October 1st 2021 marks the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. I would like to extend my warm congratulations to all Chinese communities, enterprises and students in Jamaica and express my sincere gratitude and best wishes to friends from all walks of life who care for and support the development of China-Jamaica relations!
I also wish to salute those Jamaican heroes, especially the medical workers who work on the front line of combating COVID-19, and convey my deep condolences to those friends who lost their lives to COVID-19 and my heartfelt sympathy goes to their loved ones.
Great endeavors yield great achievements
72 years ago today, Chairman Mao Zedong, standing on the Tian’anmen Rostrum in Beijing, solemnly declared the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Since then, the Chinese people stood up and the Chinese nation, with an entirely new posture, has stood tall and firm in the East.
Over the past 72 years, under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China and the tireless efforts of the Chinese people, China has successfully embarked on a development path that is suited to its own national circumstances and realized “two miracles”, namely rapid economic growth and long-term social stability.
The Chinese nation has achieved the tremendous transformation from standing up and growing rich to becoming strong.
Remarkable economic growth
China has become the second largest economy, largest manufacturer, largest trading country in goods, largest holder of foreign exchange reserves and second largest recipient of foreign direct investment. China has always been the most powerful engine of global economic growth in recent years.
China’s gross domestic product (GDP) reached 101.6 trillion yuan (about US$14.7 trillion), the only major economy to register growth in 2020. China’s GDP per capita has exceeded US$ 10,000 for two consecutive years.
In the first half of 2021, China enjoyed steady economic recovery and demonstrated vibrant vitality with a bright prospect. Its GDP reached 53.2 trillion yuan (about US$8.2 trillion), expanding 12.7% year-on-year, the fastest among major economies.
Completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects
At the Ceremony marking the Centenary of the Communist Party of China held on July 1st 2021, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee and Chinese President Xi Jinping declared on behalf of the Party and the people that “we have realized the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. This means that we have brought about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty in China, and we are now marching in confident strides toward the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects”. This is great achievements for centenary endeavors of the CPC, and great success for the socialism with Chinese characteristics, marking a crucial step forward towards fulfilling the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
Historically eliminating absolute poverty
In February 2021, President Xi Jinping announced that China has secured a complete victory in its fight against poverty. All of China’s 98.99 million rural residents living below the current poverty line have been lifted out of poverty.
The arduous task of eliminating absolute poverty has been completed and another miracle has been created in history. Since its opening-up and reform, China has lifted 770 million rural poor out of poverty, accounting for over 70% of global poverty reduction during same period and thus making great contributions to the global cause of reducing poverty.
China’s achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 1 (no poverty) ten years ahead of schedule boosts global confidence in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Bringing COVID-19 pandemic under control at home
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, China has put people’s interest and health first, continued Covid-19 prevention and control while resuming economic and social development, and achieved major strategic success in its response to COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, faced with the wave of local infections caused by imported cases infected with Delta variant, China took strict and effective prevention and control measures which brought COVID-19 pandemic under control.
This fully demonstrates China’s strong resilience and institutional strength. As of mid-September 2021, over 2.17 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered and over 1.02 billion people had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in China.
Full support for global anti-pandemic efforts
Bearing in mind the conception of a community with a shared future for mankind and its responsibility as a major country, China has done everything within its capacity to provide humanitarian assistance to the international community and support global anti-pandemic efforts.
This year, President Xi Jinping announced that, China will provide an additional US$3 billion in international aid over the next three years to support COVID-19 response and economic and social recovery in other developing countries; China will strive to provide 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the world within 2021 and has decided to donate US$100 million to the COVAX facility for distributing vaccines to developing countries; China will donate 100 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries within this year. China has launched the Initiative for Belt and Road Partnership on COVID-19 Vaccines Cooperation, together with over 20 countries in June 2021. As of early September 2021, China has provided more than 200 countries and jurisdictions with approximately 320 billion-plus masks, 3.9 billion protective suits and 5.6 billion testing kits in total.
China also has already provided more than 1.1 billion doses of finished and bulk vaccines to over 100 countries worldwide and the COVAX facility, ranking first in the world, which makes important and continuous contributions to global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continuous improvement in environmental quality
Lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets. China is committed to fostering a community of life for man and nature, and has contributed to one-fourth of the increase in global afforestation and one-fifth of the net restored land. China actively implements the Paris Agreement. In September 2020, President Xi Jinping announced that China will scale up its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions and aim to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. In September 2021, President Xi Jinping announced that China will step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy, and will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad. In 2020, China’s carbon intensity dropped by 48.4% compared with the year 2005. Clean energy takes up 24.3% of China’s energy consumption. China accounts for more than 30% of the world’s total installed capacity of wind and photovoltaic power and 55% of global new energy vehicle sales.
