Chinese Ambassador backs 'One China' benefits for Jamaica
The People's Republic of China's Ambassador to Jamaica, Chen Daojiang, poses for the cameras before taking charge of his press briefing at his home, Tuesday. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

"There is but one China in the world, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory," the People's Republic of China's (PRC) Ambassador Chen Daojiang told local journalists sharing the celebration of his first anniversary in the post at his home in St Andrew, Tuesday.

Responding to questions from the media after a lengthy speech supported by an interpreter, Chen said that the Government of the PRC is the sole legal body representing the whole of China, which would include the territories of Hong Kong and Taiwan.

He explained that the essentials of the One China principle included universal consensus of the international community and basic norms of international relations as well as the key for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

"[The] Taiwan question is purely China's internal affair and must be resolved by the Chinese. We firmly oppose interference by any outside forces," he told journalists sharing his anniversary date in Jamaica.

He said that though the mainland and Taiwan are yet to be unified, "they belong to one and the same China", and Taiwan is a part of China's territory.

Chen said that China's sovereignty and territorial integrity have never been divided, and Taiwan's return to China is an important component of post-post-war international order, and to uphold the One China principle "is to defend the post-war international order".

The so-called One China principle is the political foundation for China to establish and develop diplomatic relations with countries like Jamaica that has shown adherence to the principle which has laid the foundation for China-Jamaica relations.

Ambassador Chen, last November, noted that both countries enjoy deeply rooted relations that represent a fine example of friendship.

In terms of investment, he pointed to the past 20 years when Chinese companies entered Jamaica and made a cumulative investment of US$2.1 billion in infrastructure construction, information and communications technology (ICT), agriculture and mining, and in building a lot of landmark projects, such as the North-South Highway and the Pan Caribbean Sugar Company, creating some 40,000 jobs in the process.

He also noted that Chinese companies, such as China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) and Huawei, have worked together with The University of the West Indies, Mona, and the HEART/NSTA Trust to introduce training sessions, internship programmes, and collaborative labs, cultivating a number of talents in construction and ICT, and during the pandemic, Chinese enterprises in Jamaica donated medical equipment, such as masks, sanitisers, and office supplies, including laptops.

In terms of aid, he said that China always regards Jamaica as a "sincere friend" and provides aid as well as support for its socio-economic development within its capability.

Chen also noted that in 2018 the Chinese Government donated approximately US$36 million (250 million Yuan) to construct the Western Children's Hospital in St James and undertake other projects to be agreed on by both countries.

On preferential loans, he pointed out that besides free aid, China also supports Jamaica's development, through preferential loans, including aid for the Montego Bay Convention Centre, the Trelawny Cricket Stadium, the Norman Manley International Airport and the Major Infrastructure Development Programme projects built with low-interest loans to promote urban development.

In reference to the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project in eastern parishes, including St Thomas, which was supported by a low-interest loan, he said that "when the road is completed it will definitely promote the economic development of southern Jamaica".

BY BALFORD HENRY Senior Observer writer

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