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JIS News

Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Jamaica, His Excellency Chen Jinghua, has said that bilateral relations would be strengthened, through dialogue and the signing of agreements, when Vice-President Xi Jinping and his delegation arrive in the island on February 11, for a four-day visit.
Ambassador Chen told JIS News that, “the general purpose is to strengthen bilateral relations, by having meetings with leaders of this country, through discussions, for deeper mutual understanding, and to explore ways and means and the possibility of adopting more mutually beneficial co-operative projects in various fields.”
He noted that this would be Mr. Xi’s first tour of this part of the world, which include Latin American countries, and Jamaica, “so it will be an important visit, to implement China’s policy goals toward this part of the world.”
“Through all these meetings and discussions, both sides will cover topics relating to bilateral relations and international political and economic developments, and will discuss, in depth, how the two sides will make further efforts to develop a friendly partnership for common development. That is the policy goal of our bilateral relationship,” the Ambassador said.
He noted that Mr. Xi’s visit is the first such high level visit from his Government to Jamaica, since 2005, when Vive-President His Excellency Zen Quinghong visited for the China-Caribbean Economic Trade Forum. It is also the first since the new Jamaican Government came into being more than one year ago, the Ambassador highlighted.
“So, it will be very useful and conducive for leaders of both countries to have this chance to get acquainted, and also to use this opportunity to explore ways and means to develop our bilateral relations. There is no doubt in my mind, that a visit like this will serve as a major driving force and for the future development of our bilateral relations in the years ahead. We need more exchanges of high level visits between our two sides. I certainly support this move from the Chinese side, and I am sure this visit will be a success,” he said.
Among the highlights of Mr. Xi’s visit are discussions with Prime Minister Bruce Golding on bilateral and multilateral issues, as well as on international political developments. In addition, agreements are expected to be reached in the areas of education, agriculture, infrastructural development and finance.
The Vice-President and members of his delegation will also hold private meetings with Chinese company representatives, members of the Chinese community and the staff of the Chinese Embassy.
Of note will be his visit to the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, for an unveiling ceremony for the Confucius Institute.
Vice-President Xi will also visit the city of Montego Bay, where he will be presented with the Keys to the City by the Mayor, His Worship Councillor Charles Sinclair. Another important event for Mr. Xi will be the breaking of ground for the Montego Bay Convention Centre, a project which is funded by the Chinese Government.
“The visit augurs well for the further deepening and enhancing of Jamaica-China relations. Currently, a vibrant mutually beneficial bilateral programme of co-operation exists between both countries,” Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange, told journalists at last week’s post Cabinet press briefing.
Ties of friendship and co-operation between Jamaica and the People’s Republic of China have been underpinned by mutual respect, since diplomatic relations were established in 1972.
Most recently, Jamaica and China collaborated through the China-Caribbean Economic and Trade Co-operation Forum, which was first held in Kingston, in February 2005. The second Forum was held in Xiamen, China in September 2007, where an Agreement on Economic and Technical Co-operation, valued at 20 million Yuan ($197 million), was signed between Jamaica and China.
In addition, a new dimension was added to Jamaica-China relations in April of 2008, when the two countries held the inaugural Foreign Ministry Consultations in Beijing.
Speaking at the Chinese National Day Reception last year, which was held in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Dr. Ronald Robinson said that, “both countries held fruitful discussions on bilateral co-operation activities, and regional and multilateral affairs. This mechanism provides us with an opportunity of discussing ongoing and potential areas for co-operation and engaging in beneficial exchanges on important developments that affect the international scene, where we have developed a tradition of collaboration at the multilateral level.”