Steady improvement in people’s living standards
The original aspiration of the CPC is to seek happiness for the Chinese people and China sticks to people-centered development. In 2020, the per capita disposable income in China reached 32,189 yuan (about US$4,667). China’s average life expectancy has increased from 35 years in 1949 to 77.3 years in 2019. China has established the world’s largest social security system, with basic medical insurance covering more than 1.3 billion people and basic pension insurance covering nearly 1 billion people. China’s enrollment rate for compulsory education reached almost 100%. Chinese people have an increasingly stronger sense of fulfillment, happiness, and security. Amid its pursuing of high-quality development, China will promote social fairness and justice and people’s all-round development, yielding substantial progress in achieving common prosperity for all people.
Continuous improvement in the arena of sports
Over the past 72 years, China has transformed itself from a small and weak sporting country into a big and strong one, yielded world-renowned achievements, and embarked on a sporting path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. At the Tokyo Olympics this summer, the Chinese delegation achieved good results and ranked second in the medal count. At the Tokyo Paralympic Games ended last month, the Chinese delegation ranked first in both gold medal and medal counts for the fifth consecutive time. We also cheer for the good performance of Jamaican delegation at the Tokyo Olympics. The Beijing Winter Olympics will begin in February 2022. We warmly welcome Jamaica to send delegation to participate and wish Jamaican athletes yield good results.
Higher level of opening-up
Guided by the conception of openness, cooperation, solidarity and win-win results, China firmly expands its opening-up on all fronts and builds an open world economy. China has imported nearly US$10 trillion worth of goods and become the largest trading partner of over 120 countries and regions in the past 5 years. In the first half of 2021, China’s foreign trade of goods rose 27.1% year-on-year to 18.07 trillion yuan (about US$2.79 trillion). China and its 140-plus partner countries under the Belt and Road cooperation framework have grown their trade to over US$9.2 trillion and established the largest cooperation platform in the world. This year, China has successfully held the fifth China-Arab States Expo, 2021 China International Fair for Trade in Services, second China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo, which have achieved fruitful results. The world will continue to benefit from China’s consistent opening-up and development.
Pioneering steps taken in diplomacy
The CPC is a political party that strives for both the happiness of the Chinese people and the advancement of humankind.
Over the past 72 years, China has always committed to an independent foreign policy of peace, and conducted friendly cooperation with other countries in line with the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, making great contributions to building a community with a shared future for mankind and to promoting the noble cause of peace and development of mankind.
China will remain committed to promoting peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit and to the path of peaceful development, and will work with people around the world to build a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind.
President Xi Jinping addressed the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly via video on September 21st 2021. In his statement, President Xi boosted global confidence in defeating COVID-19, shared Chinese experiences in combating COVID-19 in a scientific manner, and pointed out the direction for joint global anti-pandemic efforts.
President Xi solemnly proposed a Global Development Initiative to build a global community of development with a shared future. President Xi’s statement reaffirmed the important significance of building a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, equity, justice and win-win cooperation, and provided more stability for current international relations with many uncertainties.
China will always be a builder of world peace, contributor to global development, defender of the international order and provider of public goods. President Xi’s statement also demonstrated China’s solemn promise of adhering to true multilateralism. China will continue upholding the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, sticking to the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, promoting and practicing true multilateralism.
Currently, China has entered a new development stage.
China will implement the new development philosophy featuring innovative, coordinated, green, open, and shared development, accelerate the establishment of a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other, and strive for the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects under the leadership of the CPC. The Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation will surely be realized and the Chinese people will surely live a better life.
Good cooperation creates bright future
China and Jamaica are strategic partners. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations 49 years ago, the two countries have always been treating each other as equals and respecting each other, maintaining healthy and smooth bilateral relations in the ever-changing international circumstances, and keeping good cooperation in international affairs. In recent years, the enthusiasm for bilateral high-level exchanges has continued to rise, exchanges between political parties from both countries have become increasingly closer, political mutual trust has been deepened, economic and trade cooperation has been constantly enhanced, and people-to-people exchanges has been expanded.
Close exchanges between leaders and high-level officials
In June 2021, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holeness sent a congratulatory letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. In August this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi sent congratulatory letters respectively to their counterparts, Jamaican Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, Prime Minister Andrew Holeness and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson-Smith, to congratulate on the 59th anniversary of the independence of Jamaica. The exchanges between the leaders and high-level officials provide leading direction for the sound development of China-Jamaica relations, and lay solid political foundation for enhancing bilateral cooperation.
Joint efforts to defeat COVID-19
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic last year, China and Jamaica have been helping each other with solidarity in defeating COVID-19 and promoting economic recovery, which consolidates traditional China-Jamaica friendship. The Chinese government, and Chinese enterprises, social organizations and communities in Jamaica have been donating nearly J$200 million worth of anti-pandemic materials and supplies such as vaccination vehicles, masks, ventilators, test kits and disinfectants to Jamaican government and people. The two vaccination vehicles donated by China to Jamaica have currently been delivered and put into operation. China will donate COVID-19 vaccine doses to Jamaica and we hope Jamaican people can benefit from them at an early date. China appreciates the active and effective prevention and control measures taken by the Jamaican government, has noticed Jamaica’s challenging anti-pandemic situation, and will give firm support to Jamaica and provide Jamaica with supplies and technical assistance within its capacity. As sung by the great Jamaican singer Bob Marley, “Everything’s gonna be all right”. We are confident that under the leadership of Prime Minister Holeness and joint efforts of Jamaican people, Jamaica will defeat COVID-19 and achieve economic and social recovery.
