JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Children and adults alike now have another outdoor space for recreation and relaxation as a result of the donation of the Harmonious Enjoyment Chinese Garden to the Government of Jamaica on Wednesday, August 19 at the Hope Botanical Gardens.
  • Marking 43 years of diplomatic ties between Jamaica and the People’s Republic of China and in honour of Jamaica’s independence, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller officially accepted the Chinese Garden as a gift from the Asian country.
  • Ground was broken for the garden project in February 2014.

Children and adults alike now have another outdoor space for recreation and relaxation as a result of the donation of the Harmonious Enjoyment Chinese Garden to the Government of Jamaica on Wednesday, August 19 at the Hope Botanical Gardens. Marking 43 years of diplomatic ties between Jamaica and the People’s Republic of China and in honour of Jamaica’s independence, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller officially accepted the Chinese Garden as a gift from the Asian country, which was constructed inside the Hope Botanical Gardens at a cost of $237.8 Million. The CHASE Fund and the Chinese Benevolent Association contributed $5 Million and $1 Million respectively.

 

Ground was broken for the garden project in February 2014. Since the formal documents for the acceptance of the gift were signed in February 2010 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the Nature Preservation Foundation has been working on the Chinese Garden Project to bring it to fruition. In the garden, families can experience the outstanding indications of Chinese architecture informed by the philosophy of harmony and Feng Shui. Additionally, the original Lily Pond, featuring an outline of the Island of Jamaica, which was previously only accessible by the wildlife at the pond or by boat, still takes centre-stage in the newly designed garden in keeping with Chinese architecture.  This water feature is said to symbolise ‘communication and dreams’.

 

Expressing gratitude on behalf of the Government and the people of Jamaica, Mrs. Simpson Miller said that “We appreciate the gesture of kindness and friendship of the Government and people of the People’s Republic of China. A gift as beautiful as this is a gift that keeps on giving.  It is timeless!”  Charge d’ Affaires, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China Mr. Xia Guoshun expressed appreciation for the cooperation between Jamaica and China.

 

Noting that the Chinese are an important part of the Jamaican family, Mrs. Simpson Miller added that the Chinese Garden is a celebration of a common heritage amidst diversity, national and bilateral unity and cultural strength. She said that: “It is also a testament to Jamaica’s political Independence and the bold internationalism that propelled us to forge and advance diplomatic ties with China in 1972.” Jamaica was the first country in the Caribbean region to establish diplomatic relations with China. Mrs. Simpson Miller said that the contentious and unpopular decision at the time was led by former Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Michael Manley, “who was certain of the moral correctness of our defence of the ‘One China’ policy.” The Prime Minister declared that “Our bonds of friendship and cooperation have withstood the stormy currents of global geopolitics.”