CHINA'S ambassador to Jamaica Chen Daojiang on Sunday hailed the long-standing friendship between both countries and pledged his Government's continued support towards strengthening those ties.
"Next month marks the 51st anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Jamaica," Ambassador Chen told guests attending a reception marking the 74th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, at AC Hotel Kingston.
"Jamaica was the first English-speaking Caribbean country to establish diplomatic relations with China, [the first] to establish a strategic partnership with China, and [the first] to sign the agreement on jointly promoting the Belt and Road cooperation with China. The three 'firsts' are strong evidence of the China-Jamaica friendship and right direction of the bilateral relations," he said.
Beijing, he said, has always attached great importance to China-Jamaica relations from strategic and long-term perspectives. "With our joint efforts China-Jamaica relations have always been maintaining right direction, despite the rapid and complicated changes of international situations," he added, noting that the relationship between both countries is built on equality and mutual trust .
Chen, who is also his country's permanent representative to the International Seabed Authority (ISA), said China is committed "to a path of peaceful development" and "is developing itself by unleashing its internal dynamism and peacefully utilising external resources".
According to the diplomat, China "does not oppress any other nation in any form or rob others of resources and wealth; instead, it goes all out to help and support fellow developing countries".
He said China's "path to modernisation via peaceful development will bring new hope to people of all countries who yearn for peace and development, and [will] contribute even more to world peace, tranquility, prosperity and development".
Noting that China joined the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and became a member of ISA in 1996, Ambassador Chen said that over the past 27 years his country has developed rapidly amid global changes.
"However, China's firm belief in promoting the harmonious coexistence between humanity and nature has never wavered. The concept of 'a community of life for man and nature' that China is practising is similar to the principle of: 'The area and its resources are the common heritage of mankind' held by the International Seabed Authority. China is willing to continue to work with other countries to promote deep-sea mining and environmental protection, and make greater contributions to the common welfare of all mankind," the diplomat said.
Noting that China's President Xi Jinping has pointed out that the relationship between countries lies in the friendship between the people, Ambassador Chen said the friendly exchanges between the people of China and Jamaica go back a long way, "and the touching story of the two peoples living in harmony and working together for progress stretches back hundreds of years".
"The Chinese community in Jamaica has upheld the outstanding qualities of diligence, bravery, inclusiveness and dedication. The Chinese people started careers in Jamaica, served the community, and made great contributions to China-Jamaica exchanges and cooperation," he said.
Ambassador Chen pointed out that leaders and senior officials of the two countries have always maintained close communication through meetings and exchanges of letters. Additionally, various governmental departments and political parties in both countries have maintained intensive exchanges.
"Our two countries have always firmly supported each other in the international and multilateral areas as well as on issues of core interests and major concerns," he said, adding that Beijing appreciates Kingston's "firm commitment to the one-China principle" .
He also said that both countries have seen a deepening of pragmatic cooperation shored up by solid political relations and constant strengthening of bilateral trade and infrastructure connectivity, among them projects such as "Part A of the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project", which came into service recently, and the Western Children's Hospital now under construction.
He also said that China welcomes Jamaica joining the Group of Friends of Global Development Initiative "at an early time and would like to promote the implementation of the initiative in Jamaica, with the support of Jamaican friends".
Additionally, the ambassador highlighted the fact that China has awarded hundreds of scholarships to Jamaican students, and thousands of Jamaicans from different fields have taken part in short training sessions organised by China.
Additionally, he said, more and more Jamaican young people are learning Mandarin at the Confucius Institute at The University of the West Indies, Mona campus, and "just half a month ago a high-level delegation from Beijing visited Jamaica, once again vigorously promoting the exchanges and mutual learning between the local legislatures and capitals of our two countries".
He said that China would like to work with Jamaica to build a more resilient and dynamic bilateral strategic partnership in the new era.
"The embassy will continue to work with friends from all walks of life to implement the important consensus reached by our leaders, and promote the sustainable, healthy and rapid development of China-Jamaica relations," he said.