COMMENT: The 50 glorious years of China-Caribbean relations

China and the Caribbean countries are good friends and good partners sharing the same ideal. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the start of diplomatic relations between China and the Caribbean countries, which is of particular significance. Over the past half century, especially since President Xi Jinping’s visit to Caribbean countries in 2013, the comprehensive cooperative partnership between China and Caribbean countries has been steadily deepening and cooperation in various sectors has yielded fruitful results, establishing an exemplary model of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and common development among countries of different sizes.

The world is going through a period of turbulence and transformation, global economic and social development and security situations are facing complex and serious challenges, and the future of all countries is more connected than ever. Now more than ever, China and Caribbean countries need to strengthen solidarity, overcome difficulties together, deepen cooperation and create a better future.

On April 28, 2022, in order to firmly seize the historic opportunity, further release the potential for cooperation and forge a higher level of partnership between the two sides, the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting between China and the Caribbean countries having diplomatic relations with China was held organized by video link. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Acting Prime Minister of Dominica Reginald Austria co-chaired the meeting. Foreign ministers from Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago attended the meeting.

The meeting reviewed the history and experiences of China-Caribbean relations, held in-depth exchanges on building a closer China-Caribbean community with a shared future, and reached important consensus on deepening exchanges. level, promoting post-pandemic economic recovery, strengthening medical cooperation, promoting people-to-people exchanges, and strengthening cooperation on climate change. The Caribbean countries welcome and support the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, and commend China as a responsible and leading player in the international arena.

China regards Caribbean countries as important assets and equal partners of the international community, firmly supports Caribbean countries in achieving self-improvement through unity and playing a greater role in international affairs, s strive to make China-Caribbean relations a model of a new type of international relations and work together to build a closer China-Caribbean community with a shared future. China also made the following important commitments at the meeting:

First, China will maintain closer political communication between China and the Caribbean countries and is ready to hold the eighth round of consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Caribbean countries as soon as possible and to hold a Special Envoy for Caribbean Affairs to visit Caribbean countries as soon as possible.

Second, China will continue to provide economic and technological assistance to Caribbean countries without any political conditions, focus on supporting key projects of interest to Caribbean countries, vigorously develop projects that benefit the people, and promote practical technologies such as Juncao.

Third, China will continue to provide anti-pandemic supplies and vaccines to Caribbean countries until the pandemic is finally defeated and decided to donate anti-pandemic and medical supplies to Caribbean countries with diplomatic relations with China and the CARICOM Secretariat.

Fourth, China will try to build a model of diversified and interactive people-to-people exchanges, actively consider the post-pandemic orderly resumption of people-to-people exchanges, and increase the number of government scholarships and personnel training in Caribbean countries.

Fifth, China fully understands and supports the reasonable concerns of small island countries and decided to establish a China-Caribbean Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Fund.

Looking back, I am very happy to see that China-Caribbean relationships have led to fruitful results.

Over the past 50 years, mutual political trust between the two parties has grown over time. China and the Caribbean countries respect each other’s national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, understand and support each other on issues related to each other’s core interests and major concerns, and always push forward the Sino-Caribbean relations on the right track. China highly appreciates the Caribbean countries’ pursuit of the one-China principle, support for China’s reunification and opposition to interference in China’s internal affairs. China also firmly supports Caribbean countries in pursuing successful development paths suited to their national conditions.

Over the past 50 years, pragmatic cooperation between the two parties has yielded fruitful results. The two sides successfully held three sessions of the China-Caribbean Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum, with the realization of a number of mutually beneficial cooperation projects. China follows the principle of upholding justice while pursuing common interests and sincerely helps Caribbean countries develop their economies and improve people’s livelihoods. The two sides have jointly advanced the Belt and Road cooperation, enhanced the synergy between development strategies, and continuously instilled new impetus into the mutually beneficial cooperation between the two sides to make it high-level, sustainable and centered. on people.

Over the past 50 years, both sides supported and helped each other through thick and thin. Whether it’s a natural disaster or COVID-19, both sides have always been the first to help each other. Caribbean countries provided China with invaluable support when China’s fight against the pandemic was at its most difficult. After the outbreak of the pandemic in Caribbean countries, China also shared its experience in fighting COVID-19 wholeheartedly and provided batches of COVID-19 vaccines and anti-pandemic supplies to each country. of the Caribbean having diplomatic relations with China.

Over the past 50 years, public support between the two sides has grown. The two sides have carried out various forms of cooperation in the fields of culture, sports, tourism and education, as well as at the sub-national level. The Caribbean Music Festival has become an important marquee event in China, athletes from Caribbean countries have actively participated in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, and more and more Chinese tourists visit Caribbean countries to enjoy music. tourism. Sub-national exchanges are flourishing and cooperation in education has deepened further. Many young people from Caribbean countries have received scholarships from the Chinese government to study in China and become emissaries of China-Caribbean friendship.

Looking to the future, China is ready to make joint efforts with Caribbean countries to promote peace and development, draw up a plan for the development of China-Caribbean relations, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and continue to promote cooperation. friendship between the two peoples. I believe that in the next 50 years, China-Caribbean relations will be even more glorious!

*Editor’s note* The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the management and staff of Dominica News Online, its parent company, or its advertisers.