On November 21st 2022, Ambassador Chen Daojiang contributed an signature article titled Seizing New Opportunities to Jointly Create a Brilliant Future for China-Jamaica Relations to Jamaica Observer, Gleaner, and Our Today website, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Jamaica. The full text is as follows:
November 21st, 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and Jamaica. Fifty years ago today, leaders of our two countries made their visionary strategic decision to establish diplomatic relations between China and Jamaica, opening up a new chapter in our countries’ engagements. Jamaica became the first English-speaking Caribbean country to establish diplomatic relations with China.
Over the past 50 years, thanks to our leaders’ strategic guidance, China-Jamaica relations have achieved steady and healthy development with constantly deepened political mutual trust, continuously expanded practical cooperation, increasingly intensive people-to-people and cultural exchanges and ever more consolidated friendship between our peoples, delivering tangible benefits to our countries and our peoples.
Today, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Jamaican Governor-General, H.E. the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen exchanged congratulatory messages on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries, providing the strategic guidance, pointing out the future direction and setting the goals for China-Jamaica relations in the next 50 years. Congratulatory messages have also been exchanged between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Jamaican Prime Minister the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, and between Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China(CPC) and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica.
As the Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica, I bear the weighty responsibility and proud mission to advance China-Jamaica Strategic Partnership to a new level and deliver more achievements under the strategic guidance of our leaders. It will mark the half-year anniversary since I arrived in Jamaica in a few days. In the past nearly 6 months, I met with Jamaican friends from all walks of life and visited different places on the island, including many sites of our practical cooperation projects. Thus I gained more comprehensive, deeper and more direct understanding and perspectives of China-Jamaica relations.
China and Jamaica enjoy deeply rooted relations that represent a fine example. The one-China principle is the political foundation for China to establish and develop diplomatic relations with other countries. Jamaica’s firm adherence to the one-China principle lays a solid foundation for China-Jamaica relations. Since I started my tenure, leaders from our countries have exchanged congratulatory messages on the National Day/Independence Day and the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-Jamaica relations. Leaders of the Jamaica Labour Party(JLP) and the People’s National Party(PNP) respectively sent congratulatory messages to Xi Jinping on his re-election as the General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee. The JLP and the PNP also respectively sent congratulatory messages on the successful convening of the 20th National Congress of the CPC. The frequent interactions between our leaders and close communication among political parties of our countries have further strengthened our political mutual trust. Jamaica was the first English-speaking Caribbean country to establish a strategic partnership with China, and the first Caribbean country to sign a cooperation plan on jointly promoting the Belt and Road cooperation with China. Going forward, as China and Jamaica strive to enhance political mutual trust and strengthen high-level interactions, I believe that we will surely witness more “first things” from China-Jamaica relations.
China and Jamaica enjoy mutually beneficial relations that hold vast potential. When I visited many Chinese enterprises in Jamaica, I learned that most of their employees are local people and these enterprises have created over 35,000 direct jobs so far. When I travelled on the North-South Highway, I felt for myself the convenience this highway brings to Jamaican people. When I toured the Chinese Garden at the Hope Royal Botanic Gardens, I was mesmerized by the unique appeal that this garden holds to Jamaican people. When I went to the new headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, I saw with my own eyes the tangible benefits this building brings to the Jamaican diplomats. When I inspected the project of the Western Children’s Hospital, I was deeply touched by Jamaican people’s dearest wish for the early operation of this hospital in order for their children to enjoy high-quality medical conditions. When I toured the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project(SCHIP), I was deeply impressed by Jamaican people’s simplest hope for the early operation of this highway in order for them to travel faster between the East and the West of the island. After I tasted the fresh lobster that I bought at the Portmore Fishing Village and enjoyed the aromatic Blue Mountain coffee and Appleton rum, I could understand why the Chinese people love Jamaican products and why there is vast potential in the Jamaican exports to China. Going forward, as China and Jamaica continuously deepen the practical cooperation, promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and actively implement the Global Development Initiative(GDI), I believe that China-Jamaica relations will surely bring more benefits to our peoples.
China and Jamaica enjoy long-standing friendly relations that have broad prospects. Despite the vast geographical distances between our two countries, our peoples’ friendly interactions go back a long way. Since the earliest arrival of Chinese people in Jamaica in 1854, they have been actively engaged in Jamaica’s social life and brought China into Jamaican people’s horizon, laying solid groundwork for our peoples’ enduring friendship. When I attended the Presentation Ceremony for the Chinese Ambassador’s Scholarship in Northern Caribbean University, I was impressed by the vitality emanated from our countries’ education cooperation. When I learned that more and more Jamaicans joined China’s short-term training sessions, I was delighted at the broad prospect of our countries’ cooperation on human resource development. When students from the Confucius Institute at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies sang Chinese songs at the Reception in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Jamaica, I saw the positive outcomes in our countries’ cultural exchanges. Going forward, as China and Jamaica will further strengthen their people-to-people and cultural exchanges and cooperation on education, culture, health, sports and tourism, I believe that China-Jamaica relations will surely develop under the auspices of our peoples.
Last month witnessed the successful convening of the 20th National Congress of the CPC. The Congress laid out the goals, tasks and guiding policies for the development cause of the CPC and China in the next five years and beyond. China will stay committed to the path of peaceful development, stay committed to deepening reform and opening-up, and stay committed to promoting the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. Along the track of modernization, China will surely deliver more opportunities, create more dynamism and contribute more wisdom and solutions for Jamaica and beyond.
Since President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Development Initiative(GDI), China has worked closely with the international community, rolled out 32 major concrete measures, and achieved important early gains, with the project pool expanding and cooperative platforms increasing. The GDI is highly synergistic with Jamaica’s development strategies and goals. China hopes that Jamaica will join the Group of Friends of the GDI at an early date, so that the GDI will grow in depth and substance in Jamaica and help our countries achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
China and Jamaica have jointly embarked on a new journey and are facing great historic opportunities in developing the bilateral relations. As our leaders have provided strategic guidance for the future development of China-Jamaica relations, I look forward to closely working with all Jamaican friends from different sectors to further advance China-Jamaica Strategic Partnership from the new starting point of the Golden Jubilee of our countries’ diplomatic relations. Let’s pool our efforts to enhance our people’s sense of gains and happiness, create an even more brilliant future for China-Jamaica relations in another 50 years, and go hand in hand to build a community with a shared future for mankind!