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A new opportunity to strengthen China/Jamaica relations

Zheng Qingdian

Sunday, January 06, 2013    

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THE 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), successfully held between November 8 and 14, 2012, is one of the most important meetings held when China entered the decisive stage of completing the building of a prosperous society in all respects.

The report approved by the Congress draws up a grand blueprint for completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and accelerating socialist modernisation, which is of great importance to China's ongoing development.

The report makes the overall plan for promoting economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological progress. It also emphasises that China must persevere in reform, open up and create new favourable conditions for developing the open economy, continue to attach equal importance to export and import, expand Chinese companies' overseas presence at a faster pace, and develop a number of world-class multinational corporations.

The report points out that China is still the largest developing country in the world. China will continue to hold the banner of peace, development, co-operation and mutual benefit, follow the path of peaceful development, firmly pursue an independent foreign policy of peace and follow a win-win strategy of opening up.

As for the unity and co-operation with other developing countries, the report points out undoubtedly that China is committed to narrowing the North-South gap and supporting other developing countries in enhancing their capacity for self-development.

China will work with them to uphold their legitimate rights and interests and support efforts to increase their representation and voice in international affairs. China will also remain a reliable friend and sincere partner of other developing countries.

According to the report mentioned before, we can conclude that all the principles have established a stable foundation for China, Latin American, and Caribbean relationships.

The first China Policy Paper on Latin America and the Caribbean, published in 2008, emphasised that the Chinese Government views its relations with Latin America and the Caribbean from a strategic plan and seeks to build and develop a comprehensive and co-operative partnership featuring equality, mutual benefit and common development with Latin American and Caribbean countries.

During his official visit to Latin America in June 2012, Premier Wen Jiabao put forward a series of initiatives and measures on deepening China, Latin American and Caribbean relationships which received applause from all country leaders and people from all walks of life.

At present, a China, Latin American and Caribbean comprehensive and co-operative partnership is making progress steadily.

China/Jamaica relationships is an important part of China, Latin American and Caribbean relationships. Over the past 40 years, since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Jamaica, the two countries have harvested great achievements in political, economic and humanitarian fields, persevering in mutual respect and equality principles.

Bilateral relations entered a new era in 2005 when the two countries upgraded their relationship to a friendly partnership for common development. Now, top government officials exchange visits regularly, political confidence deepens, co-operation in all fields, including trade, finance and infrastructure, flourish, and co-operation on international affairs works well.

Since the past 10 years, China/Jamaican bilateral trade volume has increased by six times, reaching US$375 million in 2011. The Montego Bay Convention Centre, the largest such facility in the English-speaking Caribbean built under Chinese concessionary loan, has become a milestone building for China/Jamaica relations.

Based on the agreement between China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCC) and the Government of Jamaica, the US$730-million investment in the Jamaica North-South Highway Project started last December. The project will not only create many jobs for the Jamaican people, but will also greatly improve the country's infrastructural capability.

History and practice have both undoubtedly proved that China is and will be one of the most dynamic bilateral partners of Jamaica. Our two countries have become good friends, good brothers and good partners.

At the critical moment of the development of China/Jamaica relations, the 18th CPC National Congress makes a clear signal of actively developing relationships with Latin American and Caribbean countries. Recently, both China and Jamaica celebrated the 40th anniversary of establishing foreign relations through all kinds of activities.

I believe that on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, China/Jamaica relations will find a new opportunity for development and have a wonderful future. We are confident that the better future will come soon.

Long live China/Jamaica friendship!

Zheng Qingdian is the People's Republic of China's ambassador to Jamaica

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