Tue | Sep 27, 2022

Chen Daojiang | Together for a shared future

Published:Sunday | August 7, 2022 | 12:06 AM
Amb. Chen Daojiang
Amb. Chen Daojiang

Road work in Yallahs, St Thomas where  Part D of the South Coast Highway Improvement Project stretches from the Yallahs Bridge in St. Thomas to Port Antonio in Portland.
Road work in Yallahs, St Thomas where Part D of the South Coast Highway Improvement Project stretches from the Yallahs Bridge in St. Thomas to Port Antonio in Portland.

The overheard bridge at Three Miles, St Andrew
The overheard bridge at Three Miles, St Andrew
1
2
3

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Independence of Jamaica, I would like to, on behalf of the Chinese Government and Chinese people, extend warm congratulations and best wishes to the Jamaican Government and Jamaican people. We are very glad to share the great happiness and joy of the holiday with brotherly and sisterly Jamaicans.

Sixty years ago, Jamaica declared its independence after long-term struggle and unremitting efforts by the Jamaican people, opening a brand-new chapter in Jamaican history. Since then, Jamaica has been embarking on a new journey of seeking prosperity for the country and bringing happiness to the people. Over the past 60 years, under the strong leadership of Jamaican leaders and arduous efforts of the Jamaican people, Jamaica has been making big progress in socio-economic development. Jamaica’s economic growth reached 8.2 per cent in 2021/2022 fiscal year, laying a solid foundation for recovery from the COVID-19. Jamaica’s unemployment rate was six per cent in April 2022, a record low. Jamaica has been constantly pushing forward its causes in various areas such as digital transformation, infrastructure construction and environmental protection, and has yielded positive progress.

Jamaican athletes proved Jamaica as a major sports country once again with excellent performances at the recently concluded World Athletics Championships. Jamaica also plays an active and important role in international and regional affairs. The Diamond Jubilee of Independence provides a great opportunity for Jamaica to gather national strength and plan for future development. I sincerely wish that Jamaica would achieve the goal of ‘Reigniting a Nation for Greatness’ and become “the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business”.

50TH ANNIVERSARY

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Jamaica, which is another joyful event. Jamaica was among the first several Caribbean countries to establish diplomatic relations with China. Over the past 50 years, under the strategic guidance of the leaders of our two countries, China-Jamaica relations maintain steady and sound development. The bilateral practical cooperation has continuously been deepened, and the people-to-people exchanges between two countries have broadly been carried out, bringing many tangible benefits to our two countries and two peoples.

China-Jamaica relations set up an example for developing countries to respect each other, treat each other as equals and seek win-win cooperation. Over the past 50 years, China’s accumulative investment in Jamaica has exceeded US$2.1 billion. The bilateral trade volume reached US$816 million in 2021. The China-aid new headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica, the Chinese Garden at Hope Royal Botanical Gardens, and the Confucius Institute at the Mona Campus of The University of the West Indies (UWI) have been the witnesses and symbols of China-Jamaica friendship and cooperation. China sent two ‘Bright Journey’ Medical Missions to carry out ophthalmology therapy in Jamaica, which helped return a bright and colourful world to hundreds of Jamaican cataract patients.

PROMOTE ECONOMIC GROWTH

The China-aided Jamaica Western Children’s Hospital, currently under construction, and the Montego Bay Perimeter Road Project, South Coast Highway Project, as well as the JISCO-Alpart Bauxite Upgrading and Revamping Project contracted by Chinese enterprises, will improve medical services, strengthen infrastructure construction, create more jobs and promote economic growth for Jamaica, and these projects will become the new symbols and landmarks of mutually-beneficial cooperation between China and Jamaica. Jamaica’s reggae music, rum, Blue Mountain coffee, provide Chinese people with enriched and diversified access to material and cultural experiences. We also welcome more Jamaica-featured products and services such as seafood, pork and tourism being exported to China so as to promote economic recovery and the development of our two countries.

When the 60th anniversary of the independence of Jamaica meets with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Jamaica, momentum and good opportunity are provided for Jamaica’s own development, China-Jamaica relations and practical cooperation between our two countries. Both countries should seize this historic opportunity to work together, under the strategic guidance of the leaders of our two countries, to enhance bilateral practical cooperation in various areas, jointly promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and implement the Global Development Initiative, so as to promote China-Jamaica Strategic Partnership to a higher level, bring more benefits to our two countries and two peoples, and making contributions to building a community with a shared future for mankind!

I wish Jamaica prosperity and the Jamaican people happiness and wellness. May China-Jamaica relations gain steady and greater development and may our friendship last forever.

- Chen Daojiang is ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to Jamaica. Send feedback to xiajamaica@gmail.com.