Sun | Jan 24, 2021

Tian Qi | Jointly advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation … A new chapter of China-­Jamaica ­friendship

Published:Wednesday | November 13, 2019 | 12:00 AM

From November 3-9, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, prime minister of Jamaica, led a delegation to attend the Second China International Import Expo (CIIE) and paid an ­official visit to the People’s Republic of China.

It’s the first visit by Prime Minister Holness to China, and the first time Jamaica participated in the CIIE as a Guest Country of Honour. The successful visit was a milestone in the development of China-Jamaica relations.

First strategic partnership with China in the Caribbean

Political trust between our two countries has been unprecedentedly strengthened, setting a precedent in the political relations between China and Caribbean countries in the new era.

During the visit, President XI Jinping and Prime Minister Holness uplifted the bilateral relations to strategic partnership, which charts course for the future development of China-Jamaica relations, and fully demonstrates that both sides regard the bilateral relations from a strategic height and a long-term perspective, mutually understand and support each other’s core interests and major concerns. It also marks that Jamaica becomes the first Caribbean country forging a strategic partnership with China.

While developing at a high level, China-Jamaica relations will enhance mutual understanding, trust and support between China and other Caribbean countries and the Caribbean Community as a whole, contributing to safeguarding common interests of developing countries and the building of a ­community with a shared future for mankind.

First Caribbean country signing Belt and Road cooperation plan

The pragmatic cooperation between the two countries has been expanded in all areas, which will promote and lead the joint building of high-­quality Belt and Road cooperation between China and all Caribbean countries. China is Jamaica’s biggest source of foreign direct investment and an important trade partner, and one of Jamaica’s most important cooperation partners.

During the visit, Premier LI Keqiang and Prime Minister Holness held an official talk and reached extensive consensus on expanding and ­intensifying cooperation in various fields and enriching the contents of strategic partnership. The two ­leaders witnessed the signing of the cooperation plan between the two governments on jointly ­promoting Belt and Road cooperation, the first of its kind between China and a Caribbean country.

The two sides also signed agreements in the fields of foreign affairs, trade and investment, sports, human resources training, local exchanges, etc.

The two leaders discussed on expanding ­cooperation in ­infrastructure, aviation, financial service, agriculture, new energy, blue economy and other fields, to upgrade the quality and level of the bilateral pragmatic cooperation, exert Jamaica’s geographic advantage in the Latin America and Caribbean region, and make Jamaica a pivot to lead the advance of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation between China and regional countries, adding new impetus to China-CELAC cooperation.

First Guest Country of Honour from the Caribbean at CIIE

I was heartened when Prime Minister Holness addressed the opening ceremony of the 2nd CIIE on November 5 in Shanghai, that “We are deeply honoured to have been designated as a Guest Country of Honour”.

China’s economic prospect, market potential, and firm determination on opening further and wider as a major responsible country will definitely enhance the confidence of all countries in the world in global economic growth and the international cooperation.

China-Jamaica cooperation will provide a bigger export market for Jamaican products, create more jobs and promote further development.

During his visit to Chinese cities like Shanghai, Shenzhen and Zhuhai, Prime Minister Holness ­investigated the major measures of China’s ­further reform and opening-up and the remarkable ­achievements, including the Shanghai Yangshan Deep-Water Port and Huawei headquarters. It’s a trip of invaluable inspirations and confidence in the development of China-Jamaica relations.

Cooperation between China and Jamaica is complementary, mutually beneficial and win-win

It is my sincere wish that in the near future, more Jamaican athletes flourish in different sports ­disciplines, while Chinese and Jamaican sprinters run shoulder to shoulder in international arena; more reggae musicians from China and Jamaica ­perform on the same stage; more foreign tourists enjoy wellness tourism featuring traditional Chinese and Jamaican medicine in Jamaica; more Jamaican fine products like Blue Mountain coffee, rum, seafood be exported to China; more Chinese investments come to Jamaica, bringing more job opportunities, better infrastructure and improving people’s well-being.

I believe that taking this visit as a new ­starting point, our two countries will jointly promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation at a new height and advance China-Jamaica strategic ­partnership in the new era from strength to strength.

Tian Qi is the ambassador of China to Jamaica. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com