JM | Nov 30, 2021

Enhanced cooperation to help Jamaica win pandemic battle: Chinese Ambassador

/ Our Today

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton (second left) shakes hands with H.E. Tian Qi (second right), China’s ambassador to Jamaica, while Kamina Johnson Smith, minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade and Prime Minister Andrew Holness look on.

H.E. Tian Qi, Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica, has declared that, with the joint efforts of the island’s government and its people, as well as enhanced bilateral and global cooperation, the country will eventually win the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic and achieve economic and social recovery.

The ambassador was speaking on November 24 during the official handover of COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Government of China in its efforts to assist Jamaica in the fight against the deadly virus.

On Saturday (November 20), 200,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, courtesy of the People’s Republic of China, together with syringes, landed on the island.

The official handover ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Minister of Health & Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Kamina Johnson Smith, and Ambassador Tian, as well as Fan Jianghong, economic and commercial counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Jamaica and Ambassador Janice Miller, Under-Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.

The Chinese donation of 200,000 dose of the Sinopharm vaccine on arrival in Jamaica last Saturday (November 20).

Ambassador Tian said November 21 marked the 49th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Jamaica.

“The arrival of COVID-19 vaccines donated by China demonstrates the goodwill of the Chinese government and people to support Jamaica’s fight against the pandemic, and is further evidence of the deep friendship and firm strategic partnership between China and Jamaica,” he said.

“Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, China and Jamaica have been working closely to tide over difficulties and combat the COVID-19 side by side to promote economic recovery. Vaccines are the best weapon against the COVID-19. Chinese vaccines have been widely used in the world and proved safe and effective, and will surely assist Jamaica’s efforts to promote its vaccination program and promote the health and safety of Jamaican people. China will continue firmly supporting Jamaica’s anti-pandemic efforts and providing assistance within its capability, and sharing experience and technology in effectively controlling the pandemic and rapidly returning to normal economic and social order.

“Jamaica will eventually win the battle against the pandemic and achieve economic and social recovery with the joint efforts made by Jamaican government and people and with the enhanced bilateral and global cooperation.”

H.E. Tian Qi, China’s ambassador to Jamaica, addressing the handover ceremony.

Ambassador Tian added that President of China Xi Jinping, at the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, proposed the Global Development Initiative, calling on the international community to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for more robust, greener and more balanced global development, and foster a global community of development with a shared future.

 He said China stands ready to implement the Initiative together with Jamaica, and stays committed to cooperating with Jamaica to push the countries’ strategic partnership to a new level, bringing more benefits to the nations and their people.

Ambassador Tian pointed out that China has provided more COVID-19 vaccine doses overseas than any other country, and the vast majority of jabs for developing countries come from China.

Currently, he went on to say, China has provided more than 1.7 billion doses of finished and bulk vaccines to over 110 countries and international organisations, and will provide more than two billion doses by the end of 2021.

So far, more than 100 countries and international organisations have granted market approval or emergency use for Chinese COVID-19 vaccines, and more than one billion doses of Chinese vaccines have been administered abroad.

China will continue providing more vaccines to developing countries through various means, including donations, so as to make greater contributions to equitable access to vaccines and an early victory over the pandemic.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness speaks at the handover ceremony.

Holness expressed gratitude to China for its support and aid toward Jamaica’s efforts in fighting the pandemic.

He said the arrival of Chinese vaccines follows the strong, ongoing, longstanding cooperation between Jamaica and China, exemplifying the vibrant and dynamic partnership formed since diplomatic relations were established in 1972.

China, he declared, has been a reliable partner and friend to Jamaica and provided great support to Jamaica’s response to the pandemic.

Mobile vaccination vehicle donated by Yantai China.

The two vaccination vehicles donated by Yantai, of China, assisted Jamaica’s efforts to promote access to vaccines for Jamaican people.

“Now, China’s vaccines will help Jamaica control the threat posed by COVID-19 while pushing the country to move forward economically and socially. The anti-pandemic experience of China is admirable, and Jamaica will learn from China’s experience, promote vaccination roll-out, and continue deepening  its strategic partnership with China,” said Holness.

Johnson Smith and Tufton also extended thanks for China’s generous offer and continuous support. They made clear that vaccines are essential tools in the response to COVID-19 and that the Jamaican people will appreciate the arrival of these Chinese vaccines, which will contribute to the country’s vaccination implementation programme, and help maintain the health and safety of its people.

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and Holness said Jamaica will take this opportunity to further strengthen cooperation with China by promoting bilateral relations to achieve greater development.


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