Address at the 69th National Day Reception
of the People’s Republic of China
by H.E. Mr. TIAN QI
Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica
and Permanent Representative to the
International Seabed Authority
(October 1, 2018. Kingston, Jamaica)
Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson-Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade,
Dr. Peter Phillips, Leader of the Opposition,
Former Prime Minister the Most Hon. Edward Seaga and Mrs. Seaga,
Senator the Hon. Thomas Tavares-Finson, President of the Senate,
The Hon. Ministers,
Senators and Members of the House of Representatives,
Chief of Defence Staff, Commissioner of Police,
His Excellency Michael Lodge, Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority, and Mrs. Lodge
Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps,
My Fellow Chinese,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good evening, welcome and let me say Big Up, Jamaica!
This year marks the 69th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China and the 40th Anniversary of the Reform and Opening-up of China.
Over the past several decades, China has successfully opened up a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics which suits its own national reality. China now stands as the world’s second largest economy. Over 700 million people have been lifted out of poverty, accounting for over 70% of the world’s total poverty reduction. China’s economy has seen a major shift from rapid growth to high-quality development with internal consumption as the new driver, contributing 60% to economic growth. China’s economy will absolutely stay on the right track of steady and sound development.
Since President XI Jinping proposed the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, China has set up 82 economic cooperation zones in partner countries, invested 28.9 billion US dollars and created 244,000 local jobs, which have strongly promoted economic growth and improved people’s life.
China is committed to forging a new form of international relations with mutual respect, fairness, justice, and win-win cooperation as its central pillars, and building a community with a shared future for mankind, which is open, inclusive, clean, beautiful, enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity.
China and Jamaica are important dual partners in production capacity cooperation and the Belt and Road Initiative. Our Friendly Partnership for Common Development has achieved rapid development.
Firstly, bilateral cooperation on investment has maintained growing momentum. China is the largest source of FDI to Jamaica. 16 major Chinese enterprises have invested over 1.5 billion US$, completed nearly 40 projects and created 10,000 jobs. 30 more projects are also underway which will create thousands more jobs and for that we are extremely proud as we are committed to the growth and development of Jamaica.
Secondly, bilateral trade has made steady progress. China is Jamaica’s third largest trading partner with bilateral trade exceeding 382 million US$ in 2017. In April, Jamaica began exporting live lobsters to China. Additionally, Jamaica’s participation in the first ever China International Import Expo (CIIE) in November will boost Jamaican export to China.
Thirdly, economic and technical cooperation is increasingly active. “Good friends better than pocket money”. China is the major international development cooperation partner of Jamaica. Over the past decade, China has offered over 2000 short-term training opportunities and scholarships for Jamaicans to study in China. This year alone, more than 300 Jamaicans have been invited to various short-term training courses in China.
Fourthly, China and Jamaica collaborate closely in international affairs. China looks forward to joining hands with Jamaica and other developing countries to safeguard and promote the common interests of developing countries.
This year marks the 22nd Anniversary of China’s accession to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the International Seabed Authority. China’s proposal of building a community with a shared future for mankind perfectly echoes the Principle of Common Heritage of Mankind governing the international seabed area and its resources. Under the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration, China will work with all other countries to promote the exploration and exploitation of deep sea mineral resources and the environmental protection, to enhance common interests and well-being of mankind.
As Confucius said “The wise find pleasure in water; the virtuous find pleasure in mountain.” I enjoy the booming sunrise in Portland and the gorgeous sunset in Negril, as well as the fine flavors of Blue Mountain coffee and Appleton rum. I am enchanted by the beaches in Montego Bay and the stunning view of the island from the Blue Mountain peak. I have a deep appreciation for the beauty of the land of Wood and Water and the virtue of Jamaican people.
I am impressed and encouraged by the confidence and determination shown by Jamaican friends, of all walks of life, to further advance China-Jamaica cooperation. “Jamaican” does not only refer to a nationality but an experience, and I am pleased to say that my Jamaican experience so far has been outstanding.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for all your support. Today, we celebrate China entering into a new and deepened phase of cooperation with both Jamaica and the International Seabed Authority. Let’s get together and work together to achieve greater success.
To conclude, I propose a toast,
To the deepening China-Jamaica friendly partnership,
To the common heritage of mankind,
To the health of each and every of you,