and the unequal trade relations inherent in capitalist relations.”

Ramotar goes on to explain how this relationship has only deepened as China has grown from a poor developing country to become the world’s second-largest economy. China, he notes, “has become a great example. It is one of the most studied countries as mankind looks to build a better future.”

We are pleased to reprint his article below.

On June 27, Guyana and the People’s Republic of China will celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations. These have been 50 very fruitful years, and our relations have been mutually enriching for both countries.

When China established diplomatic relations with Guyana in 1972, it was still very underdeveloped. Guyana’s per capita GDP was higher than that of China. Yet China helped the country try to lessen its dependence on a few big capitalist countries and the unequal trade relations inherent in capitalist relations.

We recall the assistance China provided for the establishment of the Sanata Textile Mill in Georgetown and the clay brick factory in Canal’s Polder. At that time, these were significant investments in the country. Many houses, built with materials produced by the clay brick factory, are still standing and are testament to the friendship between China and Guyana.

China has changed dramatically over the past 50 years. From being a poor developing country, it has developed into the world’s second-largest economy, and its prestige has soared, with its achievements known around the globe. It leads the world in many spheres of the scientific and technological revolution and has had an impact on almost every country. It is widely recognized for its innovation and progress.

China has become the greatest builder in the world, in terms of both physical structures that it has constructed at home and abroad and in its advocating of fair international relations. It promotes true equality and the independence of countries. China correctly describes its partnerships as “win-win”. This gives dignity to every country. For the first time, many small and middle-income developing countries have the belief that they are on an equal footing with other higher-income countries.

We in Guyana, like so many other countries, have benefited greatly from cooperation with China over the years. Some of our most important structures have been built by Chinese contractors. The convention center and the Marriott Hotel stand out in Georgetown and evoke pride among our people.

Our airport is being modernized by another contractor from China. Moreover, we have agreements with Chinese companies to build a modern bridge across the Demerara River.

In 2013, President Xi Jinping proposed the Belt and Road Initiative. This has the great potential to really unite the world and create new wealth and prosperity for all participants.

Guyana has signed up with China to be part of this historic project, which is uniting millions of people around the world.

This initiative has also prompted the West to react. Not so long ago, the United States and the European Union, still unable to shed their old habits in pursuit of self-interest, announced their own initiative to help build up world infrastructure. They have talked of millions of dollars to begin this work. At this time, its performance cannot be evaluated, since it is only at the embryo stage.

What is very significant about this Western project, though, is that it has come about primarily not as a means to assist the less wealthy Third World countries but to counter the constructive move of China and to try to limit China’s great influence in the world. That, of course, is not a good premise to start from.

China is now the largest trading partner for the majority of countries. Its contribution to global economic growth is now the largest in the world.

These are remarkable feats.

China has become a great example. It is one of the most studied countries as mankind looks to build a better future.

Fifty years of diplomatic relations between China and Guyana have seen very beneficial cooperation and a demonstration of support without strings attached. This is not unique, because this is how China relates with all countries it has ties with, and the win-win approach promotes friendship, solidarity and peace.

In evaluating this period, we must give it the highest marks and further deepen our ties with the People’s Republic of China. Most important, the past 50 years of good diplomatic relations between the two countries have strengthened the close friendship between our peoples.

The author is former president of Guyana.

China-Caribbean friendship continues to blossom

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”.

The following two reports were originally published on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China.

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.

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