Continuously enhanced economic and trade cooperation
The trade volume between China and Jamaica has been further expanded from January to July 2021, reaching US$415 million, an increase of 23.47% year-on-year. Since the first investment of Chinese enterprise in Jamaica nearly 20 years ago, China’s cumulative investment in Jamaica has exceeded US$2.1 billion, creating over 10,000 jobs and even more indirect jobs for Jamaica. In 2021, China’s new investment in Jamaica exceeded US$80 million, making contributions to Jamaica’s economic recovery amid COVID-19. Jamaica is the first Caribbean country to sign the cooperation plan with China on jointly promoting the Belt and Road cooperation. In line with the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, China will continue working with Jamaica to pursue high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, enhance synergy among each other’s development strategies, and promote more specific cooperation projects in Jamaica. Looking into the future, China’s steady economic development will bring more economic and trade cooperation opportunities for both countries. We warmly welcome and encourage Chinese and Jamaican businesses to seize opportunities and expand trade and economic cooperation. Besides the traditional Jamaican products such as Blue Mountain Coffee and rum, we welcome more Jamaica-featured products and services such as seafood, pork, tourism and music being exported to China, so as to promote recovery and development of both economies and bring more benefits to both peoples.
Organized programs of personnel training
Since China conducted human resources cooperation program with Jamaica in 2005, China has provided scholarships for over 80 Jamaicans to study in China and pursue their degrees under the MOFCOM Degree Education Programs, and provided short-term training for over 2,500 Jamaicans. This year, China continues to provide scholarship for Jamaicans to study in China and providing training for relevant Jamaican personnel in various fields such as emergency and critical care, agricultural products and food safety management, forestry, agriculture, medicine and health, and business management through short-term human resources cooperation programs. China will provide training for more Jamaicans in the fields of information and communication technologies, construction engineering technology, bauxite mining and processing technology, and expressway operation, management and maintenance technology in the future in order to support Jamaica’s implementation of the Vision 2030 Jamaica.
Closer people-to-people and education cooperation
This year, more Jamaican students were awarded Chinese Government Scholarship, and the Chinese Embassy in Jamaica is working closely with competent Chinese authorities to provide conveniences for those students to study in China and attend online courses.
Besides, more and more Jamaican students are benefiting from the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship. Despite the serious anti-epidemic situation, the Confucius Institute at Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies overcame various difficulties and continued teaching Chinese to Jamaican students, and offered 14 free Chinese courses for beginners, which benefits more than 1,000 Jamaican students and is widely praised.
Moreover, China has donated large water tanks to Jamaican schools in arid regions, carried out dredging for and donated computers to relevant schools, and donated brown sugar and mineral water for those in need.
As strategic partners and developing countries, both China and Jamaica firmly defend the UN-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law, firmly support multilateralism and global cause of justice, and resolutely safeguard the common interests of developing countries. Under the current circumstance where the COVID-19 is still spreading globally, both China and Jamaica stress the importance and significance of making COVID-19 vaccines global public goods, and call on the international community to continue striving for making COVID-19 vaccines accessible and affordable in developing countries and provide vaccines support for Caribbean countries and other developing countries, especially the least developed countries. China stands ready to work with Jamaica to push the international community to strengthen anti-pandemic cooperation, promote fair and reasonable distribution of global vaccines, oppose politicization of the COVID-19 origins tracing, work together to defeat COVID-19 at an early date, and achieve sustainable, resilient and inclusive recovery from the pandemic.
President Xi Jinping recently delivered a video speech at the 6th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), in which he said that China attaches great importance to developing relations with CELAC and supports CELAC in coordinating regional countries to carry out cooperation and cope with challenges. President Xi also stressed that China-Latin America relations have entered a new era featuring equality, mutual benefit, innovation, openness and tangible benefits for the people. China will continue to provide support to Latin American and Caribbean countries to the best of its capability and help the regional countries overcome the pandemic at an early date and resume economic and social development, and is willing to work with Latin American and Caribbean countries to overcome difficulties together and jointly create opportunities to build a community of shared future between China and Latin America. We believe that Jamaica will be the pioneer and set good example for promoting China-Latin America cooperation and building a community of shared future between China and Latin America.
Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Jamaica and the 60th anniversary of the independence of Jamaica. China will strengthen communication and coordination with Jamaica to jointly push forward a series of activities celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations while overcoming the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, strengthen bilateral practical cooperation in various fields, consolidate friendship between Chinese and Jamaican peoples, elevate China-Jamaica Strategic Partnership to a new level, bring more benefits to two countries and two peoples and jointly build a community with a shared future for mankind.
Finally, on the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, I sincerely wish China and Jamaica enjoy thriving prosperity and China-Jamaica friendship last forever! I also wish all people in China, Jamaica and other countries around the world enjoy happiness and good health!