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The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) on (January 13), received approximately $300 million worth of military aid from the Peoples’ Republic of China, which will assist in local crime-fighting operations, as well as regional and international assignments.

The items, which were provided directly by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) include uniforms, helmets, boots, jungle hats, backpacks, protective belts, folding beds, binoculars, socks, raincoats, tents, berets, elbow and leg guards, vests, binoculars, and camouflage fabric.

They were provided under an agreement, which was signed in 2008, between the Governments of China and Jamaica.

In thanking the Government of China and its Ministry of National Defence, Chief  of Defence Staff, Major General Antony Anderson, said the donation represented another step in the long and fruitful relationship between the both Governments, and moreso the PLA, and the JDF.

“The JDF, like the People’s Liberation Army, has many roles in our society…whereas we are a defence force, we not only support the police in their work and (help restore) public order, but we also get involved in development work, and also support our neighbours as we did early in 2010 when we deployed to Haiti in a disaster response role,” he said.

The JDF Chief said that collaborative efforts, whether it is provision of items or training and other exchanges, creates the environment of improved relations between states and armed forces.

Ambassador of the Peoples’ Republic of China to Jamaica, His Excellency Chen Jinghua, said he was pleased to see further strengthening of the relationship between China and Jamaica in the national defence and armed forces co-operation.

“The PLA and the JDF have conducted a series of co-operative programmes, including staff, training courses and military assistance…as a responsible country, China unswervingly takes the road of peaceful development and pursues an independent policy of peace and national defence,” Ambassador Chen stated.  

He noted that it is in this spirit, that the PLA conducts exchanges with other countries based on equality, mutual benefit, and co-operation.

“China will always be a reliable friend of Jamaica, and is committed to the further support of Jamaica’s effort to maintain stability, and promote national development,” the Chinese Ambassador stated.