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Ambassador Guo Haiyan: "Building a Brighter Future for the Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership between China and Caribbean Countries"
2022-05-11 23:23

On May 11, 2022, Mme. Guo Haiyan, Chinese Ambassador to Guyana, published an article entitled " Building a Brighter Future for the Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership between China and Caribbean Countries " in the Guyana Chronicle newspaper. Below is the full article:

China-Guyana relationship is the starting point of China-Caribbean relationship.

In 1972, Guyana took the lead in the English-speaking Caribbean to establish diplomatic ties with China, opening a new chapter of friendship between China and Caribbean countries. Over the past 50 years, especially since President Xi Jinping's visit to Caribbean countries in 2013, China-Caribbean relations have kept deepening, and our cooperation in various sectors has yielded fruitful outcomes, setting an exemplary model of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and common development between countries of different sizes.

On April 29, 2022, the Foreign Ministers' Meeting among China and Caribbean Countries Having Diplomatic Relations with China was held via video link. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Acting Prime Minister of Dominica Reginald Austrie, Guyana's Foreign Minister Hugh Todd and the Foreign Ministers of Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago gathered in the "cloud" to review the development of China-Caribbean relations over the past 50 years and discuss the new blueprint for future cooperation.

At the meeting, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi comprehensively summarized the achievements of China-Caribbean friendship and cooperation in terms of political mutual trust, pragmatic cooperation, cooperation against COVID-19, people-to-people exchanges, multilateral coordination, and put forward four suggestions for building the China-Caribbean partnership at a higher level, such as jointly promoting peace and development, jointly drawing up a blueprint for the development of China-Caribbean relations, jointly deepening mutually beneficial cooperation and jointly continuing to promote friendship between the two peoples. The participating Caribbean countries responded positively to the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, praised China's leading role as a major power, and commended China as a reliable and important development partner of the Caribbean countries. The participants reached broad consensus on building an even closer China-Caribbean countries community with a shared future.

China-Guyana relationship is a highlight of China-Caribbean relationship.

I would like to share with you examples of China-Guyana cooperation in the context of five major areas of achievements of China-Caribbean friendship and cooperation.

First, political mutual trust between the two sides has been strengthened as time goes by. The Chinese people have always remembered that in 1971, Guyana resolutely voted in favor of the Resolution No.2758 in the United Nations (UN) and contributed to the restoration of the lawful seat of the People's Republic of China in the UN. China highly appreciates the commitment of successive governments of Guyana to adhere to the one-China principle. China also firmly supports Guyana in pursuing successful development path suited to its national conditions. In March last year, President Xi Jinping and President Ali talked over the phone and reached important consensus, which has drawn a new blueprint for the development of China-Guyana relations. This year, we will take the celebration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations as an opportunity to continue to deepen the mutual political trust between the two countries.

Second, pragmatic cooperation has yielded fruitful results. The trade volume between China and Guyana has increased significantly year after year despite the impact of the epidemic, reaching US$710 million in 2021. The conference center, roads, hotels, airport and other projects built with China's assistance or participation had added to the beautiful sight of Guyana. Ferries and water plant projects have served to improve the livelihood of local people. Many training programs have contributed to capacity building and sustainable development in Guyana. The development of bilateral relations has brought tangible benefits to the two countries and the two peoples. Jointly advancing Belt and Road cooperation will continuously inject new impetus into mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Guyana.

Third, the two sides have rendered each other support and assistance through thick and thin. In the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic, China and Guyana have offered each other a helping hand and overcome the difficulties together. Guyana provided China with invaluable support when China's fight against the pandemic was at its toughest period, and China also took the lead in providing urgently needed medical supplies to Guyana. Guyana is also the first country in the English-speaking Caribbean to receive the donated vaccines from China.

Fourth, public support has grown more solid. As President Ali puts it, Guyana stands as a proud example of how persons from diverse ethnic backgrounds can co-exist in harmony, co-operate for the common good and respect one another. Multiculture, harmony and tolerance are the precious social legacies of Guyana. The Guyanese has just celebrated the "Arrival Day" with the participation of the local Chinese Lion Dance Team. Chinese culture and Chinese community have integrated deeply into the local society, which are historical ties between China and Guyana. Chinese Medical Teams, Chinese Government Scholarships and Confucius Institute in University of Guyana have become new benchmarks for people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and Guyana.

Fifth, the two sides have worked closely to safeguard justice. China and Guyana have strengthened coordination and maintained communication in the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the Group of 77 and China and other international organizations, jointly safeguarding the overall interests of developing countries, upholding the basic norms governing international relations and defending multilateralism.

At the same time, I would like to emphasize that China attaches great importance to the concerns raised by Guyana on climate change, development financing and other issues at the Foreign Ministers' Meeting. China is ready to provide the utmost support to help Guyana tackle climate change and make the most of the upcoming China-Caribbean disaster prevention and mitigation fund to improve Guyana’s capacity to respond to natural disasters. And we are ready to enhance pragmatic cooperation with Guyana in economy and trade, investment and financing, infrastructure construction and other areas, and jointly advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.

China-Guyana relationship is the fulcrum of China-Caribbean relationship.

A few days ago, in her speech to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Guyana and China, the Guyanese Ambassador to China, Mme. Anyin Choo, quoted the old Chinese poem "Bosom friends from afar bring a distant land near" to describe the relationship between the two countries. I would like to echo it with a Latin American proverb: "a real friend is someone who is able to touch your heart from the other side of the world." Fifty years ago, China and Guyana echoed each other and jointly started a half-century-long friendship between China and Caribbean countries. Standing at a new historical starting point, I believe that Guyana, as an important country in the region where the CARICOM Secretariat is located, will become a pioneer and set good example for promoting China-Caribbean cooperation and building China-Caribbean countries community with a shared future. Let's look forward to the next 50 years of even brighter future together!

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