The following are remarks given at a reception in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and Jamaica, provided by H.E. Chen Daojiang, Chinese ambassador to Jamaica, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on November 14. It gives me great pleasure to gather with you to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and Jamaica.
On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Jamaica, let me begin by warmly welcoming you to tonight’s reception. Guests present here come from different sectors in Jamaica. You witnessed, participated in and contributed to China-Jamaica relations and cooperation. I’d like to take this chance to extend my sincere thanks and pay high tribute to you, and via you, to all Jamaican friends who have long been committed to China-Jamaica friendship and cooperation.
Despite the long geographical distances between our countries, friendly interactions between our peoples go back a long way. On November 21st, 1972, leaders of our two countries made their visionary strategic decision to establish diplomatic relations between China and Jamaica, opening up a new chapter in our countries’ engagements. Jamaica became the first English-speaking Caribbean country to establish diplomatic relations with China. Over the past 50 years, thanks to our leaders’ strategic guidance, China-Jamaica relations achieved steady and healthy development and delivered fruitful outcomes in various fields to our countries and our peoples.
The Golden Jubilee marks 50 years of mutual trust and respect. Our leaders and high-level officials have been keeping up close communication and leveraged their role in strategic guidance to continuously enhance our countries’ political mutual trust. Staying committed to the principle of equality and mutual respect, China and Jamaica achieved a triple jump in bilateral relations, namely, from the establishment of diplomatic relations, to a friendly relationship seeking common development, and to the strategic partnership, representing a fine example of building a new type of international relations. Our countries have been supporting each other on matters involving our core interests and major concerns. China appreciates the Jamaican Government’s firm commitment to the one-China principle.
The Golden Jubilee marks 50 years of mutual benefits and win-win cooperation. Staying committed to the principle of mutual benefits and the goal of win-win cooperation, practical cooperation between China and Jamaica has been continuously deepened. Total investment by Chinese companies in Jamaica exceeded USD 2.1 billion, creating more than 35 thousand direct jobs for Jamaica. From the new headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade to the Chinese Garden at Hope Gardens, from the Confucius Institute at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies to the China-aid kindergartens, from the Montego Bay Convention Center to the West Children’s Hospital, from the North-South Highway to the Montego Bay Perimeter Road and the Southern Coastal Highway, from the Blue Mountain Coffee to rum, and from lobster to cane sugar, China-Jamaica practical cooperation has been so productive and fruitful.
The Golden Jubilee marks 50 years of mutual understanding and mutual support. China and Jamaica made constant efforts to promote friendly interactions between the two peoples, enhance people’s mutual understanding, and strengthen people-to-people and cultural exchanges. China provided scholarships to hundreds of Jamaican students for them to have a shot at their dreams. China provided short-term training sessions to nearly 3,000 Jamaicans from different sectors for them to unleash their potential. China’s “Bright Journey” Medical Missions helped return a bright and colorful world to over 700 Jamaican cataract patients. In the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, over 90 thousand audience members sang Happy Birthday to Jamaican Legend Mr. Usain Bolt. In the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, Jamaica sent its largest delegation in history to compete. From the Mandarin classes at the Confucius Institute of the UWI Mona Campus to Huawei’s ICT Talent Hub in Jamaica, and from the program of Mandarin teacher in Jamaica to the program of sports training, highlights abound in our countries’ people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, our countries have extended mutual assistance in solidarity to pull through the hardships together. Vaccines and mobile vaccination buses donated by China were widely welcomed. China and Jamaica jointly wrote a new chapter of China-Jamaica friendship.
The fundamental reasons for the steady and sound development of China-Jamaica relations in the past 50 years are as follows. Successive generations of our leaders, from a strategic and long-term perspective, always advanced our countries’ relations along the right track. Our countries stayed committed to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, respecting each other and treating each other on an equal footing. Our countries always pursued development as a top priority and adhered to the philosophy of people-centered development. Our countries always followed the principle of openness and cooperation for mutual benefits and win-win outcomes, striving for the happiness of our peoples and the prosperity of our countries. Our countries enjoyed solid popular support for bilateral relations, and our peoples enjoyed enduring friendship and always supported each other in solidarity. Our countries stayed in close communication and coordination on international and regional issues, working for human progress and the world’s common good.
Last month witnessed the successful convening of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which took stock of China’s great changes and major achievements on all fronts over the past decade. It also laid out major policies and strategic plans for advancing the cause of the CPC and China in the new era and pointed out the grand blueprint and the path to build China into a great modern socialist country in all respects. The new CPC leadership with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has been elected in the first plenary session of the 20th CPC Central Committee. Comrade Xi Jinping was re-elected as the General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, which reflects the common will of the whole Party and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups. From this day forward, China will advance the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization, accelerate the creation of a new development pattern and pursue high-quality development, and promote world peace and development and build a community with a shared future for mankind.
This year also marks the 60th anniversary of the Independence of Jamaica when it has embarked on the new journey of “Re-igniting a nation for Greatness”. Our two countries should seize this historic opportunity among several important historic events to move forward with enterprise and fortitude so as to promote China-Jamaica Strategic Partnership to a new level and create a bright future for China-Jamaica relations in the next 50 years.
First, we should make China-Jamaica relations more consolidated. Political mutual trust is the anchor of the development of bilateral relations. Our two countries should be led by the strategic guidance of our countries’ leaders and enhance interactions between high-level officials and political parties of our countries. We should step up communication and coordination on international and regional affairs and continue to understand and support each others’ core interests and major concerns. We should uphold true multilateralism and make global governance system fairer and more equitable.
Second, we should make China-Jamaica relations more deliverable. Practical cooperation is the ballast stone of China-Jamaica relations. We should continue to promote the high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and ensure the smooth implementation of all existing projects. We should join hands to implement the Global Development Initiative(GDI) in Jamaica and list areas such as food security, climate change response, digital economy that Jamaica focuses on, as our future cooperation priorities to boost Jamaica’s socioeconomic development. China welcomes Jamaica to join the Group of Friends on the GDI at an early time. We should follow up on the proposals raised during the China (Shandong)- Jamaica Investment Promotion Conference and create channels for more Chinese enterprises to do business in Jamaica. We should also expand the bilateral trade between China and Jamaica and promote the export of Jamaican agricultural and fishery products, such as pork and sea cucumber, to China.
Third, we should make China-Jamaica relations more highlighted. People-to-people and cultural exchanges are the adhesive of China-Jamaica relations. We should further enhance cooperation in the fields of education, culture, health, sports and tourism to strengthen the people-to-people bond. We should increase exchanges between universities, think tanks, media, friendship associations and the young people to deepen the traditional friendship of our countries and consolidate the friendship between our peoples. We should make the best of the leading role of twin cities to promote exchanges and cooperation among local governments.
As an ancient Chinese poem goes, “Someday, with my sail through the clouds; I will mount the wind, break the waves, and travel the vast sea”, China will definitely be more prosperous, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful in the future, and will surely bring more opportunities and vitality and contribute more wisdom and solutions to the whole world. Let’s take the Golden Jubilee of China-Jamaica relations as a new starting point and keep united to create a bright future for China-Jamaica Strategic Partnership and make new contributions to building a community with a shared future for mankind!
Lastly, I want to, once again, thank all the guests for your attendance to tonight’s reception. I wish you could have pleasant talks on China-Jamaica friendship and enjoy the Chinese food. Wish all of you good health, every success in your work and happiness for your family.
Thank you all!